New Delhi | The 6th edition of the Indian Languages Festival (ILF) Samanvay, focusing on the themes of ‘Language as Public action’ commenced here today with the noted Gandhian Ela Bhat leading-off the programme with her inaugural speech.
Held at the India Habitat Centre, the three-day annual event “seeks to create a middle-ground of conversations” while also focusing on different languages like Urdu, Telugu, Gujarati, Santhali and Khasi.
“ILF Samanvay depicts exploration of languages beyond the verbal and the literal way. It seeks to create a middle-ground of conversations, an exciting intersection of the creativities.
“Yes, this festival is a call for the democracy of languages. But, moreover it’s also a reminder of the same river of creativity that flows in the artist and the scientist, the administrator and the student that’s inside all of us,” says Rizio Yohannan Raj, Creative Director of the festival.
With participation of over 40 artists, thinkers and actors, the festival will be seen hosting discussions touching upon different elements and components of language.
‘Law as language: All but the truth?’, ‘Speaking of Women: The Language of Control’, ‘Santhali: Spaeaking from Multiple Locations’ among others mark the diverse range of issues undertaken in the festival’s discourse on language.
Supporting the festival since its very inception, Ashok Vajpaeyi of Raza Foundation says talks on and about language are important and should take place; otherwise the term “matrabasha” (mother-language) would soon change into “Dadi maa basha” (Grand-mother language).
“This english chattering middle-class is not making use of their mother-language much. I am worried because a very few number of mothers are seen using their language now.
“Busy dreaming their American dream, they are just not worried about it. This festival is important because it reminds people of power, energy and creativity that comes with language,” he added.
With a battery of speakers being part of the festival, the list includes transgender activist Abhina Aher, renowned puppeteer Anurupa Roy, film actor Swara Bhaskar, human rights and women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover, Telugu poet and writer Volga, social researcher Bela Bhatia, social activist and lawyer Jignesh Mevani and TV anchor, writer and journalist Ravish Kumar, among others.
The festival also involves ‘Art Articulations’. The art show curated by Deeksha Nath will feature seminal artists at the intersections of various artistic and critical sites.
Enriching the festival further is the thematic food counter called ‘Artist as Gourmet’.
Providing delicacies other than that of different languages, it offers an experience of linguistic and cultural combination, by recreating the recommended recipes by authors, artists and other custodians of language.
The open and free to all festival will come to an end on November 7.