Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) is one of the largest multi-disciplinary arts initiatives in the South Asian region. It spans the visual, performing and culinary arts, whilst exploring genres with film, live arts, literature and fashion. Besides the core content, which is conceptualized by an eminent curatorial panel, the Festival has various layers of programming, in the form of educational initiatives, workshops, special projects, and institutional engagements.
The fourth edition of Serendipity Arts Festival will take place in Panaji, Goa from 15-22 December 2019.
The Craft projects focus on the exploration of everyday objects while bringing to light their histories, and the status of Indian handicraft in the present time, encouraging an equal collaboration between designers and craftspeople. The discipline aims to position the ingenuity of crafts in the present in a contemporary light, while borrowing from the rich reservoir of works from the past.
The Festival moves away from the idea of food being a means to sustenance, and discovers the different possibilities of food as art/performance, innovation and delight. The Culinary Arts discipline programming aims to provides a unique food experience through curated workshops, talks and tastings with focus on local produce and regional flavours.
The curation of the Dance programme attempts to engage as many forms of contemporary and traditional Indian dance as possible, including folk. At their core, these projects are interdisciplinary in nature, resulting in a balance between music, dance and drama. Many of these projects interrogate evolving notions of belonging, and the precarity of identity in contemporary society.
The Music programme explores the gamut of traditions in India, as well as the sources of inspiration. The stage is set for international artists, providing the audience an opportunity to experience musicals, along with retro, jazz and electro funk music. The Festival has unique sound experiences that showcase the cross currents between sound, visuals, space and technology.
The Festival examines ideas and practices within photography, addressing traditions of vernacular and lesser knows histories, while simultaneously engaging with archives, studios and trans-media practices in the subcontinent. As a discipline the curation leans towards examining the truth of the medium through works addressing diverse concerns prevalent through time in the modern society.
Special Projects are autonomous performances, programmes and exhibits that lie beyond the curatorial purview of each discipline. Realised as independent interventions, the Projects function as an additional layer of programming and represent exceptional ideas and practices. Projects enjoy plural trajectories—serving as parallel, corollary or tangential explorations across varied formats.
The programming in Theatre pushes beyond defined boundaries by moving away from the proscenium. The performances explore fresh avenues to showcase traditional forms with a contemporary twist, introducing young children to the importance of theatre and highlighting the creative presence of marginal communities, emerging practices and new experiments with style.
The Visual Arts programming offers a wide spectrum of projects that consider art beyond the mainstream, highlighting innovations in diverse socio-economic contexts. The Festival puts a spotlight on collections and archives in innovative ways and continues its engagement with performance and street art.
Pramod Kumar KG is the co-founder of Eka Archiving Services, India’s first museum advisory firm that provides its services to a range of institutions/collectors and collections. He has worked with a vast range of artefacts that vary greatly in their materiality, besides helping with nuanced aspects of cultural and heritage management. Pramod is also the founder-director of the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing at Jaipur. He instituted the Jaipur Literature Festival and is currently the co-director of Mountain Echoes, the Bhutan Literature Festival. He has curated shows extensively across India and internationally, and has lectured across the world including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), and School of Oriental and African Studies (London). He is a published author and has also made contributions to several edited volumes besides journals, magazines and other publications.
Kristine Michael is a ceramic artist, researcher, curator and arts educator based in New Delhi. She has worked for many years in Garhi Studios (New Delhi), the Golden Bridge Pottery (Pondicherry) and in Auroville. Her works in ceramics are in collections of the Bradford Hall Museum, Clay Studio (Philadelphia), Icheon World Ceramics Centre (Seoul) and the National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi), among others. She has held over 26 solo shows and participated in international and national group shows. She is the recipient of Junior Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, The Charles Wallace Trust Award, Sanskriti Award, among others. She was a research scholar under the Nehru Trust at the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) for the study of nineteenth-century Indian ceramics in its collections, and has curated the Ceramics Gallery at the renovated Albert Hall Museum (Jaipur). She publishes regularly about Indian ceramic artists, most recent being as guest editor for Marg (Indian Ceramics: History and Practice, 2018). She recently curated an exhibition 'The Art of Kripal Singh Shekhawat' for Delhi Art Gallery, which was showcased at the Indian Ceramics Triennale 2018 (Jaipur) and Museum of Legacies (Jaipur).
