PALF 2016: A Confluence of Art & Literature

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NewZNew (Panchkula) : Panchkula Art and Literary Festival (PALF) surely became an enriching tryst with connoisseurs of art and literature. Rumour Books India in collaboration with Satluj Public School, Sectors 2 & 4, Panchkula is hosting the two-day fest in its new avatar on February 6 and 7 at the Hotel Holiday Inn in Sector 3, Panchkula.  Over 40 personalities from the art and literati world across the nation are a part of the fest.

The two-day fest was inaugurated by the Padma Shri awardee Raghu Rai, a renowned photo journalist at Hotel Holiday Inn in Sector 3 here today. Among other prominent personalities present were Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia, Mayor, Panchkula, and Mandeep Singh Brar, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner.

A major attraction of the event was #Connect – Panchkula Childrens’ Literary Festival held at Satulj Public School Sector 4 here, a one-of-its kind literary carnival for students. Half day workshops were held there as well by noted authors like Christopher C Doyle and Jerry Almeida, besides others. There were four book launches, which included, Storm the Storm by Anisha Motwani, Doosra by Vish Dhamija and Job Charnock Riddle by Victor Ghoshe.

The boundaries of art and literature were blurred, as both authors and artists found a common platform to express themselves through their mediums of words and painting on the opening day of the two-day Panchkula Art and Literary Festival. The effort of Rumour Books, in association with Satluj Public School, the Festival strives to bring together a range of ideas, new idioms in art, the politics of us and the new subjects that envelop us.

Inaugurated by renowned photographer Raghu Rai, the first session of the morning was aptly titled ‘Living Creatively ‘, in which Rai took the audience on a journey that captured the internal and external world of Rai, his art and its many facets. Rai chose to give the audience a close view of his black and white photographs of places, people, spaces in the Himalayas…”I do not take pretty pictures, they have been done to death. When you connect with the space, are alert and feel, nature gifts you magical moments, which are replete with emotions and energy,’’ Rai pointed to some works of Gangotri in its sheer strength, the Dal Lake in various moods.

Reekrit Serai, Founding Director of PALF and MD of Rumour Books India, said, “In its third year now, over a 100 panellists of repute have attended till date, including bureaucrats, politicians, bestselling authors, actors, artistes and entrepreneurs. This year an added attraction would be the Panchkula Biz Lit Fest, comprising panel discussions involving prominent businesspeople of the region and from different parts of the country.  Along with this, we’re introducing the Panchkula Art Fest to create an all-encompassing art, literary and business festival.

Radhika Serai, Founding Director of PALF and CEO, Rumour Books India, said, “Last year, there were 40 schools on board. This year PALF expanded its reach with the kind support of CBSE and connected with over 3,000 schools in North West India, making PALF North West India’s largest art and literary festivals.”

Krit Serai, Chairman of PLF and Principal of Satluj Public School said, “PALF is a special initiative by not only the organisers, but the city of Panchkula and the region. The school supports the cause of PALF and participates vigorously in order promote the artistic habit in the region.”

From photographs to an audio-visual presentation by two painters, the second session transported the audience to the world of lines, colours and forms. In conversation with Diwan Manna, the two artists connected their work with their life. ‘Homelessness in Art’ by painter Veer Munshi was a moving presentation, as the artist brought close to the audience, his personal anguish, anger, pain and reflection of the home lost, but still dreams of, back in Kashmir.

Painter GR Iranna, spoke on ‘Birth of Blindness’, as he showed through a slide presentation, how he uses objects to convey his thoughts, feelings, ideas and emotions. Talking about violence, the painter debated on how we become violent, showing works on the subject.

While day long sessions were held on art and literature, on Day 2 the fest will start with a session on censorship in movies, theatre, television and literature. There will be a special session, ‘Pulling the Plug on Punjabi Cinema’ which would be chaired by Savita Bhatti and will be attended by prominent people from the Punjabi film industry like Amardeep Gill, Gurinder Dimpy, Inderjit Nikku, and Harish Verma.