Discover Your Next Read
LOVERS, LIARS, CONJURERS AND THIEVES
Peepal Tree Press
THE CHOREOGRAPHER'S CARTOGRAPHY
Peepal Tree Press
THE ALGEBRA OF FREEDOM
Aurora Metro Press
INCOMING: SOME SHETLAND VOICES
Shetland Amenity Trust
Raman Mundair is an Indian born, writer, artist, activist, filmmaker and playwright. She identifies as a disabled, Queer, British Asian intersectional feminist and is based in Shetland and Glasgow. She is the award winning author of Lovers, Liars, Conjurers and Thieves, A Choreographer’s Cartography, The Algebra of Freedom (a play) and is the editor of Incoming: Some Shetland Voices.
Raman won an ALL3Media Scholarship to work with Peter Ansorge on the National Film and Televison School writing for television course. She has just been shortlisted as a writer and director for Sharp Shorts. Her new experimental film work will be shown on the forthcoming Tramway Gallery TV initiative.
Her work is socially and politically observant, bold, mischievous, cutting edge and potent with poetic imagery and integrity. Her writing plays with the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class and challenges notions of British and colonial histories and identities. Raman's work focuses on the experiences, knowledges and life-worlds of people of colour and reframes their experience from a fresh, new perspective. She has published poetry, fiction, drama and non-fiction and has performed and exhibited her artwork around the world from Aberdeen to Zimbabwe. She presents the Intersectional Voices (IV) podcast.
Poetry, Prose, Plays & Public Art
A Choreographer's Cartography (Peepal Tree Press, 2007, ISBN 1 84523 051 5) - collection of poems
The Algebra of Freedom (Aurora Metro, 2007, ISBN 978-09551566-6-3) - play
Lovers, Liars, Conjurers and Thieves (Peepal Tree Press, 2003, ISBN 1900715805) - collection of poems
The Incoming Project - Some Shetland Voices (Shetland Museum and Archives / Shetland Heritage Publications, ISBN 978-0-9572031-4-3) - editor/contributor
Chattri Memorial, ArchiTexts - web installation A response in prose and poetry to the Chattri Memorial, near Brighton, Sussex in memory of the Sikh and Hindu soldiers who died while in hospitals in Brighton and Hove during WW1.
Secrets of the Green, public art: poetry & art plaque trail, The Green, Aberdeen
choreographies of resist///dance is a triptych of films commissioned by Tramway, Glasgow for their Tramway TV project. Mundair's films meditate on rituals for resistance for women of colour during troubled times. It incorporates healing and uplifting practices and presents them as poetic strategies for self defence: dance, breath-work, music, song, and dialogue with other women of colour and moments with nature all become radical acts of self-care and self-love.
Mundair uses the traditionally Punjabi female folk dance of Giddha and female group singing of Boliyaan as a rallying call for resistance. For a call to literal, spiritual, emotional and psychological movement – a physicality that embodies resist///dance. The work was available for 1 week to view via instagram tv.
Mu Vich, Ajeeb Jeeb :: In My Mouth, Strange and Curious Tongue (2020) – a film quartet
meray jhutay hai japani (1.45mins) //sirh pay lal topi russi (1.23mins)//english is an unsubtle act (1.50mins)//your tongue in my mouth (1.33mins)
Mu Vich, Ajeeb Jeeb :: In My Mouth, Strange and Curious Tongue is a series of four films designed to be viewed simultaesnously or individually or in different combinations. It's an experimental exploration of articulation, of the act of naming and forming ways of expressing in a creative, textual, visual and performative way. It is an open ended conversation without an assigned syntax or grammar. It is a diasporic, cultural and linguistic free association, each moment enhancing and amplifying the previous moment. It is a multi-genre work that dances within the evocative space of emotional exile, the space that many of second and third generation people of colour can step into and emerge with an innovative new language and identity – a unique way of seeing and telling our lived experiences. Commissioned by Oxford University's Slanguages Project.
Her Third Eye Was Erased at Birth (3.16mins, 2020)
Her Third Eye Was Erased at Birth is a film-poem: This poem was commissioned by Aoife Lyall as part of the Scottish Poetry Library’s ‘Champions’ project, a guest curatorship programme to help extend our national reach.Lyall says, ‘Raman’s poem breathes into the weight of responsibility and expectation ‘vision’ lays at a woman’s feet: to be painfully delicate, perpetually self-aware, purposefully made less to be thought more. It is a call to action and a cry to freedom, a realignment of purpose and function, ideals and realities.’
