HYDERABAD: The 13th edition of the much-awaited Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) kicked-off in style on Friday at Vidyaranya High School, Lakdikapul. The three-day festival is back live in the city after being hosted online for the past two years due to Covid-19. CE brings you the best of day one at the HLF
Banyans of Chevella, Shruthi Sachi
‘Under The Chevella Banyan’, an exhibition of paintings, installations and photographs by 35 artists and photographers curated by Dr Avani Rao Gandra of ICONART Gallery, is an open call to nature lovers to protect 100-year-old 900 banyan trees. The exhibition aims to bring awareness about the campaign to save the banyans of Chevella marked to be axed for road widening on the Chevella-Bijapur highway in Telangana. The exhibition includes a sonic installation of a heart made from the roots of the trees which beats as the viewer approaches the artwork, an 80-feet artwork made of cloth where the artist has taken imprints of fallen trees on the silhouette, in addition there is an artwork on the Panchatatva, that symbolises the symbiotic relationship between man and nature.
Memoir unfolded Roopa Radhakrishnan
Actress Deepti Naval spoke at length about her book A Country Called Childhood: A Memoir with the host, Sathya Saran. She read a passage from her memoir which resonated with the Hyderabad crowd. She also spoke on her relationship with films, how she is fascinated with Sharmila Tagore’s portrayal in the movie Anupama, her first experience with films when she watched Durgeshnandini, which she did not like due to its negativity. After that she intentionally avoided films until her cousins went to watch a Shammi Kapoor film and had a lot of fun without her. Late actress Meena Kumari was a great influence on Deepti Naval while growing up. “She was always very sad and intense but she seemed so believable to me. Even though it has changed over the years, if you ask me who I idolised from Indian cinema, it was Meena Kumari,” she said.
The Nocturnal Dialogues Alka Elizabeth
Do you dream in colour or black and white? When night deepens can you tell the time? Does gender make a difference to sleep? These might be few intriguing questions to ponder in your lonely hours.
The Darkroom Project: The Nocturnal Dialogues curated by Atika Amjad, Founder- Director of the Children’s Fine Art Gallery in HLF presented its viewers with several of these usual yet mysterious questions. It is a project inspired by the “Sleep Series” of the Iranian artist, Maryam Ashkanian where a collection of pillows have portraits of sleeping people stitched onto them.
The choice of the canvas reflects the intimacy associated with these works as pillows being one’s close companion in dreams and abandonment. The Nocturnal Dialogues features the artworks on pillows by school children from MPSF Confederation of Charminar Schools accompanied by their muse. Without any professional guidance these young artists have brought to life their nocturnal thoughts, what sleep means to them through their unusual canvas. “We want our children to be inspired by different artists by interacting with their works,” said the curator.
Songs on trees, Ramya Vennapusala
In the presence of nature and children, singer Vidya Rao had a beautiful workshop at the Hyderabad Literary Festival, where she worked with children, and made them learn poetry through music about trees in a fun way. “Children will learn and think about trees in an interesting way. This was just with the children because I think we have seen that everywhere like half of the Amazon forest is gone and we are cutting down trees like there is no tomorrow and there will not be a tomorrow at this point. I thought of talking about trees and I tried to teach them some songs and poetry about trees.”
Less book, Lace book Alka Elizabeth
Stories could be born out of the most cliched habits to the most mysterious incidents. In Less Books, Lace Books, the workshop conducted by Baishali and group in HLF is all about dismantling the ideas of academic books. It encompasses the idea of enhancing the imagination and creative spirit of young minds by transforming the boring picture of school textbooks to an intriguing one. Children were given training in story writing and image making to come out with their own authentic publication. No copies are made, no critics to scavenge on their innocent artistry, pure bliss of learning and making something of their own. Children volunteered to narrate or write down their stories, be that the one told to them by their grandparents or about the cockroach that scared them earlier in the morning. Images, cut-outs, prints, moulds and buttons enthused the kids into making storybooks made with paperbacks.