She is a PhD scholar at School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and works as Curriculum Leader for Visual and Performing Arts at The British School (New Delhi).
Rahul Akerkar’s culinary practice is about mixing his passion for life, food and science, and he has succeeded in blending these key ingredients into a career as one of Mumbai’s leading restaurant moguls. Regarded as the pioneer of the independent chef-restaurateur-run eateries in Mumbai, he has shifted the focus on fine dining away from the five-star hotel domain. Akerkar co-founded deGustibus Hospitality with his wife, Malini, in 1996. They operate six restaurants in Mumbai, including the much-acclaimed Indigo, a bar, an event/banqueting space and a catering business. Akerkar’s newest restaurant, Qualia, opened in Mumbai in April 2019.
Prahlad Sukhtankar graduated with a BBA in Marketing and Hospitality from Les Roches, Switzerland. He was quickly picked up by the ultra-luxury, Four Seasons group of hotels, where he worked his way up within the company, through North America and Canada. In Vancouver, he earned a Sommelier’s degree from the acclaimed International Sommeliers Guild (ISG) with Honours. In 2014, Prahlad with his wife and business partner, Sabreen, opened the doors to their first restaurant, The Black Sheep Bistro. With a vision and concept that stepped out of the mainstream and provided their guests with unique experiences. The restaurant has enjoyed much success through the years finding itself on various lists of top restaurants of the country. In March 2019, the duo launched their second restaurant in Panjim city, Black Market––a place where one can find the unusual but always sinfully delicious food.
A choreographer, an educationist and a creative entrepreneur—Mayuri Upadhya’s career has foraged beyond the conventional dance network. Her canvas of work depicts a wide range. Her two decades long journey is marked by a beautifully balanced mix of efforts towards visual interpretations, cultural sensitivity, conditioning future generations and capacity building. Among many others, Mayuri has received awards such as The 'International Competition of choreography for Asian Dance Productions' (South Korea) and the BROADWAY WORLD Best Choreographer Award for the epic musical ‘Mughal-e-Azam’. Her transformation from a simple girl-next-door to a visionary entrepreneur is attributed to her grounding in Indian classical forms, complemented by contemporary training. But most of all, her enthusiasm to enable this entrepreneurship stems from her vision of making dance a sustainable industry in India, which she believes, when woven with innovation, has the potential to reach all segments of society. She currently heads Bangalore-based premier dance organization Nritarutya.
Leela Samson received the impulses for her growth as a dancer from Kalakshetra, Chennai, where she was a student from 1961 to 1967, while also studying at the Besant Theosophical High School. From 1975 to 2005 she taught at the Sriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra and privately in Delhi, and choreographed a body of work titled ‘Spanda’, which is known for its innovations in Bharatanatyam. Over twenty years since its inception, Spanda continues to enthrall audiences with its innovativeness in tradition. Leela has travelled extensively and performed at leading festivals of dance in India and abroad. She had served as Director of Kalakshetra from 2005 to 2012; as Chairperson, Sangeet Natak Akademi from 2010 to 2014; and as Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification from 2011 to 2015. At Kalakshetra, she imbued an integrity and dynamism in teaching and performance, and a widening of the academic scope of the dancer graduating from its portals, besides initiating several publications, films and documentation of the founder’s dance dramas. Leela has also authored books on dance: Rhythm in Joy (1987) and Rukmini Devi – A Life (2010) are a select few titles. She is the recipient of the Sanskriti Award in 1982, the Padmashri Award in 1990, the Nritya Choodamani Award in 1997, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000 and the Natya Kala Acharya Award from the Music Academy (Chennai) in 2015.
