Usurp Art & Day For Night Presents


17 - 26 November 2017

Usurp in collaboration with Day For Night presents a short season of contemporary art-house & new wave films from India to mark 70 years of independence/partition.

Eventbrite - India 70 Film Festival

courtFri 17 Nov  7:30pm

Court  (Chaitanya Tamhane, 2014) 116 minutes

Winner of top prizes at the Venice and Mumbai film festivals and India’s entry to the Oscars. “A masterpiece: one of the best films of the year.” Indiewire

Trailer & Tickets here


Sat 18 Nov  7:30pm

Miss Lovely  (Ashim Ahluwalia, 2012) 110 minutes

Deliriously unconventional – a film that plunges you into the depths of the world of alcoholic divas, sleazy loan sharks and glamour-seeking gangsters, “Something new in Indian film making, neither Bollywood nor traditional art cinema, the pic provides a unique, immersive experience…” Variety.

Trailer & Tickets here


Sun 19 Nov  2:30pm

I Am Kalam (Nila Madhab Panda, 2011) 87 minutes

Chotu, a child labourer who works in a roadside dhaba nurtures a million dreams. A chance encounter with a former President of India, as he delivers a speech on TV, inspires him to fulfil his dreams. He renames himself Kalam and finds a priceless friend in young Rannvijay.

Trailer & Tickets here



Sun 19 Nov  7:30pm

Dreaming Lhasa (Tenzing Sonam/Ritu Sarin, 2005) 90 minutes

Karma, a Tibetan filmmaker from New York, goes to Dharamsala, the Dalai Lama’s exile headquarters in northern India, to make a documentary about former political prisoners who have escaped from Tibet.  The film takes them through the world of the exile Tibetan community in India and becomes a journey of self-discovery.

Trailer & Tickets here



Fri 24 Nov 7:30pm

Elippathayam / Rat Trap (Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 1981) 121 minutes

Unni, the last male-heir of a feudal and decaying joint family. His inability to accept the socio-economic changes of a new society result in his gradual withdrawal into a metaphorical rat-trap sprung from his own isolation and paranoia.

More info & Tickets here


Sat 25 Nov 7:30pm

The Violin Player (Bauddhayan Mukherji, 2016) 72 minutes

A poignant, humorous modern fairy tale about the life changing power of art and music. Nominated for best film, screenplay and best actor at the Raindance Festival.

Trailer & Tickets here


Sun 26 Nov  7:30pm

Jang Aur Aman / War And Peace (Anand Patwardan, 2002) 135 minutes

In this award winning documentary Director Anand Patwardhan examines how the decades-long conflict between India and Pakistan propels both countries to pursue nuclear weapons. Citizens, politicians and protestors from both countries offer their opinions and reflections.

Trailer & Tickets here



The Usurp Tapes 2017 – Species Of Spaces

December 2017

Nothing disappears completely … In space, what came earlier continues to underpin what follows …Henri Lefebvre.

“Spaces” is a exploration of our everyday surroundings, mundane activities and forgotten objects. Located in the Usurp art space,  “Spaces” is an inventory into the production of everyday life and an investigation into the infra-ordinary. The recordings codify experience and document aspects of ‘ordinary’ life through experiments in sound and the invention of space as a site for possibilities.
Some of the pieces follow John Cage’s notion of maximum amplification using contact mics while others are live ambient recordings to include outside ‘rouge’ sounds.

What speaks to us, seemingly, is always the big event, the untoward, the extra-ordinary…. How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs everyday: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual? Georges Perec

Finnegans Wake Revisited

Thursday 4 May 2017

The latest recording from Usurp’s Conspirators of Pleasure features Annette Perry (voice) and Simon Underwood & Poulomi Desai (sound design). It forms part of an ongoing project setting James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake to music by Waywords and Meansigns to be released on 4th May 2017.

This year’s release featuring over 100 musicians and readers from 15 different countries is unique in that contributors are now focused on shorter passages of the book  – a page, or a few pages. As always, they create a work that is simultaneously an audio-book as well as a musical adaptation.

Our first contribution to this project can be listened to here:


Finnegans Wake  –  page 163 line 8 to page 165 line 7
Please listen on headphones or a system with good bass.

“We Are The Lions” the story of the Grunwick strike 1976 -1978

19 October 2016 - 26 March 2017

Usurp is delighted that we are involved with the Grunwick 40 exhibition, “We are the Lions” that has been researched and curated by our artistic director, Poulomi Desai and organised by the Grunwick 40 group.

