5th edition of ILF Samanvay kicks off on Thursday

New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) A must-attend for the capital’s art and culture aficionados, the fifth edition of the annual Samanvay Indian Languages Festival (ILF) will begin on Thurday at the India Habitat Centre here. Connoisseurs can look forward to a new format of the festival as visual, musical, performative and technological idioms have been incorporated this time around.

The centre theme of the four-day festival, from 26 to 29 November, is ‘Insider/Outsider: Writing India’s Dreams and Realities’. The festival will focus on a thematic exploration of ‘Insider and outsider’ in India’s contemporary socio-political and cultural context of India.

This year, the festival will focus upon four languages Tamil, Marathi Bangla and Dogri.

According to organizers, the festival will assume a new brand and expression, with its new design crafted by curator and artist Riyas Komu.

“In our times characterised by fragile thoughts and volatile expressions, Samanvay must live and present itself as a profound space for thinking. Hence, the attempt has been to create a head space that represents the thoughtscape embedded in Indian languages. The seven colors of the spectrum, capable of forming white light on their merger, are laid in a seed form in the line above the lettering of ILF Samanvay in the logo,” said Komu.

The festival will open with the well-known thinker, Prof Aijaz Ahmad, talking about ‘The Languages of a Union’. The deliberations will unfold with a session paying tributes to the late R.K. Laxman and his matchless legacy.

The festival will also see speakers from various fields like Perumal Murugan, Urvashi Butalia, Sudhir Misra, Anuradha Kapur, Gayatri Sinha, K. Sachithandan and Ashok Vajpeyi, among others.

Various art works, workshops, volunteer sessions, conversations, book exhibitions and performances will also be an integral part of the festival.

According to the new format, art installations and curated shows are going to be an important feature of Samanvay. Works and presentations of acclaimed and emerging artists and curators will be featured at different venues of Habitat. The art plaza, which is named ‘Art-Articulations’ will be launched on Thursday with a site tour for the participants.

The art works of Riyas Komu, co-founder of the Cochin-Muziris Biennale, artist-weaver Priya Ravish Mehra and a performance photography exhibition curated by Kanika Anand are among the highlights of the art plaza.

An array of curated slide shows, film streaming, and video installations will blend into the thematic considerations of the festival, curated by painter V Ramesh, cartoonist E.P. Unny, Gati Dance Forum’s Yellow Line project and cartoon critic and author Christel Davedawson’s slide show of select political cartoonists.

In the performing arts session, ‘Soul of the Mountain Songs’ by a Tibetan group, storytelling performance by Ameen-ul-Haque, ‘Still Dirty’ by Jeet Thayil’s Band and a Carnatic music concert by T.M. Krishna will be major attractions.

The festival will also see book releases by various writers. ‘Main Hijra, Main Laxmi’ by Laxmi Narayan Tripathi , ‘Atmospheric Embroidery’ by Meena Alexander and ‘Like a Pinprick to the Heart by Shujoy Dutta and ‘Andal: The Autobiography of a Goddess’ by Priya Sarukkai Chabria and Ravi Shankar to name a few.

On November 28, Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s novel Madhorubhagan would be honoured with the fourth ILF Samanvay Bhasha Samman. Also, eminent Malayalam poet and translator Attoor Ravi Varma, named the winner of the debut Vani-Samanvay Distinguished Translator Award will be felicitated.

Last but not the least, the food festival at Vaigai food plaza, will showcase cuisine from the focal regions – West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

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