One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a disciple of the illustrious tabla maestro Nikhil Ghosh from whom he inherited a rich and varied repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas. Aneesh Pradhan is the recipient of several awards such as the Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Award (2000), the Natyadarpan Award for ‘Best Background Score’ (1998) for music direction to the Marathi play ‘Tumbara’ directed by Sunil Shanbag, the Vasantotsav Award (2012) instituted in memory of the eminent vocalist Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, and the Saath Sangat Kalakar Award (2013) instituted in memory of G.L. Samant by the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Pune. A popular performer at most prestigious concerts and festivals in the country, Aneesh has also traveled widely and performed overseas at major events. He has recorded prolifically for national and international record labels accompanying a host of vocalists and instrumentalists. Apart from his work with art music, Aneesh is also a frequent participant in cross-cultural musical collaborations both in the capacity of performer and composer. He is keen to push the envelope in experimenting with sound and music through his composition for film, television, theatre and dance projects. Aneesh has been awarded the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Chair in Indian Studies at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University. Aneesh is the Director of Underscore Records Pvt. Ltd, an independent online record label that he established with vocalist Shubha Mudgal. He also co-curates an international music festival called Baajaa Gaajaa: Music from 21st Century India.
Sneha Khanwalkar has played a significant role in changing perceptions of Hindi film music by digitally mixing disparate noises, sounds of local instruments and voices to produce a track. Born and raised in Indore, Khanwalkar was taught music as a child, as her maternal family belonged to the Gwalior gharana of Hindustani classical music. Thriving on taking the composition of music beyond the studio, Sneha conceptualised and hosted the MTV mini-series ‘Sound Trippin’, travelling the length of India and collecting local ambient sounds and recording with everyday and local musicians, and creating a final piece of music. With projects like Gangs of Wasseypur, Khoobsurat, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Love Sex aur Dhoka in her repertoire, Khanwalkar brings with her a mix of eccentric as well as upbeat music. Sneha won Filmfare’s R.D Burman Award for the best music director for the film Love Sex aur Dhoka in 2011 and was nominated in the Best Music Director category at the 58th Filmfare Awards for Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 & Part 2. Most recently, Sneha has composed the music for the internationally acclaimed film, Manto (2018).
Rahaab Allana is Curator/Publisher of the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts in New Delhi; Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in London and Honorary Research Fellow at the University College, London and has received the Charles Wallace Grant for research in the UK. He currently serves on the Advisory Committees of the Foundation for International Dialogue (Rome); an interim jury for the British Journal of Photography; the India International Center (New Delhi); the Kaladarshan Art Committee, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (New Delhi); and is Advisor/Juror for the prestigious Prix Pictet Award (London; Switzerland; Paris); The Mack Book Award (London), as well as the Chennai Photo Biennale (India). He has curated various exhibitions, working closely in Museums and galleries such as The Brunei Gallery (London), Rencontres d'Arles (Espace Van Gogh, France), Museum Folkwang (Berlin), the Rubin Museum (New York), Banco de Brazil (Rio), the Royal Fine Art Museum (Brussels) as well as National Museum (New Delhi); The British Council (New Delhi); the Bhau Daji Lad City Museum (Mumbai) where he teaches an annual diploma course on the History of Photography in India. Rahaab has delivered lectures on photography at the European Council for South Asian Studies (Paris) in July 2018. He served as Consulting Curator for the exhibition titled ‘Illuminating India, Photography 1857-2017’ (2017-2018) at the Science Museum, London. Rahaab is the author of Inherited Spaces, Inhabited Places (2010) produced by the Ministry of External Affairs; and has served as Guest Editor for publications such as Marg (Aperture and Identity, 2009) and the Lalit Kala Akademi (Depth of Field, 2012). He has written and edited volumes on photography for the Alkazi Collection and Mapin. Rahaab is also the Founding Editor of PIX, one of India’s first theme-based photography quarterlies and exhibitionary platform. His forthcoming essay on the “History of Photography and Museum Practices” will be published in 2019 as part of a volume edited by Gayatri Sinha; and he is currently working on a Photography Reader for South Asia. As a collector in his own right, he has co-authored and published a book from renowned collections of cinema stills and ephemera, titled Filmi Jagat: Shared Universe of Early Hindi Cinema (2014). He was previously on the Cultural Committee of the Alliance Francaise de Delhi for two years.
