The multilingual hip-hop band Swadesi has released a new video in collaboration with activist Prakash Bhoir and The Aarey Collective. The video tries to draw attention to the alarming rate of destruction of Aarey Forest under the guise of development.
Aarey Forest is the only green patch of significant size in the northern suburbs of Mumbai. The Warli people live in the area, and constant development projects are threatening them with displacement and loss of livelihood.
The Marathi rap song, titled The Warli Revolt, is something of a war cry. It begins by outlining the history of the Warli people, and then goes on to suggest that development projects are selling “fake progress” for profits. The song threatens a “massive revolution” against the cutting down of the forest.
The music video features Warli art in monochrome, animated by Janmeet Singh.