What's been described as a “travelling circus”, the showcasing of several Indian literary gems takes place this year at the prestigious and culturally vibrant OzAsia festival in Australia. The event brings star authors from the nation to take part in lively and significant debates with Australians, plus giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves properly to the work and its creators. It's not just books either, philosophers and intelligentsia also make their way to this festival of thought. Journalists, writers, commentators, and scholars from both India and Australia merge their talent pool into a far reaching ocean of ideas.
An astonishing 54 panellists will speak and anchor the sessions over a period of three days. The author Devdutt Pattanaik plus writer and comedian Sami Shah make an appearance, authors William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale Dalrymple, whose award-winning titles include The Last Mughal, White Mughals, and Nine Lives, will also be there. They founded the Jaipur Literature Festival and the resultant linked events with Gokhale and producer Sanjoy Roy.
The event this year is being hosted by Adelaide, something which artistic director Joseph Mitchell has worked hard to achieve. Finding a place for this iconic Aussie city in this international festival was important to him, and so was finding a way of promoting the written word without sitting on the back of other great events such as Writer's Week. Encouraging cross cultural debate and conversation will really help to widen Australia's influence on the cultural scene. Choosing Indian writers too has been a wise decision, with both cultures having traditions and stories that stretch back independently for millennia.
The special thing about this event is it's not just a handful of authors talking about their latest book. That sort of thing happens all of the time, and people always love to hear their favourite writers speak. What this event does is take the experience to the next dimension where fans and the intrigued alike can truly uncover the soul of the work each writer does. Maybe the joining of Australian and Indian philosophy can breed some really useful ways of seeing the world today?
You can find out more about the OzAsia festival on their website.
The Konkan Coast of India's Maharashtra State is probably best known for its gorgeous Arabian Sea get-aways however recent discoveries in the surrounding hills have supercharged the area's archaeological significance. With wide grasslands on rolling hills which act to shade each other as the Sun moves through the sky, the red laterite rocks have remained stable despite countless monsoons. In one particular patch of grass, where the rock has been sun-baked into a black and soil-less oval shape, there is an eight foot high depiction of a man. With legs astride and arms to the side the figure's head is surrounded by a large helmet or halo shape.
This description is for just one of over a thousand specimens discovered in only the last three years. The petroglyphs seems to be concentrated around Ratnagiri and Rajapur, suggesting these settlements have a legacy stretching back as far as these millennia old drawings. Over 52 sites in the surrounding regions have been documented involving over a thousand individual works of art. The largest so far discovered is an elephant petroglyph which reaches fifty feet across.
A whole range of different forms of art can be found there. Clear fertility symbols mingle with geometric patterns and strange motifs. Various animals are shown including fish and birds. The difference between these images and pictographs is that pictographs are painted on stone where as these petroglyphs are carved into it.
Along with 25,000 year old tools discovered in the same Konkan region, these petroglyphs help fills the gaps in the book of history for the area. Little is known about what went on and who was doing what in these times. Often wisdom was passed down through word of mouth and so finding a period of time which people used to express permanent thoughts into the landscape is a true gift. Now it's possible to open a door and walk into the time of these people to see what they felt was worthwhile depicting in stone.
The Mesolithic period which these drawings come from represents a period of time where humans were still using stone age technology. Metal-work had not been invented and only primitive use of fire was used to cook food or make smoke. Although humanity had managed to occupy much of the planet by this time, the last Ice Age still made the North challenging to colonise.
Find out more about the Petroglyphs of Konkan in The Hindu.
Not One But Two Exhibition Rooms Dedicated To The Muslim World At The British Museum | Alternative Fruit
Muslim culture has been given a real kick-start recently, it was only last week when Alternative Fruit reported on the welcome influx of Muslim thought in the United States recently. Especially designed to appeal to museum visitors of all ages, things to see at every eye level adorn the cabinets and shelves in this new showing. Not specifically about the Islamic Religion, although clearly an important factor in the Muslim world, the demonstration attempts to illuminate us on the human and artistic side of the culture.
From metallurgy from Herat, full of its intricate geometric detail, to a bowl sporting a stylised duck symbol as part of an 11th century Nihavand hoard, this collection has a vast scope. All the various geographical locations under the Islamic cultural blanket are represented on site in a similar way to their geography. This can give visitors a true sense of the area and learn about where various ideas come from in relation to each other.
