South Asian Literature and Arts festival to be held in Menlo College, CA in October this year


Featuring over 60 artists and authors from across the globe the South Asian Literature and Arts (SALA) festival will be held in Menlo College, Atherton. This year the focus is on the theme of the changing narratives within the South Asian diaspora. Showcasing its theme this year — Changing Narratives beyond South Asian stereotypes — the South Asian Literature and Arts Festival will be held on Oct 7 and 8, 2023.

The SALA Festival showcases contemporary reflections of literature and arts from the sub-continent and its diaspora.

The festival features highly acclaimed contemporary South Asian Art collections, and panel discussions that include art, literature, poetry, and cinema. Local, national, and international authors and artists will be represented in keynotes, and panels as live presentations in the event.

Art Forum SF is a not-for-profit that promotes all art forms emerging from South Asia. Art Forum SF said it endeavors to present the visual, literary, and performing arts in their various versions, thus enabling a broader reach for South Asian voices.

Since its beginning in 2019, the festival has highlighted and celebrated contemporary art coming from
the South Asian diaspora and has highlighted social and cultural issues that are close to the heart of the community.

“This year we will focus on the exciting and complicated theme of the changing narratives within the South Asian Diaspora. We look beyond the stereotypes of the South Asian community to examine how our narrative is changing and how we are changing the narrative. We are
proud to present thought-provoking and stimulating keynote speakers such as Abraham Verghese, Amitav Ghosh, Shobhaa De, and Konkana Sen Sharma,” said organizers of the event — Art Forum, SF — in a press
release. Art Forum presents this festival in partnership with the Stanford University Center for South Asia and the UC Santa Cruz Center for South Asian Studies.

The festival will have 20 panel discussions, held over two days where contemporary voices like Chitra Ganesh, Sonora Jha, Ranjit Hoskote, and Soniah Kamal will cover diverse topics such as identity, human rights, gender, class, dating, and cricket.

Highlights of the panel discussions include Focus on Film and Television which will see filmmakers from India – Director Tanuja Chandra, Lyricist Kausar Munir, and actor Konkona Sen Sharma discuss the evolving Indian film industry with Professor Anjali Arondekar.

The event will also host US-based filmmakers Simran Baidwan, Reenita Malhotra, and Shruti Tiwari for a discussion on the South Asian Narrative in the US with Ekta Bhargava. A panel discussion on Focus on AI and Art will analyze how AI is changing the industry in all fields
with panelists Nikhil Abraham from Cloudchef and Madhu Vudali from Faro. For Focus on the Social Issue of Human Trafficking, Saket Soni will be in conversation with M.R. Rangaswami.

Other highlights of the event:
• Open-air poetry and book readings to delight and awaken.
• Performances by local Bay Area artists.
• Forward-thinking South Asian brands showcasing their creative potential.
• Art Exhibition showcasing contemporary South Asian Artists.

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