The Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) was inaugurated on January 19, 2023, at Laran Lawns of the International Centre Goa (ICG) in Dona Paula.
Welcomed by smiling faces at the registration desk, the evening began on a warm note as the beautiful sun set, and golden hour was immediately substituted by the series of lights that hugged the trees on the lawn at ICG.
The inaugural was hosted by short story writer, José Lourenço, whose voice livened up the evening.
Sitting in the perfect setting, the audience listened with keen ears and smiling faces to stories and experiences of some of the best literary and intellectuals that have rightfully earned the seat on stage at the function.
“The International Center Goa is a nurturing space for art, writers, the abled and oppressed, visitors, and travelers. It is this place that nurtured and brought GALF to life, along with the Goa Writers Group,” said Lourenço.
Chief executive of ICG, Dr Pushkar, welcomed the attendees for the festival.
“The 11th edition of GALF is unique because it is a comeback edition. We hope it will remain the only comeback edition. What is really significant from our point of view is that GALF has survived the pandemic, and for that ICG, and president of ICG, Yatin Kakodkar, must take credit. It is he, who has shouldered all the responsibility of raising all the funds to organise GALF,” he said.
The ceremony witnessed keynote addresses from military hero and writer, Major General Ian Cardozo (Retd) and Nobel Prize winning economist Abhijit Banerjee, which was followed by the unveiling of the GALF artwork by Goan artist Nirupa Naik.
Major Ian Cardozo had the crowd in awe as he reminisced about the Goa that is etched in his memory, While Abhijit Banerjee shared his insight on poverty, mental health and other economic affairs.
Organised by the International Centre Goa (ICG) in association with the Goa Writers Group and substantial support from the Department of Tourism and the Department of Art and Culture, Government of Goa, the festival has been curated by Jnanpith awardee, Damodar Mauzo (bhai) and city-based journalist, Vivek Menezes.
“GALF was started 13 years ago. It is beautiful, I’m trying to take in as much as possible today. Major Cardozo has never been invited to Goa to be celebrated as a Goan hero, GALF is the first to do so and I feel humbled. What is happening today with these kinds of distinguished delegates that have assembled from so many places was actually kind of impossible to imagine when bhai and I started to conceive of this along with ICG,” shared Vivek.