Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh graces the stage of the Faiz Festival 2024

Dr Swarnamalya Ganesh, Assistant Professor of Practice, SIAS, Krea University has been invited as the First South Indian artiste to grace the stage of the Faiz Festival 2024, held on 9-11 February, 2024. 

Dr Ganesh had the honour of delivering remarks at the festival’s opening ceremony, alongside Salima Hashmi, daughter of Faiz Saab, and other esteemed Pakistani dignitaries. Her performance took place in a packed hall at the Alhamra Arts Center, SADIR – Beyond Borders. Over the course of 90 minutes, she presented a diverse repertoire in Deccani, Urdu, Telugu, drawing from her extensive research in multicultural histories of performance. Through song, dance, and spoken word, she emphasised the role of the arts as a means of fostering dialogue – a crucial endeavour, particularly in light of the failure of politicians to bridge divides, which only serves to exacerbate partisan tensions and religious animosity. The evening concluded with a rendition of Hum Dekhenge, Faiz Saab’s poetry of hope, resilience and revolution, translated by the theatre director Mangai and sung by Anjana and Bindumalini. 

“I told the audience, how in the chalice of my heart, I have long nestled a longing to see them – Lahore! The performance moved me and every one in the 400 odd packed hall to tears. We all shared our tears of loss and hope through the arts,” remarks Dr Ganesh. “To be an artiste is to be able to connect with the world. Going to Lahore and Pakistan showed me how the heart can ache when happiness and togetherness is ‘so near, yet so far’. I crossed the border by foot at Wagah-Attari, and that by itself is an experience worth sharing with our Krea community, not to mention the amazing people I met in Pakistani, their culture and sense for our combined history. A look at us from the outside, is a reality check, indeed.”

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