Ravi Agarwal has an interdisciplinary practice as an artist, photographer, environmental campaigner, writer and curator. His work explores key contemporary questions around ecology, society, urban space and capital. He works with photographs, video, installations and public art, and has been shown widely in shows, including at the Kochi Biennial (2016), Sharjah Biennial (2013) and Documenta XI (2002). He co-curated the ‘Yamuna-Elbe’, an Indo-German twin city public art and ecology project in 2011 and ‘Embrace our Rivers’, a Public Art Ecology project in Chennai (2018). Agarwal is also the founder of the Indian environmental NGO Toxics Link, which has pioneered work in waste and chemicals in India. He serves on several high-level policy committees, and writes extensively on sustainability issues in journals and books. He was awarded the UN Special Recognition Award for Chemical Safety in 2008 and the Ashoka Fellowship for social entrepreneurship in 1997.
Nancy Adajania is a cultural theorist and curator based in Bombay. Since the late-1990s, she has written consistently on the practices of four generations of Indian women artists. She was Joint Artistic Director of the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012) and has curated a number of exhibitions including, most recently a retrospective of five decades of Navjot’s artistic practice—'The Earth’s Heart Torn Out, Navjot Altaf: A Life in Art’, at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai (12 December 2018 – 25 January 2019); and ‘In the Land Of Downside Up: Adbhut Lok’, at the Birla Academy, Kolkata (9 January – 9 February 2019).
Adajania has proposed several new theoretical models through her extensive writings on media art, public art, the biennial condition, transcultural art practices, subaltern art and the relationship of art to the public sphere. She has lectured on these subjects at numerous venues including Documenta 11, Kassel; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Transmediale, Berlin; the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York; Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin; and the 3rd FORMER WEST Research Congress: Beyond What Was Contemporary Art, Vienna.
Adajania was the juror for Video/Film/New Media fellowship cycle of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2015–17). In 2013 and 2014, Adajania taught the curatorial practice course at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts. She was research scholar-in-residence at BAK/ basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2010 and 2013.
Adajania recently edited two trans-disciplinary anthologies Some Things That Only Art Can Do: A Lexicon of Affective Knowledge and Totems and Taboos: What can and cannot be done (Raza Foundation, 2017, 2018). She will be curating the artist Sudhir Patwardhan’s retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, in November 2019.
Anurupa Roy is a puppeteer, puppetry director and the Founder and Managing Trustee of The Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust, a puppet theatre group based in Delhi, India since 1998.
She has a Diploma in Puppet theatre from DI (Dramatiska Institutet for Film,T.V, Drama and Radio ) at The University of Stockholm, Sweden, and has been trained in traditional glove puppetry from La Scoula Della Guaratelle (School of Traditional Glove puppetry) in Naples , Italy under Bruno Leone in 2002. She has been a Researcher in Residence at Deutches Forum DFP in Bochum, Germany (2011) and at Institute International de la Marionette Charleville-Mezeires. Roy has been a Pro Helvetia Artists at Residence at Rote Fabrik in Zurich and a guest faculty at World Arts and Cultures at UCLA in Los Angeles, USA.
Roy has directed performances for Katkatha, TIE Company National School of Drama, Jana Natya Manch. She is a recipient of the Ustad Bismilla Khan Yuva Puraskar 2007 – National award for contribution to puppet theatre by the Ministry of Culture.
Lina Vincent is a cultural practitioner committed to socially engaged arts practice that reflects in multidisciplinary projects she has developed and participated in. With 18 years’ experience in research, curation and public art programming, she is currently an IFA Museum-Fellowship grantee. Her recent curatorial management projects include ‘GOOD FOOD India’—international arts program for awareness on Climate Change (Sept 2017- Jan 2018); ‘Story of Space’ (Oct -Nov 2017, Goa); ‘Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India’ (Jan-Mar '16, CSMVS Mumbai). Vincent is Associate Curator with ARTPORT_making waves and Chief Program Designer, Visual Art and Design, for Sublime’s ArtEd (Arts Curriculum development) Bangalore.
