Arth will bring alive the best of everything that India has to offer: Shreyasi Goenka
Zee Live, part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, is back with the second edition of Arth, India’s first multiregional culture festival. To be held at the lawns of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi from February 8-10, 2019, Arth will witness the participation of more than 250+ scholars, writers, artists and artisans from across India and abroad.
The cultural festival will bring to the audience myriad activities, including panel discussions, cultural performances, workshops, visual art installations, live art, etc. There would also be a showcase of the rich arts and crafts of the country through workshops conducted in live counters and master classes every day. Sessions would be interspersed with performances by renowned artists.
Speaking on the announcement of the national edition of the culture fest, Shreyasi Goenka, Founder & Director, Arth, said, “After the resounding success of the first regional edition of Arth, which took place in Kolkata, we are eager and excited to bring on stage the best of what India has to offer, collectively, across various fields which is interesting, informative and also enriching.”
Shreyasi Goenka speaks to Adgully on the objective behind Arth, what to expect from the second edition of the cultural festival, organising an event on such a grand scale and more.
What is the objective of Arth?
At ZEE, we have always endeavoured to build new and exciting properties for the society to connect with the rich diversity of cultures in our country. The core concept of Arth is to bring alive the best of everything that India has to offer across various fields in a manner that is collectively interesting, informative and also enriching.
What was the thinking behind calling the festival ‘Arth’?
It’s the art and culture of the land that truly defines a country, and India has always been celebrated for its eclectic art and culture. And this culture has in turn, defined the country and given it its meaning, its ‘Arth’. With a diverse Indian history, geography, linguistic, scientific and artistic contributions individual interpretation will be discovery, the meaning. Hence, the name ‘Arth’ was an obvious choice for us as the festival focuses on celebrating Indian culture.
What can festival goers look forward to at Arth this year?
The National edition of Arth has been carefully designed keeping in mind the current scenario in the country and will see some really hard-hitting panel-discussions and talks on subjects that the nation has been discussing.
The festival will witness participation of more than 250+ scholars, writers, artists and artisans from across India and abroad. Arth will focus on literature, culture, society, music, traditions, history and art. Exclusive sessions have been curated for children, for understanding the importance and enthral the creative workshops, theatre, history, philosophy, puppet performances and masterclasses.
The festival will also have a wide array of thinkers, scholars, philosophers, Indologists, artists, artisans, poets and authors. There would also be a showcase of the rich arts and crafts of the country – Patua, Phad, Cherial, Madhubani, Patthachitra, Chittara, Warli, Kalamkari, Masks, and Bamboo Crafts of North East India through workshops conducted in live counters and master classes every day. Sessions would be interspersed with some spell bounding performances by renowned artists such as Bombay Jayashree, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Teejan Bai, Bombay Bairag, Gautam Das Baul, Shahi Qawwals of Ajmer Sharif, a North East Percussion Ensemble, Manipuri Raas Leela, Gotipua Dance of Odisha, Puppetry from Kerala and Bengal and the Manganiyars of Rajasthan.
Why is it important to rediscover our Indic roots?
Arth isn’t merely a festival, but a cultural festival that will keep alive the meaning and ethos of our culture. There is so much about our civilization and its values that we can be proud of. Unfortunately, these have never been part of popular discourse. Arth, through lectures, panel discussions, concerts and performances, will try to contextualise a lot of this traditional knowledge to modern times. Through Arth, we are creating a platform for lovers of art and culture to learn and celebrate Indian culture across all its dimensions.
Putting together such a massive festival would require huge finances, yet there is no entry fee...
At ZEE, we are always committed towards providing extraordinary entertainment experiences to our consumers across all mediums. Indian culture is always a learning for individuals, it’s never a business, it’s in our roots. Through Arth we want to keep alive the meaning of our culture. We have created this platform for people across all age groups to come, enjoy and learn more about our culture.
Is Indic culture only for Indians or can the learnings be applied globally?
Yes, the learnings can be applied globally. Indian culture is a composite mixture of varying styles and influences. Arth will be a learning platform that will keep alive the meaning of our culture. Not only will it give the generation a cultural lesson, but through lectures, panel discussions, concerts and performances, it will try to contextualise a lot of this traditional knowledge to modern times for the young and old alike across geographies. The festival also provides a platform to voices from across the globe, encouraging it to be a global exchange of culture, thoughts and ideas.