Shumaila Hemani’s Powerful Track “Displacement” Evokes a Spirit of Perseverance in the Face of Devastating and Uncertainty in the Wake of the Floods in Pakistan

Shumaila Hemani, photo courtesy the artist

Shumaila Hemani starts “Displacement” with clips of news about the recent devastating floods in Pakistan from the raw destruction of the floods (June 14, 2002-October, 2022) themselves but also the aftermath in terms of a massive impact on the lives and livelihoods of the people of Pakistan.
The samples of news reports give the proper gravity of context for “Displacement” and its mournful yet hopeful tones. The music sounds rooted in a Hindustani classical style with a sustained harmonium drone and some expressive filigree and accents with harmonium, tabla and santur beautifully weaving together (Ojas Joshi on tabla and Mehdi Rezania on Santur). Hemani’s own resonant vocals traces a poetic narrative that even if you don’t understand her chosen language for the song convey a layered, nuanced and powerful expression of loss and perseverance. The song is part of the album Mannat released on October 7, 2022 and proceeds from the digital sales of the single go to benefit those impacted by the aforementioned floods in Pakistan. Listen to “Displacement” on Spotify, find more information on Hemani and her efforts on her website and purchase the song and the album on Bandcamp.