Mundair says, ‘The proposed subject of vision made me instinctively narrow my eyes. I wanted to filter and notice the peripheral, the liminal and let that land in me. I wanted to consider the weight of the concept of vision and visioning and let it irritate a little and then let it settle. ‘Her Third Eye Was Erased at Birth’ is as playful as it is experimental and as equally poetic as it is political.’
still/ill ::: breatheyesmemory (13.21 mins, 2019)
still/ill ::: breatheyesmemory ::: is an experimental filmwork - Beta hypothesis 1: White space renders me invisible My brown body moves but you can't always see it, catch it, feel it. There is pain and trauma in this brown body but you can't always see it, catch it, feel it, know it. Fact: I have an invisible disability to accompany my stifled voice and censored presence. Fact: I make signs and gestures and signal from this brown body but you can't always see it, catch it, feel it, know it. Fact: I am stillmovingstill In process and in inertia In the tension between dis/abl(e)ility versus agility versus pain versus trauma versus memory versus breath versus eyes From tautness and in between these spaces What do we need to say? How do we need to be remembered? - As a whole, not in parts. In subtlty and in the murk and gray rather than the convenience of white and binary space. This brownbodymoves through space like underwater, a resistance wearing at my skin - This brownbodymoves despite the steroidbloating and the exhausted sinew and muscles that give way - This brownbodymoves even in a low dose naltrexone blur and didn't you know walking is falling, falling is moving stillmovingstill? This brownbodymoves and you do not see that I am stillmovingstill and still/ill - Note my hands, here – see these feet now, look, these eyes this memory - stillmovingstill Commissioned by and premiered at Dancebase Edinburgh, UK 2019
Sow, Reap and Slowly Savour (10.33mins, 2019)
Film documentation of Raman Mundair's 2019 Sow, Reap and Slowly Savour action/intervention/sound work and installation at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland. ::: exhibition notes: The seeds were planted beneath our tongues many moons ago Now is the time to reap and taste the language Say their names and slowly Savour… For Sow, Reap and Slowly Savour, poet and artist Raman Mundair will create a new work that will be recorded and installed as sound and text. As part of the process, she offers an opportunity to women of colour and women with a lived experience of the immigration and asylum system via a workshop where they make a place setting for a woman – living, past or mythical. The patterns, text and design of the place settings will be influenced and inspired by Raman's work and draw from seeds, spices, culture, women's mythology and plants from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Arab world. The workshop will be followed by a meal in the space between the participants. Following the workshop and meal, visitors are invited to view a text and sound based installation that will record stories, memories and sounds related to the seeds, spices, culture and mythology of the women participating in the workshop. The meal place settings will be left in the space to mark the work, offering people who might not have a lived experience of borders, the opportunity to understand processes of generational migration.
Commissioned by and premiered at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, UK 2019
'Noctuary' is a triptych of artists films made by Raman Mundair & Lotta Petronella. The three films: Pavor Nocturnus, Apnea & Cataplexia explore the effects of domestic violence on sleep. The films were originally exhibited at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow.
The Algebra of Freedom - produced by 7:84 Theatre Company. Text published by Aurora Metro
text of produced play can be bought here:
Side Effects - a site/cast specific collaboration with and produced by the National Theatre Scotland
The Orange Sari - (a play for 7 - 12 year olds) produced by Blue Elephant Theatre, London
Essays & Articles
On The Urgent Need to Decolonise Theatre
On Mele Broomes film: A Service in Committing to Love
Thoughts on Race and Britishness
Your Land is My Land
On feminist language, women of colour and erasure of lived experience
On time losing meaning, the difference between solitude and isolation, and missing dancing.
On the Corona Virus, living with constant pain, 'invisible' disability, chronic illness and the very real, daily intersectional impact.
