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Children’s literature flourishes at Kala Ghoda Festival

Kala Ghoda

The much buzzed Kala Ghoda Festival, energetic after a decade, known for bringing together the arts in Mumbai, now aims to introduce school students to children’s literature in India and across the globe through interaction with various authors

Kala GhodaNew Delhi: The much buzzed Kala Ghoda Festival, energetic after a decade, known for bringing together the arts in Mumbai, now aims to introduce school students to children’s literature in India and across the globe through interaction with various authors.

In its ongoing edition, which ends on February 9, the Festival is hosting several authors and illustrators of children’s literature, who are conducting workshops for students to help inculcate the culture of reading.

“Last year in recognition of growing children’s literature genre, we started a literature section for them at the fest. As a follow up this year authors and illustrators from Australia, France and Singapore will interact with school children,” Lubaina Bandukwala, Curator, Children’s Literature, Kala Ghoda festival told PTI from Mumbai.

Spread over a span of nine days, the authors plan to visit five schools in the vicinity in a customized Kala Ghoda car and conduct writing and illustration workshops.

Organizers said that this initiative was being undertaken for the first time. “School students these days are exposed to Harry Potter, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. First thing they go to a book store is to pick up Harry Potter books because that’s what they know of.”

“Rarely do they know about books for children by Indian authors. This initiative will help bridge the gap between Indian authors of children’s books and school students. It will also give a platform to Indian literature for children,” she said.

Authors Kavitha Mandana, Shalini Srinivasan, Balaji Venkataraman, illustrator Nayantara Surendranath and Australian children’s book writer Ken Spillman are among many lined up to conduct writing and illustration workshops across schools in South Mumbai.

Since its inception in the year 1999, Kala Ghoda festival has aimed to revive the precinct’s art culture. This year the festival is themed on “Momentum” with several frames and art installations aiming to bring out the spirit of the maximum city. “Every year we have a new theme – last year it was ‘change’.

The themes are usually broad so we can curate the fest better. This year’s theme is very much characteristic of Mumbai,” said festival director Brinda Miller.

“Rampart Row” an installation by students of a city architecture college depicts Mumbai through a compilation of sixteen wooden frames containing around 800 photographs in a moving mosaic.

The pictures include shots of Bandra-Worli Sea link, Mumbai’s local trains, the “kali peeli” taxis, and the city’s tourist spots. Other popular art installations portray issues pertaining to gender-based violence, female infanticide, sex-selection, women’s empowerment and equity.

A new section in the 16th edition of Kala Ghoda arts festival has been dedicated to Urban Design and Architecture and seeks to provide a humanistic perspective on physical aspects of Mumbai.

It also attempts to give a plug to architects, city planners, public administrators and writers on urban problems and solutions. Heritage walks and bus rides form an integral part of the fest, and aim to enlighten enthusiasts about heritage sites such as the Bombay High Court, Asiatic society, Mumbai University, Gateway of India and other community market spaces to help them witness the transition from architectural styles from 19th century Bombay to contemporary Mumbai.

Lined up over a period of nine days, this year’s festival calendar has over 350 events including workshops on Urdu poetry, Indian cinema, paper sculpture and self-defense.

PTI 

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