‘Samanvay-2015’ to anchor on the theme, ‘Insider/ Outsider’


From November 26-29, 2015, India Habitat Centre (IHC) will celebrate the 5th edition of its Indian Languages Festival – Samanvay 2015. The festival, which has over the years become a must-attend for the Capital’s Art & Culture aficionados, has expanded its scope to engage a wider range of audience by bringing into its panels, multilevel interpretations of the central theme, ‘Insider/Outsider: Writing India’s Dreams and Realities’. The languages that will be explored in detail at Samanvay 2015 are Tamil, Bangla, Marathi and Dogri.

The festival will open with the well known thinker, Prof Aijaz Ahmad talking about ‘The Languages of a Union’. The thesis that he will explore is that in India, political unity does not automatically give us, or requires of us, a literary or linguistic unity.

The deliberations at Samanvay 2015 will unfold with a session paying tributes to the late RK Laxman and his matchless legacy. Cartoonist Unny, Outlook chief editor Krishna Prasad, and cartoon researcher and writer, Christel Devadawson will together unravel the complex field of Indian cartooning while looking at Laxman’s unique contribution to shaping its sensibilities. This session on the opening evening will lead the discourse of ‘Insider/Outsider’ forward into the main festival sessions.

The central theme of Samanvay 2015, ‘Insider/ Outsider: Writing India’s Dreams and Realities’, evokes the liminality of the writer/creative artist/inventor in a given context. A creative act necessitates an individual to move out of a certain state of being, into an experimental space where she has to play out her ideas and desires into comprehensible forms. This transition makes every writer a liminal being, an insider/outsider.

Day 2 of Samanvay will focus on a thematic exploration of ‘Insider/Outsider’ in the contemporary socio-political and cultural context of India. Day 3 will feature sessions on the focal languages of Samanvay 2015, and Day 4 will attempt to expand the theme with the futuristic vision which the festival embodies.

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