Jugni on Fire: Jugni’s Resistance – Freedom or Fantasy?

Ort Gallery 30 July 2022
2:00 pm

Join us as Dr Kavita Bhanot explores the layers and complexities of the Jugni tradition in popular Punjabi literature and music

Through music, stories and discussion, this event follows Jugni through time and space, unpacking the history and perspective of this popular tradition in Punjabi oral literature and music.

Literally a female firefly or an ornament, Jugni has taken on various forms over the years. From following and resisting Queen Victoria’s jubilee flame as a symbol of colonial oppression to Sufi Jugni as the inner voice or spirit that connects, through love, with God. From Heer to the fiery modern woman, Jugni today is often literally a bold woman, who does what she wants. In Punjabi music, from folk to pop, from rock to bhangra, in Indian and Pakistani films, this Jugni travels from Punjabi villages to towns to big cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Lahore and western cities such as Birmingham and Southall. While the focus on Jugni as female has been seen as feminist, Jugni’s freedom and resistance, through a male gaze, can also be questioned.

Who is it for?

This workshop is open to all adults, academics and non-academics alike, particularly those with an interest in South Asian literature, popular culture and history.

A version of this presentation was developed with the support of Shadow Heroes.

Dr Kavita Bhanot is an ECR Leverhulme Fellow at Leicester University. She is editor of several anthologies, and her fiction, non-fiction and academic work has been published and broadcast widely, including the landmark essay ‘Decolonise not Diversify’ and her Tedx Talk. She initiated and co-organised the Literature Must Fall Festival in Birmingham 2019.


We have a three-tier ticket system:

. General Admission – £5 + Eventbrite fee

. Pay As You Feel – minimum £1 + Eventbrite fee

. Free

Please choose the appropriate ticket according to your budget