Set Adrift on “SubcontineNtal Drift” in DC Tomorrow

Subcontinental Drift- I House.jpg

I recently emailed five questions to Sophie, who is part of the force behind D.C.’s Subcontinental Drift.

Several Mutineers discussed SD’s last event at the most recent D.C. meetup— in fact, a few of you even performed at it! I get the feeling the rest of you would be VERY interested in what Sophie and her dynamic crew are trying to do– so I thought I’d post a wee reminder that your next chance to marinate in creative splendor is tomorrow night, June 29. But first, some essential information:

Subcontinental Drift is ____?

…an effort to bring out the “basement talents of the District’s desis.” Basically, we’re trying to provide a creative space for people who are artistically-inclined (that’s a broad term and encompasses pretty much anyone from professional artists to people who like to watch other people read poetry) to connect with each other and share each other’s work.

What inspired it?

A few of us “D.C. desis” felt like there was a void in the South Asian community –in a place like D.C. where there are soooo many talented people, there wasn’t a cohesive group or space that was encouraging or nurturing that talent. The need was something that was floating around in the air, and we just grabbed it. Specifically though, the catalyst for me was when I was with Munish and Vikash at Bossa lounge in Adams Morgan and we watched Vishal Kanwar play tablas there. We’re like, wow, this is cool..let’s do more cool stuff. Something like that.

What’s the best thing about it?

The best thing is watching new artists get up in front of nearly 100 desis, and coming more and more into themselves. When you see people willing to get up there, be vulnerable, share a sacred part of themselves, and the audience is so warm and appreciative–it is the most beautiful thing.

What if someone wanted to get involved with it?

They should email us at .

What if a mutineer who isn’t lucky enough to live in D.C. wanted to emulate such awesomeness– any advice for them?

Get a few like-minded people together who are committed to the same thing you are, pick a venue, and go to the ends of the earth to SPREAD THE WORD about it. If your community doesn’t have a creative space for people, chances are people are hungry for it. As long as word spreads, people will come. And especially in the beginning, keep the vibe pretty informal and verryyy welcoming–human connection is the key!

I went to the last Subcontinental Drift and I’ll be at tomorrow’s, as well. The atmosphere that Sophie, Munish, Nina, Mona, Nabeel, Vishal and Surabhi create is extraordinary; upon being dragged to last month’s event, a friend of mine from out of town was actually envious of us DCists, because he thought the open mic/dance performances/live music/stand-up comedy/ridiculously good sangria made for one fantastic night. I agreed and immediately grew mindful of how lucky I was to live here, where creativity manifests like this. I’m telling you, the very air in that room pictured above felt charged, different, exhilarating. You should go, and see for yourself. 🙂

Subcontinental Drift
An open mic for and by South Asian Americans.
-experiments in words, sound or art
-spoken word
Friday, June 29, 2007
Cost: FREE and we have drinks and snacks!
La Casa Community Center
3166 Mt. Pleasant Street NW
3 blocks from the Columbia Heights metro stop.
(Green or Yellow Line)

14 thoughts on “Set Adrift on “SubcontineNtal Drift” in DC Tomorrow

  1. Can we just show up and only be a spectator – in other words, maharaja kalaposhaka? I ll buy a round of samosas if I have to 🙂

  2. The reason I asked for the above clarification is – on the myspace page, this is what I read:

    Who I’d like to meet: You’re an artist…you’re an aspiring artist…you’re a starving artist…you’re not an artist…you’re just..someone who wants to create and communicate. Come share your talents–music, comedy, spoken word, or any other vehicle of creativity– at D.C.’s first South Asian open mic, now in it’s 4th installment.
  3. What if a mutineer who isn’t lucky enough to live in D.C. wanted to emulate such awesomeness— any advice for them?

    I’ve been in touch with one of the Subcontinental Drift people for a few months and have been slowly attempting to lay the ground-work for such an event in Houston. In fact, I have an appointment with a bar manager tonight and a “team” in place ready to make this happen next month. Stay tuned y’all!

  4. Subcontinetal? SUBCONTINETAL??? A N N A, I can’t believe you typo’ed and that too on the title. No longer the queen of spelling, for sure!

  5. A N N A, I can’t believe you typo’ed and that too on the title. No longer the queen of spelling, for sure!

    Sweet! It has been lonely down here at the bottom 🙂

  6. Abhi, I hope I can count on you to make sure A N N A doesn’t forget this deep dark shameful day in the bunker.

  7. The picture looks great…nice venue, and so many people! Awesome concept. We are really achieving a critical mass in some parts of this country…as a kid I could have never imagined stuff like this happening…not even in NYC, leave alone DC. Credit to the organisers.

  8. I’ve been to SD three times and have performed at two of them. The quality of the performers is always impressive and there’s such a warm and positive vibe in the room that one walks out feeling very energized. I know the SD folks are taking the rest of the summer off, but I look forward to the open mics return in the fall. Thanks to all the organizers for their dedication to the arts, the South Asian community, and positive action.