Serendipity Arts Festival 2019

Welcome to the Serendipity Arts Festival 2019, Goa’s premiere art festival


The Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 began in Goa yesterday with an exciting array of projects and interactive experiences highlighting India’s rich traditions of music, dance and theatre, alongside culinary arts, craft, and visual arts. Organized for eight days, 15 – 22 December 2019, across 12 iconic venues in Panaji, Co-Presented by Havell’s and Powered by HDFC ERGO & GMR, the festival is set to transform the city into a vibrant cultural space with multiple exhibitions, performances and immersive art experiences involving over 1500 regional and international artists.

The Goa public and culture enthusiasts visiting the city from across the world were treated to an impressive array of programming including visual arts exhibitions at Old Goa Institute of Management in Ribandar, large-scale photography and craft workshops, music performances, panel discussions, film screenings, culinary experiences, and theatre performances, held across venues.

Here are some of the highlights from the opening day.

Visual Arts

Look Outside the House
Venue: Old Goa Medical College, Panjim
Curated by Sudarshan Shetty

The exhibition highlights the need to support and nurture various indigenous approaches for the production of knowledge that sit outside the framework of mainstream institutions and bring forth the organic evolutions or trajectories of institutions that are mainly dependent on the alternate transmission of knowledge and thus, dependent on human relationships.

Image Journeys: The Conquest of the World as Picture
Venue: Adil Shah Palace, Old Secretariat, Panjim
Curated by Jyotindra Jain

This exhibition offers a critical viewing of popular Indian imagery at the turn of the twentieth century in the construction of its social and national identities. The exhibition’s underlying concept demonstrates how the printing and mass circulation of images widely influenced the nature of belief and worship in India and eventually even acted as a powerful vehicle in shaping the independence movement and the diverse ideologies of patriotism.


Imagined Documents and Urban Reimagined
Venue: Adil Shah Palace, Old Secretariat, Panjim
Curated by Ravi Agarwal

Imagined Documents explores the concept of staged photography that flits between reality and fiction, focusing on works that employ various sorts of strategies and techniques to tell a story. These could involve recreating scenes from memory, constructing elaborate sets, or telling personal encounters. Constructed sets may involve sculpted or found objects re-constructed and re-imagined as conceptual narratives.

With Urban Reimagined Ravi has curated artist Sahil Naik who has been documenting the village of Curdi and her way of life that returns for a few months before it is submerged again. And at the festival, life-photographs act almost like entry-points, portals to time lost – a memory tangible as a photograph. Naik has produced sculptures in conversation with four families to recreate that which was lost using personal archives and memory – an exercise in returning to a memory of home, as it was left yesterday.

Look, Stranger!
Venue: Old Goa Institute of Management, Ribandar
Curated by Rahaab Allana

This trans-media curatorial project at Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 draws on the aesthetic ideologies and approaches to image-making and materiality as cultivated by the Bauhaus, which celebrates 100 years in 2019, while looking at lens-based practices in South Asia. The project will travel across South Asia (and its diaspora) in search of emerging lens-based practitioners working with photography, film and new media to explore questions of community and detachment, belonging and place. Echoing the eponymous Auden poem, Look, Stranger! is an opportunity to explore evolving relationships between the self and the world through experimental forms.

Serendipity Arts Festival 2019Theatre

Sounding Vanya
Venue: The Big Black, INOX Courtyard, Old Goa Medical College, Panjim
Curated by Atul Kumar

Directed by Rehaan Engineer, Sounding Vanya is an experimental piece that reinterprets the 120-year-old classic Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov by dismantling and rebuilding it and allowing it to sound differently.

(pictured Kalki Kochelin, during rehearsals for Sounding Vanya)


Weftscapes: Jamdani across New Horizons
Venue: Adil Shah Palace, Old Secretariat, Panjim
Curated by Pramod Kumar KG

This project at the Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 examines a fresh approach to the creation and making of Jamdani fabrics, both in its weaving, choice of raw materials, patterns, designs and the end-product – a finished garment. Three inherently intertwined yet disparate stories come together for the first time in this initiative.

Kindling Change: Fired Material Design Interventions in Ceramics and Glass for Living Sustainable Craft
Venue: Old PWD Building, Panjim
Curated by Kristine Michael
Curatorial assistant: Chandrika Grover

This exhibition uncovers a hidden narrative of transnational modernism in ceramics within a national art history, which negotiates the modern with the indigenous or traditional through a vast and varied terrain of aesthetic production post-independence in India. The project discusses artistic modernism in contemporary ceramic and glass in India in response to the growing interest and global recognition of non-western craft by tracing significant threads of the genealogy and the emergence of the modern craftsman in changing social frameworks.


The Landscape of Human Emotions
Venue: The Little Red, INOX Courtyard, Old GMC, Panjim
Curated by Leela Samson

In Indian classical dance, literature, music, and dance are woven together into a beautiful tapestry of emotions. Bhava, or feeling, is an important component in dance. Even in the fifth-century poems we find these emotive songs. The poems reveal endless emotion at every level, from human to divine. They display multiple temperaments – pain and pleasure, praising and pleading, loving to scolding, and so on. These conversations can be between friends, male and female, lovers, couples, disciples and Gods.

The myriad of emotions and their rippling nuances are a feast for the artistes and the audience. The viewers at the Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 were offered a banquet of Bhavas!

Artists: Bragha Bessell, Srisudarshini , Vedakrishnaram Venkatesan , B. Muthukumar, Anantha Narayanan, and Kaushik Champakesan (vocal)

Serendipity Arts Festival 2019
Chef’s Legacy Workshop hosted by James Ferriera and Glenda Fernandez


Chef’s Legacy – James Ferriera
Venue: Old GMC, Panjim
Curated by Rahul Akerkar

James Ferreira and his cousin Glenda Fernandez demonstrated their unique breads called Fuggia and Chittiapp, along with two traditional dishes using the famous bottle masala. In this series of Legacy Workshops, Chef Rahul Akerkar has invited some of India’s brightest, young “thinking” Chefs, and food-passionate people to share their vision; to see how and where they are taking our rich legacy of cuisine, ingredients, herbs and spices, and also to introspect on what legacy they’d like to leave behind in people.


Dhun Mela
Venue: DB Grounds, Panjim
Curated by Aneesh Pradhan

Folk songs sung in different languages across India reflect the cultural diversity that has always existed in the country. These songs relate to various aspects of human existence, responding to the joys and challenges of everyday life. Whether songs marking rites of passage or work-related songs, this richly layered treasure brings to us contexts and meanings from distant regions. Dhun Mela is a folk song extravaganza bringing together groups of musicians and dancers from Goa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bengal and Manipur. Almost sixty performers will celebrate the musical and cultural diversity of India through the wealth of folk songs that she possesses. Despite the variety of song-forms and the different languages used in various regions, audiences at the Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 will experience a connection that will magically resonate their own past and present reality.

Artists: Sixty musicians from Goa, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Bengal and Manipur

This year’s Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 programming is designed to create a balance between artistic rigour and accessibility. Projects will unite artforms from different parts of the country, diluting regional divisions and encouraging cross-cultural exchange. The Serendipity Arts Festival 2019 intends to be a cultural catalyst which makes the arts accessible, inclusive and enjoyable for diverse audiences and the public.

For additional information on the festival and programme schedule, please visit