So, today was day 1 of this fest I’m volunteering at ~ Literary Commons! It’s brought 12 Dalit and tribal Indian writers from India to meet with Australian Indigenous writers in a spirit of commonality that stems from being colonised by others and by their own fellow countrymen.
Least to say the talks were enthralling, engaging and unlike the many seminars/talks I’ve been to, these weren’t sedate at all. Passionate and political minds were meeting to discuss how the knowledge of indigenous peoples both in India and in Australia can be, for the lack of a better term, used to further the understanding, respect and acceptance of indigenous and tribal peoples in both countries through future creative collaborations, perhaps. The word translation came up a lot.
Now, these writers from India did not all have English as their first language, but the spirit with which they embraced this minor obstacle was both humbling and reflective of the efforts artists and creatives will go to in order to bridge gaps and forge new relationships. Everyone wanted to be heard, everyone wanted to be understood, everyone wanted to be accepted ~ and that’s exactly what happened (or at least, Im hoping everyone tried to make that happen).
Tomorrow is day 2, and it promises to be as exciting as today. We kick the day off with my favourite topic: women in literature. This time P Sivakami (an author I have read at uni) will be part of a panel which will discuss women in Dalit literature. There will also be a discussion on ‘New Directions’ apart from the many others.
I hope to do a a detailed post about each session. But for now, this.