Harkat is an international boutique arts studio with a passion for film, new media, community art spaces and accessible contemporary art. Based in Mumbai and Berlin, Harkat takes many forms and identities across disciplines and creative industries. Some of their work-defining projects have been the 16mm film festival, Museum of Ordinary Objects and the Harkat alternative arts and performance space in Mumbai—housing an ever evolving curatorial of programming and in-house projects. We support the new, unheard, emerging, exciting, cutting edge, poetic, the political, forgotten, nostalgic, melancholic, rule breakers, beautiful and more. And that’s what Harkat is. Harkat.
Aradhana Seth is a filmmaker, production designer, photographer and installation artist. She does not confine her art to one medium, often cross-pollinating between them all. Aradhana is a creator of multiple worlds. In her film work, she does not merely build sets, she breathes life into the homes of her characters. She makes sure their imprints are found in every nook—from their flower vases to their toothbrushes to their wall coverings. She rebuilds old and new memories in her photo studio ‘Merchant of Images’. Her living archive ‘The House of Enquiry’ is an ongoing art project that brings together the world of art, film, photography and history. As Art Director she has worked on London Has Fallen, The Darjeeling Limited, The Bourne Supremacy, and Stiff Upper Lips. Her production design credits include The Sweet Requiem, Chuskit, Angry Indian Goddesses, Vara, West is West, Don, One Night with the King, Admissions, Easy, The Guru (India), Leela, Everybody says "I'm Fine!", Karvaan, Earth and Fire. She has had solo shows at Gallery Chemould, Mumbai and Sunapranta, Goa. Her work has been exhibited with Andrea Anastasio at Istituto Italiano de Cultura, New Delhi and at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna; Grosvenor Gallery, London; Vadehra Art Gallery and Khoj, New Delhi; and ClarkHouse, Mumbai. She has made over 18 documentary films and co-produced a photography book India Mexico: Parallel Winds, featuring the work of Sebastiao Salgado, Graciela Iturbide and Raghu Rai.
HH Art Spaces ran as an artist-run residency space established in October 2014 in Siolim, Goa by Romain Loustau, Madhavi Gore and Nikhil Chopra. The program focuses primarily on live art and performance with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative work. HH Art Spaces creates a space for reflection, inspiration and creation; where artists come together to make and share their ideas, processes, experiments and collaborative efforts with one another and the community.
They are part of a movement of artists from the big cities to Goa, as an environment that offers space, time, an international community and an increasingly critical audience. Their intention is to run the organisation as shared space for ourselves and for other artists. They believe that residencies are a very important part of the life and work of an artist owing to the time, space, facilities and networks that they provide. They are also deeply invested in creating an archive of live art.
Through the overlapping and interweaving of different practices and disciplines there is an inherent desire to create new languages and ways of making and receiving art. Every residency term ended with an OPEN Studio when the house and gardens transformed into a public exhibition to connect them with the larger community of Goa. HH Art Spaces in the last 4 years, have hosted approximately 50 national and international artists in residence, conducted six onsite and offsite workshops and exhibitions, held 20 OPEN Studios and collaborated with organisations within and outside India, including Catterjee & Lal, KHOJ, Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation (ongoing), Japan Foundation, Alliance Francaise, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Serendipity Arts Trust (ongoing), Sunapranta, Goa and GOAPHOTO. HH Art Spaces is quickly emerging as an important venue for the live arts in South Asia. As a collective, they consider themselves and function as artists, mentors, facilitators and curators.
The St+art India foundation is a not-for-profit organization that works on art projects in public spaces. The aim of the foundation is to make art accessible to a wider audience by taking it out of the conventional gallery space and embedding it within the cities we live in - making art truly democratic and for everyone.
