GHAG celebrates 21 years

Like its hallmark Fontainhas Festival of the Arts in the heritage neighbourhood in Panaji, this celebration also showcased artists working in Goa, musicians, young talent and, for the first time ever, oviyos or songs sung at the grinding stone performed by members of the Catholic Gavda community from Quepem.

The celebration included a book release of the title OUTDOOR MUSEUMS OF GOA by well-known ethnologist Pantaleao Fernandes. The book will be released by Fr Dr Bolmax Pereira, also known for his activism in the area of environment and ecology, who said that “preserving our heritage is important part of our lives”.

There were 40 artists participating at the celebration. The artists had been selected from a wide range of water colourists, figurative artists and artists that specialize in architectural renderings. Veteran artists like Mohan Naik and Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwal also exhibited their works in the company of other experienced artists like Kausalya and Ramdas Gadekar and Nirupa Naik. The event was also a platform for young and upcoming talent, as has been its tradition. At the end of the show, artist Sonia presented her work titled THE TWINS to the Group in honour of the Group’s endeavours in preserving our heritage.

Veteran writer Vivek Menezes, editor of the GHAG’s flagship journal PARMAL made a brief presentation on the forthcoming issue of Parmal which has Music in Goa as its theme. There was a video installation by artist and curator Miriam Koshy Sukhija on the Mollem issue titled MAA TREE KA. GHAG will also launched this website on the occasion.
Following a ban on speaking or singing in Goa’s native language Konkani in 1684 by the erstwhile Portuguese government, oviyos, or songs sung at the grinding stone in Konkani went underground. For the first time, however, these songs were show cased at this celebration. Amelia Dias and her group from the Christian Gawda community performed these songs for the gathering. There were many Q & A’s and a great deal of interest. The performance culminated with an oviyo rendering by GHAG Life Member Anju Sakhardande with Life Member Tejas Pandit playing the traditional ghumott.

The programme featured musician Shaistah Thapar and other outstanding solo performers and closed with fusion music performed by Yogesh Hirve and Carlos. Founder Members Heta Pandit, Poonam Verma Mascarenhas and Raya Shankhwalker circulated amongst the 350 guests present at the occasion. The whole event was put together by Hon Treasurer Alinto Coelho, Hon Treasurer Cezar Pinto assisted by Art Events Facilitator Hari. All the still photos for the event were taken by Shankar Nadkarni and live video recording by LIVE NEWS GOA.

Venue courtesy: Sadhana Dell Arte, Merces village, Goa.