Lapdiang Syiem performs the tales of U Thlen, Greed & Coal Mining

Lapdiang Syiem performs ’Reach out to grasp roots – I stand uprooted’.

The piece has been adapted from three poems by Esther Syiem. The performance draws strongly upon the story of U Thlen, using it as the main thread that looks into the issue of coal mining. The other story, The Man-Eating Boulder is woven in through the voice of a mother and her child. The child is at its death throes as it struggles to break free of the stone that is in the act of swallowing it, while the mother, who is bound by routine and labour, has become numbed to the cries of her child.

The last story reenacts the reemergence of the Thlen in the present scenario bringing with it the complexities of labour, migration and ownership. It is the interplay of these seemingly simplistic characters that were passed down through oral tradition that is explored. As we delve deeper into them, they present themselves as metaphors that preempt the times we live in. In this performance, they bring out the disruptive and evil force of coal mining that is slowly consuming land, economy and lives.

[DOWNLOAD] Citizen’s Report on the Unregulated Coal Mining in Meghalaya

The Going Price for Coal in Meghalaya

Withered Commons : Coal mining in Meghalaya


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Lapdiang A. Syiem Written by:

Specialised in Acting from the National School of Drama, New Delhi and Physical Theatre from the Commedia School, Copenhagen, Denmark. Worked with body movement and expression over the years that my body has now become a storyteller, a buffoon, a clown and a traveller. Performed in Pakistan, China, Denmark, Sweden and Estonia. Even though she struggles to make ends meet, she'll probably never be able to settle for too long at one place. Loves bamboo shoot, smoked meat and Old Monk. Obviously from Shillong

One Comment

  1. Rev Kyrsoibor
    March 13, 2019

    nga khlem iohi shuh ki sawangka kiba jylliew kum kine ha la shnong naduh ki por jong ki RTC…katno sien nga la kwah ban iohi ia ka sawangka i lapdiang mar met ha rynsan. tangba bun ki jingpynpep. ngeit ha kawei ka por te ngan ioh lad…nangkiew shaphrang lapdiang

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