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A Pioneering Festival for an Immersive Experience!

Updated: Sep 28, 2019

For the first time ever, Art Forum SF and the Montalvo Arts Center, in collaboration with the UC Berkeley Institute of South Asian Studies brings to you one of the largest South Asian Literature & Art Festival (SALA) in Saratoga, California. The festival shall mark the confluence of highly acclaimed artists, writers, filmmakers, and various creative individuals, having association with the South Asian regions, at the historic and picturesque sight of the Montalvo Arts Centre, US; thereby providing an intellectual and, geographic and historic merging ground.

The process of selecting these practitioners has been crucial, as one had to keep in mind the need of portraying and justifiably presenting the contemporary practices and the constantly evolving culture, over slipping into mere tokenism. To name a few writers and poets, Vikram Chandra, Vikramaditya Motwane, Varun Grover, Shanthi Sekaran, Minal Hazratwala, Athena Kashyap, Tanu Wakefield, Siddharth Dube, Raghu Karnad, Nayomi Munaweera, Mitali Perkin, Naheed Hasant Senzai and Moazzam Sheikh, director Anurag Kashyap, actor and artist Deepti Naval, individuals from the field of contemporary art – artist, Rekha Rodwittiya, and Dipti Mathur and Priyanka Mathew, from the contemporary players in the art market infrastructure, would provide their insights on their field of expertise. A glance through the list of the speakers, moderators, participants and the partnering organizations, gives an idea of the entire array of fields and proficiencies associated with them. Most of whom, play multiple roles, from being independent practitioners, academicians, activists, entrepreneurs, etc. Listening to them present their works, through discussions and dialogues, along with the public participations, will certainly be a rare experience, especially first-hand. The panel discussions have been designed in such a way, that the plurality of the practices of the individual speakers shall complement to add different perspectives in reading and understanding their works. Further, erasing a possible opacity, and making the discussions intriguing for the audience.

Montalvo Arts Center, The Historic Villa

For ArtForum SF and Montalvo Arts Center, it is a matter of prestige, to curate the festival, which shall address the notion of the South Asian culture, not in an assumed emblematic way, but through its contemporary ethos. Along with the discussions and public interactions, a gamut of activities has been planned, considering the possible varying interests of the audience. Ambika Sahay, Director Art ForumSF states that, "The South Asian Literature and Art Festival is a wonderful platform to showcase the rich and diverse ‘contemporary’ work coming from the South Asian diaspora. There is a plethora of award winning work in both literature and art, which usually goes unnoticed but a festival like this raises the profile of such work. We would really encourage you to come and experience this array of contemporary work at Montalvo Arts Centre.”

The festival shall offer a unique experience not just for established professionals but also for the emerging professionals and the young minds. Therefore, along with the presentations and discussions there shall be - children’s hands-on craft activities, writing programs, South Asian food stalls, and art-related exhibitors, dance performances, all to suit individuals of varying tastes, interests and ages. Assuring, a holistic experience for those who step in the beautiful Montalvo Arts Center, and submerge oneself in the pulsating atmosphere of the festival.

For program schedule, all current updates, artist bios, tickets and other literary and art exhibits, please visit:

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Our subsequent blog posts shall introduce the highly acclaimed artists, writers, filmmakers, and various creative individuals, who would be speaking at the South Asian Literature and Art Festivals.

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