Forty years ago, a group of workers in a backstreet London factory stood up to their unfair bosses and kickstarted one of the longest and most important industrial disputes in British history. Led by Asian women, the Grunwick strike challenged stereotypes, changed the face of white, male trade unions, and inspired others to speak out against injustice…and this was just before punk in 1976. There are unseen photographs, huge banners, posters, soundtracks and stories that Poulomi has unearthed.

19 Oct 2016 to 26 March 2017
Mon-Fri 9am-8pm| Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

Press preview: 18 Oct – contact us to register: info[at]

Brent Museum
The Library at Willesden Green
95 High Road
London NW10 2SF

“What you are running is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips. Others are lions who can bite your head off. We are the lions, Mr Manager.” Jayaben Desai, leader of the Grunwick strike.

Grunwick 40 is a joint project run by Brent Trades Council and Willesden Green Town Team, in partnership with Brent Museum & Archives. It is set up to commemorate the 40 years of the Grunwick strike and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Near Neighbours and donations from numerous individuals and organisations. More info:

Usurp Art at Khoj Delhi at the Reproduce Listening Room

Sunday 13 March 2016

Usurp Art at Khoj Artists Workshop

Usurp Art’s Conspirators of Pleasure (Poulomi Desai & Simon Underwood) performed at the Khoj Artists Workshop in Delhi as part of the eclectic series of sound nights called the Listening Room organised by the music collective, Reproduce. The series aims to fill a gap in the ever iterating and increasingly varied community of live music in India by showcasing talent that might not get heard in the more mainstream oriented venues. The night was packed out with an enthusiastic audience. Big thanks to Rana at Reproduce and all the crew at Khoj.

Usurp Art & Banana House Delhi present Ohmsonic

Friday 18 March 2016

Ohmsonic a night of noise & sound art in India

Conspirators of Pleasure, Da Saz & Hemant Sreekumar.

Selections from our archive

Of Love, Lust and Liabilities…

Seema Anand

Friday 9 September 2016

Doors open 7.30pm

Professional Indian storyteller Seema Anand, will enchant you with a series of stories celebrating love and lust. There will be stories showing the darker parts – bizarre, erotic, beautiful stories, and stories to captivate and seduce. Join us for an enthralling evening dedicated for adults only, celebrating oral storytelling from ancient mythology, folk tales, legend and fable. Usurp will be converted into an intimate, atmospheric, dreamers salon for the night. Kindly supported by Asia House.

Limited tickets £10 – includes one free drink – book now.  Bring cushions and slippers. Snacks and drinks will be available. Doors open 7.30pm.
Suitable for 16 +

This event is part of Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival

Usurp Meets James Joyce

Tuesday 2 February 2016

This project was Commissioned by ‘Waywords and Meansigns’ an ambitious and forward looking idea to set Joyce’s seminal and experimental novel to music. We are delighted that the project has been featured in The Guardian newspaper:

Usurp Zone5 Film Festival

14 - 17 August 2015

Usurp Art Gallery organised an extraordinary, four day film festival with 84 experimental short films by 63 artists and filmmakers from over 15 countries, including Argentina, Germany, India, Jordan, Peru, Spain and South Africa. This is the first time an experimental film festival has taken place in the London Borough of Harrow.

Festival website

International Women’s Day British Music Collection

Sunday 8 March 2015

Happy International Women’s Day with the British Music Collection!

Commissioned by Sound and Music | Google Cultural Institute.

Usurp Chance Tour 2014 – Cage and Beyond

15 March - 8 May 2014

Usurp Art Gallery presents two dynamic, ensemble performances, exploring perceptual concepts of chance, time, listening and humour, and the breadth and parameters of improvisational approaches in new music.

Listings  Listings Archive

Cafe Oto – Merzbow/Desai/Justka

Saturday 1 October 2016

Cafe Oto - Merzbow/Desai/JustkaRead More


Lost Property presents : Infrasection Dispersion

Saturday 20 August 2016


Lost Property, an arts collective based in Brighton, present a building takeover of the DLWP. With Conspirators of Pleasure and more.Read More


British Council / Arts Council England Funded Project

Sunday 14 February 2016

“Vermillion Sands” – supported by the British Council and Arts Council England. Thanks to supportive funding, Poulomi Desai of Usurp will be travelling to India.Read More