Themed collections appear at various locations, which will be shifted and changed at regular intervals. This means that visiting twice will not leave anyone disappointed. Items that were considered everyday but now rest firmly in intrigue and valuable history such as charms, games, water filters, and musical instruments are kept in like for like gatherings and placed around the two widely stocked rooms. Getting a real feel for the people of the period that each showing represents from their everyday items is really enlightening.
In the first room, all artefacts date from pre 1500 AD. This exhibit contains items from the pre-Islamic land of Palmyra. Tragically destroyed by misguided people in recent years, this archaeological site still holds huge antiquarian value. It's hoped that the exhibition will help people who visit the British Museum to be educated and informed on the world of Muslim people today and in the past. We perhaps get an unfair bias when the news repeats the same negative sides, and it's great that the British Museum are working to address this positively.
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Find out more about the exhibit here
Via The Evening Standard
Muslim society has been living among non-Muslim society for centuries however in recent days the divisions have perhaps been amplified. When one particular front expresses boundaries and harsh words in response to different culture, the polar opposite front often expresses equal amounts in the other direction. Because life has many facets and faces, the various directions of societal counter-action are plentiful. Some result in positive and some result in negative outcomes. One of the best ways to express emotion and strong thoughts is through art and creativity. This way we can shift the emotional and mental energy from a place of potential to an output that remains safe yet effective on a civilised level.
By adopting Muslim fashion ideas with open arms, many in the West have made their point that they do not fear this new influx of ideas. Sharing ideas after-all, is a large part of what makes us human. An idea need not be words, and as we all know words can be used to excuse and to hurt, an idea can be a shape, a pattern, a mannerism, or any other subtle adjustment to preference. Fashion, after-all, means the way something is designed, and this can point to all aspects of one's being and doing. Naturally, when something is brought into mainstream consciousness and shown validation in a new light, the ideas and gestures become normalised to a certain degree.
British Muslim Dina Torkia recently published a book called Modestly. It portrays her journey as a religion inspired artist to create fashionable clothes that resemble the Muslim style. She especially wanted to teach the virtue of modesty in her work, hence the name of her book. After noticing many great reviews, I'm certain Modestly will be a worthwhile read.
Religion has been involved in fashion recently before, with the New York Met displaying some highly valuable articles from the Vatican. This time, New York Fashion Week last September showcased crowdfunded fashion icon Eman Idil Bare and her collection of Muslim inspired clothing.
To top off this recent flourishing of Muslim inspired fashion, the de Young Museum in San Francisco is showing a collection called Contemporary Muslim Fashions. These items show off the elegance and beauty of the female Muslim dress in full walk-through displays. Running until the beginning of next year, it's hoped that this exhibition will readdress some of the unbalanced books when it comes to cultural recognition in America.
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Via - Religion News Service
Disney, Capcom, Pixar, and Paramount Send Creatives To Poland’s Promised Land Art Festival | Alternative Fruit
Industry professionals from the global players lend their expertise to festival goers at Promised Land in the city of Łódź, Poland. The EC1 Łódź – City of Culture Art Festival opened on the 29th of September with a one-off event in which aspiring local artists could exchange ideas and techniques with those at the top of their field. Where some were given portfolio appraisals, others were able to ask relevant questions. Everyone was able to sit and listen to the wisdom of genuine people who make their living from the creative industry.
While rubbing shoulders with recruiters from video game industries and art talent scouts, artists of all levels can enjoy the experience of being involved in the global movement. Everything from workshops in game design, 2D and 3D art, film production, 3D model making, and lots of other modern artistic paths make up the running order of this year’s event. Outside The Box is among the selected events which aims to introduce artists into other areas of creativity that not as many people go into. This includes miniature model painting, video game story writing, and firearms design. I hope they mean the computer game variety.
You can learn creative skills online from top universities. Join for free.
Running for the long weekend, ending on Wednesday 3rd, it’s hoped that everyone who wants to go will get their day. It sounds like a lot of fun and a chance to network with some really influential and well-connected individuals. Find out about the Promised Land festival here.
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