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Behind the Scenes
April 30, 2019

Fouzia Dastango – India’s Foremost Female Dastangoi Artiste

Text by Sharanya Deepak. Photographs by Uma Damle

As her name suggests, she is a dastango: an artiste who is associated with the ancient Urdu form of storytelling that first emerged in the 16th century.

Dastangoi was born in Old Delhi in the court of the Mughal Emperors; it presents the oral storytelling of fables and sketches in front of a seated audience. When the art form first took shape, stories were told from Tilisme- Hoshruba: a collection of fantastical tales. In 2006, it was revived again by dastangos Danish Hussain and Mahmood Farooqui, whose contemporary lineage Dastango is a part of.