Community Design Agency hosts Govandi Arts Festival from February 15-19

Entertainment | February 14, 2023 | News

Govandi Arts Festival Community Design Agency

Community Design Agency is all set to host the first-of-its-kind Govandi Arts Festival from February 15 to 19 at Natwar Parekh Colony, Mumbai. Enabled and supported by the British Council as part of its ‘India/ UK Together, a Season of Culture’ programme, this festival is one of biggest projects of the ‘Season of Culture’ in west India.

The purpose of this festival is to celebrate the local community and provide opportunities for artists from the area to showcase their talents and gain recognition. The festival will use art as a means to help people from outside Govandi to understand and appreciate the complexities of the area, thus, breaking down stereotypes and prejudices. The audience will get to witness different forms of art made by Govandi residents, broadening their understanding of the lives of those living on the margins.

Day 1 will witness the inauguration ceremony, exhibitions and rap performances. Aaina, the photography exhibition, will showcase the works of budding photographers from the community, who were mentored by Tejinder Singh Khamkha.

Day 2 will focus on the screening of women-centric films followed by a panel discussion with the respective filmmakers. Following this, the rap and music artists mentored by DRJ Sohail, Danish and Tash, will be back with a new set of performances, which touch upon various aspects of their lives in the neighbourhood.

Six films by young community filmmakers mentored by Pankaj Rishikumar, reflecting on their identities and that of their neighbourhood, will be screened on Day 3. Other highlights of the day include printmaking and makeup workshops and the ‘Matargashti Public Art Mentorship Exhibition’ led by Sanskar Sawant, where viewers will get to see how youngsters have learnt to express themselves through different materials and techniques.

On Day 4 artists from Lamplighters Arts CIC will conduct workshops with the community members and visitors on making lanterns, ending the day with the unique Lamplighters parade with participation by the residents of Govandi, enabled by the British Council.

The festival will be set to end on a high note on day 5 with multiple workshops and a performance by the theatre mentorship group of the play ‘Haq Se Govandi’ - written by them and directed by Niharika Lyra Dutt.

Sandhya Naidu, Founder and Managing Director, Community Design Agency said, “We are proud to be collaborating with the residents of Govandi since 2016, working alongside them to support social cohesion and reimagine inadequate built spaces. The recognition and support from the British Council through their Season of Culture initiative has made this incredible festival a reality providing the much-needed impetus to bring sustained social and spatial transformation in Govandi”

Jonathan Kennedy, Director Arts, India, British Council said, “The India/ UK Together Season of Culture is a platform for emerging artists to showcase their skills and talents, alongside established artists, to audiences at an unprecedented scale. Our Season of Culture enables undiscovered and underrepresented artists to connect with local, national and international audiences. The Govandi Arts Festival is one of the standout projects of the Season and a shining example of inclusion in the creative sectors, and of the arts & artists connecting the community of Govandi in Mumbai with Bristol in the UK. The showstopper street procession of spectacular hand-made lanterns by the UK’s Lamplighter Arts bringing their iconic lantern parade to India, is especially exciting!"

He further added, “Govandi Arts Festival is also a meeting point of our larger arts work in India to upskill India’s future festival sector professionals. We are glad that alumni from our Festivals programmes have been actively engaged in the development of the Govandi Arts Festival, making it a model festival for community-focused culture festivals in the future. Audiences are in for a truly international festival right in the heart of Mumbai’s suburbs.”

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The 5-day Govandi Arts Festival in Mumbai will display an array of creative work by Govandi youth post their mentorship with stellar Mumbai-based artists.

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