Ambedkar Age Digital Bookmobile

This event is part of the Ambedkar Initiative at ICLS.

Join us for a public viewing, film screening, and reception with artist Smita Rajmane and filmmaker Somnath Waghmare.

Sunday, December 3, 2023 12:00pm-4:00pm, the exhibition will be open to the public with a walk-through with the artists at 3pm. At 4:00pm join us for the  film screening of “Chaityabhumi” with a Q&A from with the filmmaker.

Location: Milstein Hall, Barnard College

Registration required for non-Columbia University or Barnard affiliates. Please bring ID.

To view information about the screening of Chaityabhumi, please visit our page for that event.

The Ambedkar Digital Bookmobile is a project conceived by public intervention artist, performer, and educator Smita Rajmane and documentary filmmaker Somnath Waghmare. It aims to collect Maharashtra’s long history of social reform, accessing 400–500-year-old traditions of songwriting, performances, and poetry against caste-based exploitation and untouchability. It is a history that speaks with multiple voices ranging from Saint Tukaram, Saint Chokhamela, and Vamandada Karadk to contemporary, popular singers like Adarsh Shinde. The project seeks to document singers and artists who mostly hail from rural interiors and are not very well known around the urban spaces of Maharashtra. The singers have been singing anti-caste songs for many decades. Every year they perform at different gatherings such as the one held at Chaityabhumi Dadar on the occasion of Ambedkar’s death anniversary observed as Mahaparinirvan Din on the 6th of December, Deekshabhoomi Nagpur on the 14th of October, Bhima Koregaon on the 1st of January, Mahad on the 20th of March, etc. Through documentation of these embodied histories of anti-caste resistance, the project seeks to raise awareness around contemporary Dalit popular and political song-performances within the community. With the aim of encouraging discussion and dialogue, the bookmobile will travel to a variety of public spaces including educational institutions, community halls, gardens, and libraries in both urban and rural areas. Imagining the ‘digital bookmobile’ as a portable multimedia archive with the potential to navigate distances and cultures of resistance with economical means, Smita and Somnath hope to catalyze new avenues of understanding and meaning around the documentation of ephemeral elements of performance, songs, and poetry. Bookmobile has been invited and displayed the archive in 12 public places and educational institutions.

Event Contact Information:


Dec 03 2023


12:00 pm - 4:00 pm


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Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)



Barnard College - The Milstein Center


Columbia University
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