Art Forum SF is back with a bang to present the in-person 2022 South Asian Literature and Art Festival. For this year, the vision is bold; the theme is “Humanity.” Writers, artists, and audiences will examine how the world has categorized each other into boxes of different colors, classes, and castes.
The Montalvo Arts Center and Art Forum SF present the festival in partnership with the Stanford Center for South Asia and the UC Berkeley Institute for South Asian Studies. A special evening event features eminent Indian actress Swara Bhasker.
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South Asian Contemporary Writers Row
Audiences can participate in discussions with authors, some of whom will be selling and signing their books. The stellar line-up of writers includes: Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar, whose last novel, “Homeland Elegies” attempts to define what it means to be American. Also featured is translator Daisy Rockwell, who recently won the Booker prize. Other writers include Emmy-nominated Vikram Chandra, Alka Joshi, Chaitali Sen, Devi Laskar, Sorayya Khan, Amit Majmudar, Jenny Bhatt, Rahul Mehrotra, and Zuni Chopra.
The weekend also features panels to discuss hard-hitting topics. The panels feature activist Thenmozhi Soundararajan, Suraj Yengde, journalist Salil Tripathi, and musician TM Krishna.
South Asian Contemporary Art Walk
The South Asian “Contemporary Art Walk” features Jaishri Abichandani, South Asian artist and director of the South Asian Creative Collective in New York. It also highlights contemporary artists Annu Matthew, Ranu Mukherjee, and Sara Ahmad.
Dr. Shireen Ahmad, and Dr. Afzal Ahmad, founders of the South Asia Institute, will be on hand to discuss their collection, one of the most significant collections of South Asian art.
South Asian Epicurean Highlights
The weekend also features several panels on South Asian food, including: Prominent food scientist Nik Sharma’s take on South Asian cuisine; Chefs Kauser Ahmed from Karachi Kitchens and Preeti Mistry; and Sonia Chopra, Bon Appetit and Conde Nast Editor in a discussion with cookbook author Madhushree Ghosh.
Other foodie panels include: “The Fiery Tales of the Great Indian Kitchen – Tales of Regional Cuisine” with Chitrita Banerji, Vina Patel, and Hetal Vasavada. And there’s “Wine Shine and Chicken Khurana” with executive Chefs Ajay Walia, Ranjan Dey, Neeta Mittal, and Ettan Restaurant owner Ayesha Thapar.
Poetry readings curated by Shikha Malaviya feature Amit Majmudar, Monica Korde, Monica Mody, Preeti Vangani, Sarah Mohammad, and Urvashi Bahuguna. An art exhibition features local artists Chandrika Marla, Tanya Momi, and sculptor Priyanka Rana.
The Marketplace includes Garima Shoes, The Peacock Avenue, Marigold and Saeyri, Pragati Sharma Mohanty, hands-on activities like henna and rangoli, children’s craft activities, dance, music, and painting. Food will be available for purchase, and a bar will offer beer, wine, and soda.Art Forum SF is a not-for-profit organization that strives to define and promote all art forms emerging from South Asia. Art Forum SF endeavors to present the visual, the literary, and the performing arts in their various versions, thus enabling a broader reach for South Asian voices.
South Asian Literature and Art Festival takes place Oct. 29-30 at Montalvo Arts Center, 154000 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga. Single-day tickets, $30, and weekend passes, $50, can be purchased at http://www.salafestival.org/.
This article originally appeared on India Currents on Sept. 24.