Vivek Menezes is a widely published writer and photographer, and co-founder and co-curator of the acclaimed Goa Arts + Literature Festival. He curated the large-scale group exhibition 'Konkani Surrealism' at Serendipity Arts Festival 2017, and the even larger 'Panjim 175' (along with Swati Salgaocar) at Serendipity Arts Festival 2018.
Vidya Shivadas is a curator based in New Delhi. She completed her Masters in Art Criticism from Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University, Vadodara in 2000. She is currently the Director since 2011 of the not-for-profit Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA). FICA was set up in 2007 to support artists, art historians, curators, art critics, and other professionals devoted to the study of contemporary Indian art, as well as to conduct educational and art outreach programmes.
She has curated a number of exhibitions at the Vadehra Art Gallery since 2002 which include ‘Off the Record: Meditations on the Photographic Image’ (2015); ‘Porous’ (2012); ‘The Seeds’, ‘Yoko Ono’ (2012); ‘Something I’ve been meaning to tell you’ (co-curated with Sunil Gupta, 2011); ‘Faiza Butt, Ruby Chishti, Masooma Syed’ (three Pakistani women artists, 2009); ‘Fluid Structures: Gender and Abstraction in India, 1970s – 2008 (2008)’, ‘Objects: Making/Unmaking’ (2007). In 2009 she was a guest curator at Devi Art Foundation and worked on the solo exhibition of Bangladeshi artist Mahbubur Rahman.
In 2013 she co-curated (with Akansha Rastogi and Deeksha Nath) the exhibition ‘Zones of Contact: Propositions on the Museum’ at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida (January – November, 2013). In 2014, she was curatorial advisor for ‘Where Do I End and You Begin’, an exhibition on the theme of Commonwealth at Edinburgh in 2014 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
Jessica Castex is curator at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAMVP). Her projects are notably focused on emerging creation and prospection. She curated and cocurated solo and group shows, both at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris and in different institutions such as : Mohamed Bourouissa Urban Riders, MAMVP, 2018; Être Pierre, Musée Zadkine, Paris, 2017; Hayoun Kwon, National Gallery of Kosovo, Pristina, 2016; Co-Workers, MAMVP, 2015; Bertille Bak, Circuits, MAMVP, 2012;Dynasty, MAMVP, 2010. In the permanent collection of the Musée d’Art moderne she led projects inviting artists such as Anita Molinero, Cécile Paris, Kader Attia, andalso created a specific program,Apartés, with Delphine Coindet, Ariane Michel, Raphaël Zarka (2011) ; Leonor Antunes, Julien Prévieux, Marie Voignier (2013) ; Isabelle Cornaro, Alain Della Negra, Kaori Kinoshita, Gyan Panchal (2015).In 2016 she co-curated the first edition of the video festival at Carreau du Temple in Paris. She regularly participates in juries, workshops and talks in France and abroad, mainly regarding the video collection of the Musée d’Art moderne.
Odile Burluraux is curator at Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. She has organised a touring exhibition based on the video collection of the museum ‘EntreTemps, L’artiste narrateur – Une décennie d’art français vidéo dans les collections du Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris’, in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, St-Petersburg Shanghai, Chengdu and Taipei from 2009 to 2014.Among the main exhibitions she curated and co-curated solo and group shows: ‘DEADLINE’ (Hans Hartung, James Lee Byars, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Joan Mitchell, Robert Mapplethorpe, Chen Zhen, Gilles Aillaud, Willem de Kooning, Jörg Immendörf) 2009; ‘Haute culture – General Idea, une rétrospective 1969 – 1994, Paris’, Toronto Art Gallery of Ontario, 2011; ‘Ryan Trecartin /Lizzie Fitch, Any Ever’, 2011; ‘Keith Haring — The political’, 2013; ‘Douglas Gordon’, 2014;‘UNEDITED HISTORY – Iran 1960 – 2014’, Paris and MAXXI, Rome, 2014; ‘De bruits et de mouvements’, video festival, Carreau du Temple, Paris, 2017 ; Ian Kiaer, 2017 ; Mohamed Bourouissa, Urban Riders in 2018. In 2019, she will curate the Hans Hartung retrospective.
