Research on Cultural Trails

The 18th SAARC Summit held in November 2014 in Kathmandu proposed to create a SAARC Heritage List with the Operational Guidelines and to develop cultural trails linking major Buddhist historical sites in the Region.  The “South Asian Cultural Trails” was approved at the 18th Summit of the SAARC.  commencing with Buddhist Cultural Trails for 2017 and planning to develop cultural trails linking the holy sites of Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and other major religions of South Asia in the future.

The SAARC Region is bound together through the shared cultural traits which has evolved through the centuries.  Buddhism is one of the shared cultural characteristics in the region, with the art and architecture portraying “unity within diversity” in the evolving styles and the embracing of new characteristics through the ages.  This diversity was a result of the trading routes combining east and west Asia, South and Central Asia, disseminating merchandize, knowledge, concepts, designs, religions, technology and other sundry of objects and ideas.  It is the transfer of ideas which resulted in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and other religious ideas as well as art and architecture associated with these different ideologies changing the cultures.  The circulation of knowledge through these routes are best reflected in the use of Brahmi and Kharosthi scripts in the South Asia and beyond to Central Asia.  The ancient trade routes can no longer be called trade routes as it is the disseminated knowledge, ideas, religions and the diffusion of culture which reflect the existence of the trade routes.  These routes can be aptly named “Cultural Trails” and changed the face of cultures across borders and regions.

The “Cultural Trails” display the material culture (tangible heritage) of our ancestors, their beliefs and ideologies, their life and culture.  The Buddhist Cultural Trails (BCT) will be the first in a series of research programmes which aims at renewal of cultural ties in the modern era through a walk into the shared past of our ancestors, to work together as the custodians of a shared heritage.  This will be an opportunity for the SAARC countries to revive a dialogue about inherited space through time.  A dialogue which will address the issues of conserving and preserving the Cultural Trails on one hand and how we can utilize this space for better understanding of our past, to enhance our present and to be economically sustainable through tourism in the future on the other.

This will be the first in the series of “Cultural Trails” proposed by the 18th SAARC Summit.

SAARC Film Festival 2017 India

Since its inception in 2011, the SAARC Film Festival has been held in Sri Lanka, and with every year, has gained a reputation for promoting and featuring some of the best films from the SAARC Region.  The SAARC Cultural Centre (SCC), in keeping with its mandate of promoting culture in the region through different modes of art, will once again showcase films from the Region as expressions of culture at its forthcoming SAARC Film Festival.  This Film Festival is different from other Film Festivals, as the SAARC Member States nominate some of their art work which showcases the cinematic imagination of the SAARC Region, using the medium of Film.  A reputed panel of international judges select the best films, and several awards are presented as an incentive to continue producing quality, thought provoking and representational films for the Region.

This year in 2017, for the first time, the SAARC Film Festival will take place in India. A country reputed the world over – among other things – for being an unstoppable and dynamic force in the world of Cinema. It is an event unique to the Region and one that has caused interest and excitement amongst the people of South Asia since 2011. We now want to take it to the world, through the portal of South Asia and India specifically, and build it into a truly magnificent and international festival experience. This year in 2017, the Festival hopes to expand further, with workshops and parallel events that would enhance South Asian Cinema even more. The message of tolerance and the power of film is easily experienced through the screen with every Member State given the opportunity to screen and showcase some of their best creations and form a vibrant collage and tapestry of meaningful films from the Region. The Film Festival will focus on films first screened after May 2015, from all Member States, inviting directors of these movies to partake in workshops conducted to encourage and improve future productions.

We warmly invite you to join us as we explore the world of Film and Cinema indigenous to the SAARC Region, along with the expertise and vast experience we are privileged to receive from the host country of India.  Please send in your nominations and benefit from the exposure this magnificent event will bring to the industry, artists, vision and creativity of the directors and movie makers of each valued Member State. Most importantly, be present as we showcase a very special part of culture and art within our varying and wonderfully diverse Member States.

SAARC Artists Camp 2017 Nepal

The SAARC Cultural Centre Artists Camp creates space for artists from the Member State to gather together and put forward their creative expressions on canvass and share techniques and knowledge through the language of art.  This year the Artists Camp will be held in Nepal in partnership with the Government of Nepal, among the scenic landscape.

The Artists will once again have an opportunity to mingle and create over a period of four days on site, which will also be exhibited on the final day of the Artist Camp.  The atmosphere of interaction and friendship, cultural connectivity and cultural exchange during the Camp will contribute towards establishing long lasting partnerships in art.  The cache of being recognized within the region will increase as these paintings will be exhibited.

International Women’s Day 2017

The SAARC Cultural Centre will be celebrating International Women’s Day with an evening of cultural performance by Thuuryaa, a young all female drumming ensemble from the University of Visual and Performing Arts and honouring several iconic Sri Lankan female Artistes on 08th March 2017 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre, Colombo 07 at 7.00p.m.

