Collection of Goan exhibits and events at the Serendipity Arts Festival is worth a viewing!

Mandovi River is set to host the first edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF), taking place from December 16 to 23. It has 40 commissioned projects ranging in fields of Performing, Culinary and Visual Arts. The festival has been curated by 14 prominent personalities from these three fields. Few projects at the festival are based on Goa. They provide a rare insight into the Goan way of life and history.

Spread across eight locations in Panjim, the festival marks the opening of the Adil Shah’s Palace (the Old Secretariat) as a museum to the general public.

What to expect at the Serendipity Arts Festival?

‘Rather than just being a showcase of great Indian art, this festival is a cultural experiment that hopes to, over time, affect the way Indians interact with art on a daily basis by addressing issues such as arts, education, patronage culture, interdisciplinary discourse and accessibility of the arts. An intensive, exciting program of exhibitions and performances spanning music, dance, theatre, visual arts, and culinary arts will be augmented by spaces for social and educational engagement’ – (source- the official website of the event)


The eight venues of the event

The venues for Serendipity Arts Festival along the banks of the River Mandovi include heritage sites, giving participants glimpses of Goa’s colonial history.

1)  Adil Shah Palace

2) Jardim Garcia d’Orta

3) The Mandovi Promenade

4) Old GMC Complex & Courtyard

5) Kala Academy

6) Bandodkar Ground

7) SAG Ground

8) Delhi art gallery

List of Serendipity Arts Festival projects based on Goa:

‘Edge Of Faith’ –

is an exhibition of black and white photographs that capture the Catholic community of Goa. Through the pictures Prabuddha Dasgupta showcases the cultural dilemma faced by them after being liberated from 450 years of Portuguese rule in 1961.

Days- all, venue – Adil Shah palace, timmings – 10 Am to 8 PM

‘Old Homes, New Homelands’ –

Pictures from the private collection of Arminio Rebiero will be on display. The pictures encapsulate the Goan diaspora. He had collected these pictures from the late 19th century and through the 20th century.

Days- all, venue – Adil Shah palace, timmings – 10 Am to 8 PM

‘In Memory Of…’ –

The exhibition displays photographs by Goa’s leading photo journalist Rajtilak Naik. There are no better words to describe the exhibition then his own,

“… when I began photographing the Remembrance Walls in Goan homes I realized how each person / family, poor or rich, city-dweller or villager, irrespective of religion, all imparted their own identity to these ‘inanimate’ walls. These walls are actually portraits of the people who live in these homes – This is who they are!” (Source: Official website of the event)

Days- all, venue – Adil Shah palace, timmings – 10 Am to 8 PM

‘The Way We Were’ –

‘Souza&Paul’ is a popular photo studio that opened in the late 19th century. They have documented Goa, its people and their way of life through their photographs. The pictures in this exhibition were originally clicked and owned by Souza&Paul but later became a part of private and government collections. The Photographs at the exhibition are from the collection of the Goa State Library, John Menezes, Arminio S. Ribeiro and Goa Central Library.

Days- all, venue – Adil Shah palace, timmings – 10 Am to 8 PM

‘Goa Archetypes’ –

‘Somewhere in the Goan psyche we have Archetypal figures of who we were as a race, as a culture. Strictly speaking, figures such as the ‘Bhatkar’ (Landlord), the ‘Sasumai’ (Mother-in-law), the ‘Neustakan’ (Fisherwoman) and many more are not archetypes, but archetypal images which have crystallized out of the archetypes. The images are objective, but universal.’ (Source: Official website of the event). Alex Fernandes captures two tiatristes through his camera lens playing multiple role.

Days- all, venue – Kala Academy, timmings – all day

‘Ten Histories: Goan Costume’ –

“This collection is an attempt to reveal Goan histories pertaining to costume. But it is also a door to open a dialogue with the viewer.” (Source: The Navhind Times)

Days- Opens on December 16, venue – Adil Shah palace, timmings – Not mentioned

‘Latin Connection –

A musical evening in collaboration with Colin D’Cruz’ – The band will perform popular Portuguese and Konkani songs. Four dancers will perform side by side to the band to three Konkani songs making the experience a rich one for the audience.

Day- December 16,  venue – Bandodkar ground, timmings – 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM

‘Jazz Junction’ –

It is a project by Colin D’Cruz and over the past twelve years, it has featured visiting talents from various foreign countries. For the Serendipity Arts Festival, the band will have Oleg Kasper on saxophone, he is visiting from Russia, Marina Xavier on vocals, She is visiting from Singapore, Jason Quadros on keyboards, Colin D’Cruz on bass and Clifford Siqueira on drums. (Latter three are established Goan jazz musicians).

Day- December 17,  venue – Jardim Garcia D’Orta, timmings – 6 PM to 8 PM

‘Young Stars’ –

A project by Colin D’cruz. It is aimed to provide exposure to the most talented youngsters from Goa. The talented youngsters will be backed by a professional band to entertain the delegates of the Serendipity Art Festival.

Day- December 19,  venue – Jardim Garcia D’Orta, timmings – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

‘Lembranca Appreciating Goa’s Cheerful Spirit By Jeffrey Manuel’ –

It is a food and bevarages workshop.’The world’s first Fennylier takes you through a Fenny journey of body, mind & soul’ (Source: Official website of the event)

Day- December 16, 17, 18, 19,  venue – Jardim Garcia D’Orta, timmings – 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Serendipity Arts Festival is a very good opportunity to explore the three fields and increase the understanding of them. There is a lot to learn from this festival. It is a well conceived event with something to offer everybody. For additional information please visit the festival’s official website,

Written by Shailesh Shriram Tanpure

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