Known as home to many of the world’s best epics, stories and poems, South Asia is a region with a unique literary tradition. The region shares a common literary tradition that has developed over the years – scattered times and spaces. Ranging from oral histories to epic poems, the South Asian poetry tradition offers a rich and pulsating experience of the unique South Asianess. It can be argued that much of the best poetry that has ever been composed still remains unwritten and un-baptized, yet what did got written and passed down from one generation to another in the annals of the histories of South Asia, presents some of the poignant pieces of literary creations.
Poetry unlike the edifices erected by the people of yesteryears continues to change in texture and shape as it draws from the changing experiences of a region’s folks. It embodies vast vocabularies of emotions, cultures, articulations and nuances. South Asian poetry, indeed, is no exception. Like many of its regional and global counterparts it too is unique. It is unique to the extent that it is born out of a specific culture and, therefore, portrays traits distinctive to it. This, however, does not deny the transcending potential of poetry that appeal to the human element in every individual’s heart, irrespective of their spatial and cultural diversity.
The delight and influence of South Asian poetry as a catalyst that brings together diverse cultures within the region reflects a cultural confluence unsurpassed by any other region of the world. This rich and vibrant mingling needs to be appreciated and celebrated by giving due recognition to indigenous cultures and styles represented by such poetry so as to celebrate unity in diversity and to preserve splendid South Asian expressions that are a fundamental part of the region’s cultural ethos.
The SAARC Literary Festival which began in 2013 is slowly and steadily gaining its momentum as the literary catalyst within SAARC giving the Member States to share their literary creations, debate, analyze, and discuss the state and accomplishments of the literature of South Asia. In keeping with the SAARC Agenda for Culture which envisages that diversity in culture as reflected in varied cultural expressions needs to be acknowledged, the SAARC Cultural Centre will organize a 4-day Literary Festival on South Asian Poetry in India. The Festival will be an open forum for poets and poetry critics to discuss, debate, and analyze poetry in South Asia and to indulge in exploring its unique cultural tapestry.
2.0 THE FESTIVAL
As part of the approved programmes for the year 2015, the SAARC Cultural Centre will organize a 3-day Literary Festival on South Asian Poetry in India (Bangalore) on. This Festival will provide a platform to the poets, writers, literary critics, publishers and literary enthusiasts in the region to share their thoughts, insights, voice their concerns and learn from the experts of South Asian Poetry. It will also hold poetry reading sessions. It is hoped that with a mix of formal and informal interactive sessions, the Festival will promote and critically discuss the poetic traits of South Asia.
2.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE FESTIVAL
The Festival seeks to discuss and analyse the following thematic areas:
- The South Asian Poem: Historical Developments
- Cultural Pluralism as depicted in South Asian Poems
- Shared Characteristics of South Asian Poetry (including contexts, themes, metaphors, allegories and expressions)
- Colonial and Post-colonial South Asian Poetry: From Agitation to Celebration
- South Asian Poetry in the Information Age
The Festival would have presentations, book reviews, lectures, discussions and poetry reading sessions.
2.4 DATES AND VENUE
The Festival will be held in Bangalore, India for 4 days from 25-28 June 2015.
2.5 PARTICIPATION AT THE FESTIVAL
2.5.1 OFFICIAL NOMINEES FROM THE MEMBER STATES:
The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all the Member States to send a minimum of Five and maximum of Ten Poets and literary critics as Official Nominees with the exception of India to nominate a maximum of 15.
2.5.2 ACCOMPANYING PERSONS:
Every person accompanying the official nominees of the SAARC Member States should pay a registration fee of US $ 300/- towards his/ her boarding and lodging during the Literary Festival. All such accompanying persons will be accommodated with the respective Official Nominee on full board/ twin-sharing basis.
2.5.3 OTHER PARTICIPANTS:
In addition to the Official Nominees, the SAARC Cultural Centre will consider the participation requests made by self-funded nominees from the recognized literary organizations from the SAARC region. However, to facilitate their stay during the Literary Festival, the SAARC Cultural Centre would assist them in securing accommodation in guest houses/ hostels at economic/ subsided rates.
The SAARC Cultural Centre, however, reserves the right to accept or reject any request for participation in the Festival.
2.5.4 NOMINATION PROCESS:
All nominations should include:
- Full Name and affiliation (if any) of the Person with a detailed CV, and
- An Abstract (c. 300 words) of the proposed paper/ presentation.
One of the Official Nominees is required to make a country presentation for 30 minutes on the current situation of Poetry in their respective country. Official nominations have to be sent via the Ministry of concerned, through the Foreign/ External Affairs Ministry to SAARC Secretariat. An advance copy of the nomination may be forwarded to the SAARC Cultural Centre. Email-
2.6 LAST DATE
The last date for sending in the nominations is 30 May 2015
The language for the Festival would be English.
2.8 LOGISTIC SUPPORT
The SAARC Cultural Centre would provide local hospitality (hotel accommodation on full-board basis) and local transport to all nominees of the SAARC Member States.
The airfare of the nominees of the SAARC Member States is to be borne by the respective Member State.
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