On People of Colour in the Shetland Islands - the incoming project
Sarvana Sisters (on Caste & film) https://www.eurobollywood.net/sarvana-sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves/
Raman's writing has been anthologised in the following:
The Women Writers Handbook, (Aurora Metro, July 2020)
Almarks, an anthology of radical poetry from Shetland (Culture Matters, June 2020)
Shoreline of Infinity Magazine, (May 2020) – guest editor
Gutter Magazine, (March 2020)
Ceremony, (Tapsalteerie Press, 2019)
The Colour of Madness, (Skiddaw Books, 2018)
Scottish Writers' Centre Anthology, (Red Squirrel Press, 2018)
Exhibition Catologue, The 192nd Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition (RSA, 2018)
Thali Katori - An anthology of Scottish South Asian Poetry, (Luath Press, 2017)
Closure, (Peepal Tree, 2015)
Archipelagos - poems from Writing the North, (University of Edinburgh, 2014)
Conversations About Empires, (Ilkley Literature Festival, 2012)
Out of Bounds, (Bloodaxe, 2012)
The Harper Collins Book of English Poetry, (Harper Collins India, 2012)
The New Shetlander, Yule Issue (SISS, 2011)
ImagiNation, Stories of Scotland's Future (Big Sky Press, 2011)
These Island We Sing, (Polygon Birlinn, 2011)
Departures and Arrivals, (Scottish PEN, 2009)
Red, (Peepal Tree Press, 2009)
The New Anthem, (Tranquebar Press, 2009)
One Poem in Search of a Translator: Re-writing 'Les Fenêtres' by Apollinaire, (Peter Lang, 2008)
Atlas 02, (Aark Arts, 2007)
Addicted to Brightness, (Long Lunch Press, 2006)
Visual Art/Exhibitions/Artist interventions/Performance
2020 choreographies of resist///dance; Tramway Glasgow
2019 Still/Ill; DanceBase Edinburgh
2019 Mother/Love; Centre for Contemporary Art
2019 Sow, Reap and Slowly Savour, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow
2019 Let Me Hold You 2019 (Ubuntu ), Transmission Gallery, Glasgow
2018 bob & sink, The 192nd Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition, a collaboration with Pernille Spence and Zoe Irvine
2011 A Servant's Tale at Coast Festival, (site-specific installation for the Coast Festival) a collaboration with artists Margaret Stewart and Elspeth Winram from the Itchee Wasp Collective. The work was exhibited in the East Pavilion of Banff Castle, Scotland and draws on the perceived history and hidden narratives of Banff Castle.
2008 Here Now, There Now, (site-specific, text/performance/installation) a collaboration with artist and Creative Scotland award winner Pernille Spence (Scotland), exhibited along Scot Rail routes in Scotland in June 08.
2007 Amygdalae, (text/performance/installation) a collaboration with artist Maedhbh McMahon (Ireland), Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
I’m a Queer, disabled woman of Indian Punjabi heritage and was born in Ludhiana, India, brought up in Manchester and Leicestershire and currently live in Scotland. I am committed to life-long learning that is creative, playful, educative and raises self esteem. As a facilitator I create positive learning environments and opportunities for all to develop their skills, confidence and self esteem to their fullest potential.
as a facilitator
I am an experienced facilitator of workshops. In my workshops I use my skills and experience as a writer and artist to build an environment of safety where participants can experiment, play, be creative and learn how to be confident in their learning.
I work across the boundaries of gender, culture, heritage, sexuality, language, age, and ability.
Recent work includes teaching online seminars for Aberdeen University’s Post Graduate Diploma in Community Learning and Development, Youth Work Shetland and Shetland Arts.
I have particular experience in working with vulnerable people, children, young people, refugees, adult learners, people whose first language is not English, prisoners, rural and island communities, people with disabilities, learning difficulties, survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence, survivors of the mental health system and healthcare professionals. I am also an experienced mentor of young writers and creative practitioners.
I have experience in intergenerational/reminiscence work: facilitating the telling, collation, and documentation of our communities' stories, across ages.
I have training and experience in working creatively with a wide range of adult literacy and numeracy learners.
I have sat as a member of the Children’s Panel Scotland and have empathy and experience with the care system and looked after children.
I work with visual media as well as text, and am open to interdisciplinary work and collaboration with other artists.
I also offer formal Creative Writing classes concentrating on 'the nuts and bolts' of writing plays, monologues, poetry, prose, and for performance.
Previous projects include: ‘Behind the Scenes at the Museum’ – a series of creative writing workshops based at and using the collection at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow as a stimulus for writing; ‘What We Pray For’ – a creative project with refugee and asylum seeker women that resulted in a series of short animated films; ‘Rule of Thumb’ – a creative domestic violence awareness project with adult women learners at Glasgow Womens Library; Education Action Zone residencies for the Poetry Society; autobiography and identity workshops with amputees at the Douglas Bader Centre at Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton; facilitating self-reflection, self-esteem and rehabilitation through creative writing at HMP Whitemoor; work with Akademi, a South Asian dance company, where I collaborated with dancers on an educational project in schools, looking at migration and refugee issues; working on an intensive project in the borough of Greenwich, with Jubilee Books, in partnership with C.A.R.E, exploring the issues of racism and diversity in the wake of the murder of Stephen Lawrence; work with Amnesty International; the Camden Language and Support Service for refugee awareness week; 'One day we had to run' visual arts exhibition; workshops for Alternative Art's Spitlit festival, where I facilitated a series of creative writing workshops with Bengali women in Whitechapel, looking at collective memory, identity and hidden histories; and Newham Asian Women's Project, where I worked with an Asian Elders project, collating intergenerational stories and facilitating prose and poetry workshops.