Sri Lanka’s first and only female Executive President, Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and iconic and beloved Sri Lankan artists Iranganie Serasinghe, Vajira Chitrasena, Sumithra Peiris, Nanda Malini and Mary Anne David will be honoured at this celebration. These distinguished pioneers, have paved the way for future generations of women with their persistence, versatility, hard work, courage, integrity and continue to share their knowledge with grace.  They have widened the landscape of possibilities and given young girls the hope and power to dream without boundaries. It is our privilege to honour them.

The art of percussion has traditionally belonged to the domain of men. Thuuryaa brings a feminine touch and a definitive beat without boundaries, changing the face of drumming.  Embracing rhythm, creating & mixing art, their quest began within the walls of the University of the Visual and Performance Arts in Colombo, with nine talented under-graduate souls, created by Sithara, the first female percussion graduate of the University.  Embracing the essences of Kandyan, Low country & Sabaragamuwa – the tri-tradition of the Sri Lankan percussion art, they mix international percussion music to their presentation. The inspirational and innovative efforts of Thuuryaa, creates an entertaining and unique cultural performance.

This is an evening of honour, entertainment and celebration not to be missed.

Admission by Invitation Only.
Please contact Mahinda (0771053008), Yenuka (0112584451 ext 114) or Shanthini (0112584451) at the SAARC Cultural Centre for an invitation.
The programme will end at 9pm.

 

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SAARC Cultural Capital – Bangladesh – 2017

The SAARC Cultural Capital for 2016, will be a city in Bangladesh, namely Mahasthangargh, in Bogra. On the 21st of January 2017, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh will formally inaugurate, the SAARC Cultural Capital for the year 2017.

The SAARC Cultural Centre launched a programme for designating a city amongst the SAARC Member countries as the SAARC Cultural Capital for a year during which a series of year-long cultural events with a national but with an overall South Asian dimension will be organized. Last year the SAARC Cultural Capital was Bamyan, in Afghanistan. Preparing for being a SAARC CULTURAL CAPTIAL can provide an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help in fostering urban regeneration, boosting the city’s image and raising its visibility and profile on a regional and international scale.

SAARC Children’s Art Competition – to commemorate Non Violence Day

The SAARC Children’s Art Competition was held in Sri Lanka, reaching out to all schools in the island. The themes given were :

Junior Category :  “You must be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi ( Junior Category)

Senior  Category: “My religion is based on truth and non violence. Truth is my God, Non Violence is the means of realizing him” Mahatma Gandhi  (Senior Category)

Over 990 paintings were received and three winners were picked per category. The winners are:

Senior Category

1st Place
Waththe Vidanalage Nimesh Milinda Premasiri Daluwaththa
MO/ Medagama National School
Monaragala

2nd Place
Tharushi Kaveesha Manawage
R/Gankanda Centar College
Rathnapura

3rd Place
Hewagamage Dinushanka Chandimal Wijesinghe
MO/ Medagama National School
Monaragala

Honorable Mentions
Mohammed Raza
Readway INTL Collage

Gane Arachchilage Hashini Prabodha
R/Gankanda Central Collage

Varathalingam Kajeepan
J/Manipay Hindu Collage

Husain Fathima Kasiya
Strisammanthurai Muslim M.M

Balasuriyalage Himashi Amanda Kulawansha
R/ Gankanda Central Collage

W.M.S.K.G Mayuri Rasangi
AM/ Dehiattakandiya M.M.V

 

Junior Category

1st Place
Ramika Pooja Sooriyaarchchi
R/Sivali Central College
Rathnapura

2nd Place
Samarasinghe Thanasha Dinithi Manawage
Ferguson High School
Rathnapura

3rd Place
Jayasundara Namal Wishwa Bandara
President’s College
Kotte

 

Honorable Mentions
Rahma Ameer
Muslim Ladies Collage

Fathima Suha Mohamod Ziard
Muslim Ladies Collage

E.S.W Yoshan
Sussex Collage

Amarasinghage Hansana Ravisara
K/ Kalawana National School

Fathima Ruzna Ismath
Muslim Ladies Collage

Lioyd Frank
Readway International

Bentotage Oshitha Sehan
ST. Michael’s Collage

Sanuji Chamathkara Dasanayake
Royal Institute International School

Sanuji Chamathkara Dasanayake
Royal International School

Fathima Zahara Sadath
Readway International

The award ceremony will take place at the SAARC Charter Day Celebrations, which will take place on the 8th of December 2016.

SAARC Literary Festival in collaboration with the Galle Literary Festival 2017

Background
Known as home to many of the world’s best epics, stories and poems, South Asia is a region with a unique literary tradition. The region shares a common literary tradition that has developed over the years – scattered times and spaces. Ranging from oral histories to epic poems, the South Asian poetry tradition offers a rich and pulsating experience of  unique South Asianess.
The delight and influence of South Asian Literature as a catalyst that brings together diverse cultures within the region reflects a cultural confluence unsurpassed by any other region of the world. This rich and vibrant mingling needs to be appreciated and celebrated by giving due recognition to indigenous cultures and styles represented by the region so as to celebrate unity in diversity and to preserve splendid South Asian expressions that are a fundamental part of the region’s cultural ethos.

