From October 6 to 13, 2019, Montalvo Arts Center and Art Forum SF in
collaboration with UC Berkeley Institute of South Asian Studies presented
the first ever and one
of the largest South Asian Literature & Art Festival (SALA) in the
US. It was truly a special event, with over a thousand
enthusiastic in audience.
The Opening Gala on Oct 4th was
exclusive and attracted about 150 crème de la crème from the Bay Area, who
schmoozed with the International Emmy Award nominees Vikramaditya Motwane
and Varun Grover, alongside with Rekha Rodwittiya, acontemporary
and eminent artist, Priyanka Mathew from Sunderlande New York, Raghu
Karnad, the Yale Wyndham Campbell award recipient, to name a few. The
opening gala included Dipti Mathur renown art collector and a
philanthropist from South Bay in conversation with Prof Sugata Ray from
The Tides of their Poems with Athena Kashyap
and Tanuja Wakefiled made a wonderful add from the Diaspora artists. Another
interestingly engaging panel on There are No Margins – with Minal
Hajratwala and Siddharth Dube, made its mark for the quality literary
As a grand finale for the literary
panels, Professor Harsha Ram from UC Berkeley got into an elaborate
encounter with a legendary actor, painter and a poet, Deepti Naval. At
this intimate evening, Ms. Naval revealed her life journey as an artist
by exhibitingdigital images of her paintings and read select poems from
“Our presenting partner Art Forum SF
displayed incredible vision and expertise in curating phenomenal artists,
panels, and presentations,” announced Angela McConnell, Executive
Director, Montalvo Arts Center.
Tipu Purkayastha at the fireside chat format, with Varun Grover, Vikramaditya Motwane andVikram Chandra (via skype) explored the process of
adapting Vikram’s 2006 book ‘Sacred Games’ to the TV screen as a Netflix
Original, the first Indian web-series to be nominated for the International
Emmy Awards 2019.
“Jo Bhavuk hai, wohi to paagal hai” – It’s the mad ones who carry the passion. – Varun Grover
South Asian Literature
and Art Festival celebrated
contemporary reflections of literature and arts from South Asia. The event
featured books and readings, hands-on art activities, writing programs, art
exhibitors, folk artists, Bollywood pop-up dancers, bhangra rhythms, henna,
a live Rangoli demonstration and impromptu dance interludes — all
interspersed with delicious food stations representing the flavors of the
KitaabWorld curated the emerging genre of “Children’s & Young Adult
Writers” and Delhi based textile artist Shelly Jyoti showcased her
work: Revisiting Gandhi celebrating 150th Birth anniversary
of Mahatma Gandhi on Oct 11th, followed by a conversation with Rahul
and Sandhya Gajjar on the Romance of Champaner (UNESCO heritage site).
On October 13th,
SALA Festival had a film segment as the closing event showcasing a short
documentary GuruCool by an Indo-Canadian filmmaker Sangita Iyer looking
at the Indian Educators in the 21st Century education System. Followed
by Kaifinama, an award-winning feature documentary on the life of legendary
and progressive Urdu poet, Kaifi Azmi, directed by Sumantra Ghosal,
with famous Indian Actress Ashvini Bhave as the guest of honor.
“We are thrilled
with the response we got in hosting the first ever South Asian Literature and
Art Festival in the Bay Area! Its success has warmed our hearts – we heard rave
reviews from not only the audience but also from the artists, themselves,”
reports Ambika Sahay, Executive Director, Art Forum SF.
“My observation of
SALA 2019 is that Art Forum SF have woken up the sleeping giant,” exclaimed Tushar
Unadkat, Media and PR Director, Art Forum SF.
Art Forum SF is thankful to the generous sponsors and volunteers, without whom this event could not have happened. For more updates, please visit: www.artforumsf.org
Credits for the Photos from SALA Festival Hetal Soni.
Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @artforumsf @montalvoarts
#artforumsf #SALAfestival #montalvoarts
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