Residencies include: Stockholm, New Delhi, Sweden, Oxford, Maidenhead, Slough, Glasgow and the Shetland Islands.
Internationally, I have worked with the British Council in Sweden, Italy, Bahrain and Namibia. In Sweden I taught Creative Writing to undergraduate students at Stockholm University. In Italy I gave workshops on the use of English in the vernacular and how it is used creatively by British writers who have non-English roots and a workshop on the possibilities of teaching English to non English speakers, in a creative and non imperialist way. In Namibia I worked with NGOs, students and local community in Windhoek, where I offered creative writing workshops which allowed space for people to express their experience of the liberation struggle and their relationship with the truth and reconciliation process.
racism, cultural diversity, refugee issues, community and citizenship
These are important issues, and ones that I have worked widely with. I am able to design and develop a package of workshops for 7-11 age group and 12+ age group, that include a resource pack for teachers/facilitators.
Training can also be provided for teachers, community leaders and facilitators, on how to build on the work and knowledge that is created in the workshops.
looked after children/young people in the care system
I bring my lived experience of being within the care system to the work I do with children and young people. I recognise that they have been frequently marginalised and silenced. I understake projects which aim to give voice to their personal stories and histories and celebrate their achievements and boost self esteem. Recent work includes work with young people in Who Cares Shetland?
In collaboration with Flax Arts, Belfast, where I was a visiting artist in residence, I devised and delivered creative workshops to young people and children on the sensitive issue of sectarianism.
working with adult literacy / adult learners
I have extensive experience working with adult learners, in particular women, the homeless and people with chaotic lifestyles. In addition to working face to face with learners, I have also supported tutors in developing a creative practice with their learners. In my work I use drama, creative writing, discussion and music to facilitate positive learning.
working with schools
I offer made-to-measure or theme/issue-based workshops for children aged five and above, that are suitable for use in English, Drama, Citizenship, PHSE and History modules. Workshops work within the parameters of the National Curriculum, the Scottish Curriculum and adhere to the guidelines provided by the S.E.E.D, L.T.S, S.Q.A., Curriculum for Excellence and National Literacy Strategy. My workshops offer a creative learning journey with an emphasis on emotional literacy. Workshop outcomes can include an anthology of work, a performance, installation or an exhibition.
To be a reader is to be empowered. In this multi-media age the ways in which we read are ever changing. I offer workshops, training, development and consultancy on reader development. In particular encouraging emerging readers, reading for vulnerable people and disenfranchised people. I have wide experience in this field and have been a Scottish Poetry Library Poet Partner for East Dunbartonshire Libraries and Reader in Residence for Aberdeen Libraries.
creative interpretation work with museums and art galleries
As a writer and artist I can bring a unique perspective to exhibits and objects. I have experience in large and small scale public engagement projects and as a commissioned writer and artist. Recent work includes commissions for Bradford Museums and Art Galleries, Harewood House, Leeds and Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow.
LGBTQ young people are frequently marginalised and there are very few safe spaces in our cities, towns and villages that celebrate their lives and experiences. I have the experience and empathy to work with LGBTQ youth to empower them to have a voice and nurture and develop their identities in a creative and engaging way.
working with new social media and new technologies
I recognise the interest that young people have in new social media and where possible find a way to use this media (eg. Twitter, blogging etc.) as a way of creating and showcasing their work and disseminating information. I like to work in a 'lo-fi' way in order to keep the process and technology accessible for all.
working with refugee and asylum seeker communities
I offer workshops that are sensitive to the experience of these communities and create opportunities which honour their personal journeys, bear witness, make connections with the wider community and seek to raise self esteem. Recent work includes working with women of colour within the asylum system with no recourse to public funds. The residency was with UbuntuWomenShelter at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, 2019
Please also visit to see 'What We Pray For', a photography and creative writing project with photographer Iseult Timmermans, where, over a series of 6 workshops, women explored a range of subjects through visual symbolism and text. Starting from memories of what their mothers did with their hands the group developed a narrative for the work around the notion of Prayer. 'What We Pray For' is a work in progress.