Siddhant Shah is a Heritage Architect and Access Consultant who specialises in bridging the gap between Cultural Heritage and Disability, through his initiative #AccessforALL. Shah, a Stavros Niarchos Scholar has finished his MA in Heritage Management from the University of Kent (Athens Campus, Greece) and his bachelors in Architecture (BSSA-NMIMS, India) along with a Post graduate Diploma in Indian Aesthetics.
‘Access for ALL’ aims at pushing the boundaries of physical, intellectual and social access through innovative, indigenous design and advocacy while fostering an inclusive experiential culture. The team focuses on access audits, interpretation & educational activities, inclusive outreach programs, sensitization & awareness program, braille-tactile kits, braille books and CSR based engagement programs.
Anuja Ghosalkar is the founder and artistic director of Drama Queen. Through her performance company Drama Queen, she is evolving a unique form of Documentary theatre in India. The focus of her art practice is undocumented narratives, archival absences and gender in performance. Research, oral history and iterations around form and process are critical to her performance and pedagogical work. Drama Queen’s debut show, Lady Anandi was written while she was an artist-in-residence at Art Lab Gnesta, Sweden in 2015. Since then Lady Anandi has travelled independently across India, Germany and Sweden. Her newest work, Walk Back to Look was a site -specific performance commissioned by the Serendipity Arts Festival 2018, it offered a counter beat to the frenetic rhythm of Panjim Municipal Market and Kadamba bus stand.
She was artist-in-residence at Srishti Institute of Art Design & Technology in December 2017 and conceived a site specific, public art project at the Cubbon Park Metro Station called Dream Walkers. She is an Art Think South Asia Fellow (2017-18). In the past, Ghosalkar has worked at India Foundation for the Arts, Experimenta, in curating and teaching cinema, & as an independent researcher with University of Westminster.
Kai Tuchmann is a theatre maker, based in Beijing and Berlin. His stagings and dramaturgies were invited, among others, to I Dance Hong Kong (2016), Seoul Marginal Theatre Festival (2017), Zürcher Theaterspektakel (2017), Kunstfest Weimar (2017) Festival d’Automne à Paris (2017), Wuzhen Theatre Festival (2018), Asia Society New York (2018) and the Beijing Gallery Week (2019). Tuchmann is a member of the Dramaturgy Faculty at Beijing's Central Academy of Drama and of the Performing Arts Management Faculty at Frankfurt`s University of Music and Performing Arts. He is also a Board Member of the Marvin Carlson Theatre Center in Shanghai and New York.
Situated in New Delhi, The Neemrana Music Foundation is a non-profit organisation promoting Western Classical Music in India. The mission of the foundation is to disseminate lyrical and symphonic repertoires in India and to mould young singers and musicians into professional artists. Each season, The Neemrana Music Foundation produces or coproduces a staged version of an opera as well as a series of concerts that are presented in major cities of India: New Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. In light of its mission to teach Western classical music, the Foundation has created several vocal groups and choirs including among under-privileged children.
Every year it offers scholarships to young Indian talents to enable them to study abroad. All professional artistes invited for operas and concerts are also involved in conducting educational sessions. Young students of the Foundation thus have the opportunity to benefit from their teachings and some are then selected to participate in professional productions as soloists or choir singers.
Akshay Mahajan is a photographer, curator and writer. His work comprises of self-initiated research projects that combine his interest in myth, folklore and photography as a mirror to culture and collective memory. Mahajan’s engagement with the visual arts also takes shape through writing, teaching and curation. In 2008, he co-founded Blindboys.org, an open collective aimed at reclaiming public spaces—both online and offline—to showcase photography. Mahajan is a member of the photo editorial of PIX Quarterly, a contemporary photography publication looking at South Asia. He has curated shows at the Format Festival, Angkor Photo Festival and JaipurPhoto among others.
