Goa Arts & Literature Festival 2016

The recently concluded Goa Arts & Literature Festival 2016 held between Dec 08 and Dec 11, was a great event to attend, according to me. There was something for everyone, for a student of literature or fine arts, a writer, a poet, a blogger, a retired person looking to spend time in interesting pursuits, an avid reader, an intellectual, or someone looking to meet the writers / poets and take their autographs on their books. 
The inaugural function happened in Maqhinez Palace, Panjim. P. Sivakami and Mr. Jorge Barreto Xavier were the key note speakers. P. Sivakami spoke on the current state of affairs of Dalits, women and minorities. Mr. Xavier's talk was on literature. There was book release and and unveiling of Painting by the famous artist, Mr. Laxman Pai.
I love the poetry sessions, where the poets read out their poems. It is very different from reading by oneself from a book. Their rendition  reading will be far superior to mine any day, they also give an introduction to the poem and explanation. It helps a lot. In a few words, a poet expresses such profound thoughts that listening to them is simply a great feeling. I feel that we can read prose by ourselves and our imagination can play an important role in understanding the content; poetry is difficult to grasp by common folks like me.

There was session by Ms. Margaret Alva and Mr. Faizal Devji on 'Flashpoint 2015 - Global disorder'. Ms. Alva's forthright views and Mr. Devji's intellectual analysis were interesting.

An exhibition of paintings by artists from Goa mostly was held in the covered corridors of International Centre. I felt it was a brilliant idea. You walk along a row of beautiful art every time you pass through the corridor! Very enriching!

Mr. Mayank Austen Soofi's photographs of Delhi from his blog, Delhiwalla, were displayed. They were printed on muslin cloth and hung as screens. The exhibition of prints was by Ms. Anna Gerrotto, a textile designer from Italy. The everyday life from a metropolis is brought into the realm of colour, light and words.. proves, they can intermingle and art and literature are not the prerogative of the elite few..
Haven for book lovers and readers, an exhibition and sale of books at the venue!
Oh, what a treat it was to listen to and jump and shake a leg to the music of Mr. Lou Majaw, an accomplished singer from North east, belting our Bob Dylan's songs! The evening entertainment was a huge success..
In hind sight, we can say that the program could have had more prominent, well known, and celebrity names in the list of speakers, but all those participated were nothing less than great. It was a 4 days extravaganza of beautiful, at times, touching words, art and music. I look forward to this time of the year every year. Must say, my favorite sessions were those on poetry; what a treat!
Beautiful place like International Centre, with its sprawling buildings and lawns, overlooking the sea, a great location, great December weather, to see the writers in flesh and interact with them was a never-to-be-missed opportunity to all!

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