Language is powerful, and it’s evolution has proven that there is no one type that one can use to communicate: Be it a social media status message that speaks volumes, sms texts that are abbreviating a new word every day, or emoticons that have their own fans.
It is this play of language — be it for protest, revolution or appreciation — that The Indian Languages Festival (ILF) Samanvay is back to discuss this year.
The sixth edition of the three-day event is curated on the theme of Language as a Public Action. Apoorvanand, programmes curator, says, “There are way too many literature festivals in the country. There was no point curating one more festival. We wanted to see how the society at present is treating language. Along with this relationship between society and language, we also wanted to explore how fast language is changing, and therefore curated the festival with this line-up.”
Some of the panel discussions this year are titled in quite a quirky manner. Take for instance, ‘What people are you?: Telugu Identityspeak’ , ‘Love in the times of fury’ and ‘Enter Password: Touch the idiom of Caste’. More than 40 artists, thinkers, actors and journalists will participate in these discussions that explore language across length and breadth. Most popular among these panel is thought to be ‘Indian Cinema (Right) Now: Margins in the Centre?’ which actor Swara Bhaskar will be a part of.
There’s also the language of performance, which will be showcased during the evenings. Among this will be a puppet and mask performance titled Mahabharata, by Anurupa Roy and Katkatha team. Apoorvanand says, “This performance on Mahabharata is relevant even today, because of the conflict-ridden societies in the world.”
A first this year will be the discussion on Spanish. Rizio Yohannan Raj, creative director of the festival, says, “Spanish and Hindi have but one thing in common — the sheer volume of people using it in life and literature. This is the first time that ILF Samanvay will address a topic such as this, woven around a foreign language, with the aim of building a connect and drawing a comparison, to witness the change any language goes through when it is a dictator and dictated. Spanish is a unique example of having experienced the latter.”
Who knows what the next edition might bring — a festival of Indian languages, perhaps?
Catch it live
What: Samanvay – Indian Languages Festival
Where: India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
When: November 5 -7
Timings: 10.30am to 7.30pm
Nearest Metro station: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line