Within the period of the last two decades, we have experienced that some of the South Asian writers who write in English have won many prestigious literary awards especially from Western Countries. The SAARC Cultural Centre has organized Literary Festivals over the last five years, but it would now like to broaden its horizons and take it forward, so that not only do we celebrate writers and literature in the region, but showcase the immense talent and wealth of knowledge we have in the field of Literature to the rest of the world. The SAARC Cultural Centre proposes to collaborate and work with the  Galle Literary Festival for the benefit of poets, fiction writers and other writers of the region, which will in turn promote South Asian Literature as well as enable writers/ authors to review new trends and emerging new areas in the regional and international arena of literature.

The SAARC Cultural Centre would like to invite authors and poets from the SAARC Region to be a part of a SAARC Forum and to participate at the Galle Literary Festival which is now a well renowned and established Literary Festival in Sri Lanka. The Festival will be an open forum for writers and poets and poetry critics to discuss, debate, and analyze poetry in South Asia and to indulge in exploring its unique cultural tapestry.

The Festival
Introduction
The SAARC Cultural Centre calls upon at least 3 writers/ or poets from all SAARC Member States to be a part of the SAARC Literary Forum at the Galle Literary Festival which will take place from the 11th – 15th of January 2017.  At the forum, the SAARC Writers will be able to recite their poetry or explain/discuss their book to the audience. The nominees will also participate at the many other activities planned for the Galle Literature Festival. This Festival will provide a platform to the poets, writers, literary critics, publishers and literary enthusiasts in the region to share their thoughts, insights, voice their concerns and learn from the experts of South Asian Literature. It will also hold poetry reading sessions.

Dates And Venue
The Galle Literary Festival will be held in Galle, Sri Lanka from the 11th – 15th of January 2017. The SAARC Component of the Festival will take place from the 13th -15th of January 2016

Participation At The Festival

Official Nominees From The Member States:
The SAARC Cultural Centre invites all the Member States to send a minimum of THREE Poets or Authors

Official nominations have to be sent via the Ministry of concerned, through the Foreign/ External Affairs Ministry to SAARC Secretariat. An advance copy of the nomination may be forwarded to the SAARC Cultural Centre.

Last Date
The last date for sending in the nominations is 10 December 2016

Language
The language for the Festival would be English.

Logistic Support
The SAARC Cultural Centre would provide local hospitality (hotel accommodation on full-board basis) and local transport to all nominees of the SAARC Member States.
The airfare of the nominees of the SAARC Member States is to be borne by the respective Member State.

Development of Cultural Industries – Handicrafts

17th – 20th November 2016
Colombo – Sri Lanka
Organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre in collaboration with the National Craft Council

  • SAARC Handicraft Village
  • Design Workshop

In 2012, the SAARC Cultural Centre, focused on Traditional Handloom with an Exhibition and Design Workshop titled, “The Wheel of Life” Delhi 2012. At the Handloom Exhibition, the Centre promoted Traditional Handloom Industries of the region, by giving weavers an opportunity to exhibit their products as well as meet with potential buyers and exporters. A workshop on current trends was also organized.  With similar objectives in mind, and with an aim to promote local handicrafts, also in terms of social regeneration and social cohesion through the Handicraft Industry, the SAARC Cultural Centre, also conducted a similar programme in Bangladesh, and Nepal with the focus being on Handicrafts.  Given the success of these programmes, the centre will once again promote Handicrafts in the region, and with the aim of  developing new designs and products attractive to the demands of the new world market.  Lying at crossroads between the arts, business and technology, the creative industries sector comprises a large variety of creative fields, from those heavily industrialized such as advertising and marketing, broadcasting, film industries etc, to less industrialized – like cultural industries. This sector is increasingly important for the benefit of the people of the region, from an economic point of view, and the SAARC Member States are yet to realize its full potential. The Handicraft Exhibition and Workshops will take place in November in collaboration with the National Craft Council.

SAARC Non- Violence Day 2016

To commemorate SAARC Non Violence day 2016, the SAARC Cultural Capital will organize an Art Competition for Children on the Theme of Non Violence, all school going children will be given an opportunity to paint, thereby instilling values of non violence through the medium of art.

SAARC Cultural Capital – Bogra, Bangladesh – Inauguration

The SAARC Cultural Capital Inauguration to declare the city of Bogra as the SAARC Cultural Capital for the year 2016/ 2017, will take place on 21st of January, 2017, in Bogra, Bangaldesh. The event will be jointly organized by the SAARC Cultural Centre and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs in Bangladesh. Several cultural programmes, both locally as well as those with participation from the SAARC countries will take place during this period.