Atul Kumar is the Founder Member and Artistic Director of The Company Theatre. An acclaimed actor and director with more than 25 years of stage experience, Atul has dabbled with different languages and forms of theatre and has showcased his work all over India and abroad. His basic performance training was in the traditional Indian dance and martial art forms of Kathakali and Kalaripayattu in Kerala. He also learnt from his various travels abroad where he got to work with Compagnie Philippe Genty (Paris) and Sacramento Theatre Company (California). Atul was recently invited by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the UK to direct for their International Theatre Festival. Few of the many grants he has been awarded include the French Cultural Fellowship, Charles Wallace Scholarship and Chevening Fellowship to develop his theatre pursuits in Europe. He has served as a steering committee member of the International Network for Cultural Diversity, Canada and often participates in conferences, seminars and forums that are concerned with larger issues of art and culture. Atul also occasionally works in film and television.
Arundhati Nag is Creative Director of Ranga Shankara (Bangalore), a theatre dedicated solely to dramatics. Only the second such space in India, Ranga Shankara, with its show-a-day policy, has changed the way theatre is viewed and performed in Bangalore. Arundhati oversees each aspect of Ranga Shankara—from programming to operations. Arundhati has also pioneered a unique Theatre For Children programme called ‘AHA!’ that makes theatre a part of a child’s life. She is the Managing Trustee of Sanket Trust—a group led by eminent theatre persons of India. Almost single-handedly, she raised the necessary funds to establish Ranga Shankara, which is built entirely on donations and run with huge subsidies for the performing and audience communities. For over 40 years, Arundhati has also been an actor. She has performed over 1000 shows in five languages in both amateur and professional theatre, winning several accolades along the way. From Shakespeare to Karnad, Ibsen to Beckett and Tendulkar, Arundhati has performed in numerous genres. As a film actor, she has essayed award-winning roles in several films led by India’s finest directors. Arundhati also served as David Lean’s Assistant Director for the production of the film A Passage to India (1984). She also assisted and wrote Hindi dialogues for the legendary TV serial Malgudi Days (1987), based on R K Narayan’s novel, and directed by Shankar Nag. She serves on the advisory boards of several national level institutions.
Sudarshan Shetty, best known for his enigmatic sculptural installations, has long been recognised as one of his generation’s most innovative artists in India. Shetty attained a BFA in painting from Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai in 1985. Transitioning from painting to installation early in his career, Shetty explores the fundamental ontological challenges presented by our immersion in a world of objects. His installations are developed around a rigorous grammar of materials, mechanical exposure and unlikely juxtapositions of things that may belong to culturally distinct spheres. Moreover, Shetty’s object language eschews narrative as well as established symbolism. He has exhibited widely in India and around the world. His recent shows include ‘A Song A Story’ for the Rolls-Royce Art Programme (2016); ‘Shoonya Ghar – Empty Is This House’ at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi and at the 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016); ‘Mimic Momento’ at Galerie Daniel Templon, Brussels (2015); ‘Constructs Constructions’, curated by Roobina Karode, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi (2015); ‘A Passage’ at Staatliche Museum, Schwerin, Germany (2015); ‘The pieces earth took away’, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, 2012; ‘Critical Mass’, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, 2012; ‘Indian Highway’, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2012; and several others. Sudarshan Shetty was the curator of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016.
Jyotindra Jain is a Member of the International Advisory of the Humboldt Forum, a multi-arts complex in Berlin; a Tagore National Fellow; and Editor of Marg Publications, Mumbai. Prior to this, he has served as the Director of the National Crafts Museum (New Delhi); Professor of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi); and Member Secretary of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. He was a Visiting Professor at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) and a Rudolf-Arnheim Professor at Humboldt University (Berlin). An eminent scholar of Indian art and popular visual culture, Jain has extensively published in the areas of his specialisations, and curated exhibitions shown in some of the most prestigious cultural institutions and museums in India and abroad. He has received the Prince Claus Award for Culture in 1998, and the Cross of Merit—the highest civilian award of Germany—in 2018.