working with disability and learning difficulties
I offer workshops that focus on creative writing or workshops that combine creative writing with visualisation, art therapy, drama, voicework and movement. Where appropriate, multi sensory resources are used in workshops, and the emphasis is on scribing, spoken word, word pictures, and group work, rather than the written word.
working with mental health and Survivor issues
I offer poetry, performance and self esteem raising workshops for Survivors, and training workshops for healthcare and voluntary sector workers around how to use creative writing and performance in their practice and self development. I have worked widely with Survivors Poetry London and have co-facilitated residential training courses for Survivors, providing individuals with an awareness of survivor issues and the empowerment and tools they need to run creative writing workshops.
working with vulnerable people and healthcare
I work in partnership with host organisations to offer tailor made workshops to suit the client group and venue. Previous work includes creative writing workshops with people with drug and alcohol problems and the homeless. I have also facilitated workshops on a psychiatric ward at St Mary's Hospital, Isle of Wight, and autobiography and identity workshops with staff, patients and outpatients, at Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton.
work in prisons
I am comfortable working within the prison environment and offer creative writing workshops that focus on the issues of respect, self-reflection, and dialogue. Previous work includes workshops (delivered on the behalf of Apples and Snakes) at HMP Whitemoor.
working with clients who have English as a second language and/or working with mother tongue.
I learned English as a second language and am sensitive to the issues surrounding mother tongue and ESOL work. I am committed to honouring, and valuing the richness of the mother tongue language and culture, and using the English language in a sensitive and empowering way. I have experience of working closely with translators and community members, on projects which focus on reminiscence and inter-generational work, and working with children in schools, who have little or no English. Projects include working with Asian women elders at Newham Asian Women's Centre, and with Bengali women in Whitechapel, London, on Alternative Arts, 'Hidden Histories' project.
multi media/visual art projects
I welcome the opportunity to work across art forms and to collaborate with other artists. I am a visual artist as well as a writer and recently had the opportunity to create and facilitate using both mediums: ‘Voice/Over’, (text/film installation) was a commission to facilitate and develop an artwork with women survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. This was a collaboration with artist Lotta Petronella (Finland) and was exhibited as part of the ‘Rule of Thumb’ 2005 exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow. 'TXT ME', was commissioned by Leicester City Art Gallery, as part of the Autumn 2002 'Fold' exhibition. For 'TXT ME', I worked with artist Ashok Mistry on an educational project involving young, South Asian people from Leicester.
rural, remote, and island communities
These are a specialty! I've been lucky enough to be writer in residence on the Shetland Islands and appreciate that the needs of rural, remote and island communities are very specific. I am able to offer tailor made workshop programmes that take into account these needs.
I have taught and assessed Creative Writing at an undergraduate level at Stockholm University, Sweden, and at post graduate level at Loughborough University.
I have run workshops for various organisations, festivals, arts projects, universities, schools, libraries and voluntary sector projects including:
Ubuntu Women Shelter, The National Library of Scotland; The Poetry Society; Scottish Poetry Library; The British Council; Amnesty International; East Dunbartonshire Libraries, Shetland Link Up; Stockholm University, Sweden; The Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; Sister Namibia; Queen Mary's University Hospital Roehampton; The Docklands Museum; The SpitLit Festival; The City Gallery, Leicester; Jagonari Centre; Hounslow Community Arts Education; Clapton Technology College; East Midlands Shape; Windsor Arts Centre; Eltham Hill School; Abuse and Survivors Association; Barking College; Newham College; The Jewish Association for Mental Illness; Jubilee Books; Newham Asian Women's Project; Humara Ghar (Asian Elders Residential Home); Akademi South Asian Dance; Balham Family Welfare Association; Tower Hamlets Summer University; Spread The Word; Survivors Poetry London; Apples and Snakes; Flax Arts; Glasgow Women’s Library; Move On (Glasgow); The Arch (Glasgow); Street Level Photoworks Gallery; and the YMCA, Glasgow.
The most important thing for me is that the workshops are enjoyable, make a difference to the participants and are delivered in partnership with the host organisation. I am versatile and flexible in my approach: workshops can be customised to cater for individual/group/class needs. Workshops can be one-off, theme/issue-based, or a residency spread over a longer period of time. I am open to collaboration and interdisciplinary work.
anything is possible
Contact me and see what we can generate and create together. I look forward to hearing from you...