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Film Screening and Panel Discussion: Laya Project

November 15, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm

 |  FREE


November 15, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
Event Categories:


Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy St
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States


Harvard Art Museums
(617) 495-9400

A movie poster shows a woman with her eyes closed wearing headphones.


This event requires registration; see further details below.

Laya Project, directed by Harold Monfils, is a 2007 documentary that pays tribute to the resilience of the human spirit through music. Following the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, the filmmakers visited the shore communities affected heavily by the tsunami and documented the local folk music of each place.

Shot on location in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, Myanmar, and India, the film is a spectacular visual journey accompanied by hauntingly beautiful music. Almost two decades after the tsunami, with increasingly frequent climate disasters facing humanity, Laya Project reminds us of the interconnectedness of human existence and our shared responsibility to the earth.

This screening coincides with the Harvard undergraduate course Art of Monsoon Asia: Interconnected Histories (HAA 81), taught by professor Jinah Kim; the Harvard Radcliffe Institute exhibition Water Stories: River Goddesses, Ancestral Rites, and Climate Crisis (on view through December 16, 2023); and water-themed installations in the Islamic and South Asian art galleries here at the Harvard Art Museums.

A panel discussion will follow the screening, featuring Harvard professors Teren Sevea and Richard K. Wolf. Professor Jinah Kim will serve as moderator.

About this film:
Laya Project, 2007 (EarthSync, Ltd.; English subtitles; 68 min.)

Teren Sevea, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Richard K. Wolf, Professor of Music, Professor of South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Jinah Kim, George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art and Professor of South Asian Studies, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and Johnson-Kulukundis Family Faculty Director of the Arts, Harvard Radcliffe Institute

Before the screening, guests are invited to visit the museums’ water-themed installations on Level 2, in galleries 2550 and 2590. Janet O’Brien, the Calderwood Curatorial Fellow in South Asian and Islamic Art, will be in the galleries to speak about the works’ connection to water and climate issues.

Free admission, but seating is limited and registration is required. Registration can be arranged by clicking on the event on this form, beginning Sunday, November 5, after 10am.

The lecture will take place in Menschel Hall, Lower Level. Doors will open at 5:30pm at the Broadway entrance.

Limited complimentary parking is available in the Broadway Garage, 7 Felton Street, Cambridge.

The Harvard Art Museums are now offering free admission every day, Tuesday through Sunday. Please see the museum visit page to learn about our general policies for visiting the museums.

The event is supported by the Harvard University Asia Center and the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.