Please consider supporting the Kriti Festival of South Asian Arts and Literature — it’s so important to have these dedicated spaces in which writers and artists of color can share their work with a wider community. We’re hoping to raise $3000 by Monday, August 11th — that’s just 18 days!
Registration rates go up on August 1st! — http://desilit.org/kriti/register/
Three more of our wonderful panelists!
Vinita Agrawal is a Mumbai based, award winning writer and poet. Her poems have been published in Asiancha, Constellations, The Fox Chase Review, Spark, Open Road Review, The Taj Mahal Review, CLRI, SAARC Anthologies, Kritya.org, Touch – The Journal of healing, Museindia, Everydaypoets.com, Mahmag World Literature, The Criterion, The Brown Critique, Contemporary Literary Review of India (CLRI), Twenty20journal.com, Sketchbook, Poetry 24, Mandala, Spark and have found place in several international anthologies.
Her poem was nominated for the Best of the Net Awards 2011 by CLRI. She received a prize from MuseIndia in 2010. Her poem was awarded a prize in the Wordweavers Contest 2013 and the First prize in the Feb 2014 Hour of Writes Contest. Her debut collection – Words Not Spoken – published by Brown Critique/Sampark was released in November 2013.
She can be reached at www.vinitawords.com
Anjali Mitter Duva is a writer who grew up in France and has family roots in Calcutta, India. She was educated at Brown University and MIT. Her first novel,Faint Promise of Rain, is due out with She Writes Press in October 2014. She is a co-founder of Chhandika, an organization that teaches and presents India’s classical storytelling kathak dance. Anjali lives near Boston with her husband and two daughters, and is at work on her second novel, set in 19th century Lucknow.
Fawzia Mirza is an actor, writer, and educator and has performed at theatres all over Chicago, most recently starring in Brahman/i produced by Silk Road Rising and About Face Theatres. She’s been featured in Chicago Fire, and a number of indie films. She writes and produces short films (The Queen of My Dreams & One Night Stand) and web series, most notably, Kam Kardashian. Her ‘day job’ has her touring yearlong to universities and military installations performing Sex Signals, the most popular sexual violence prevention show in the world. http://fawziamirza.com/
Call for University of Illinois at Chicago South Asian / Diaspora Photography Submissions (Students/Faculty/Staff/Alumni)
Deadline: Monday, August 4, 5 p.m.
DesiLit’s Kriti Festival, in partnership with UIC’s Asian American Resource and Cultural Center, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies; Campus Programs, and the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute (SAAPRI), invite your photographic contributions to a collaborative exhibition, to be held in the Ward Gallery in Student Center East.
We welcome submissions of your own or family photos featuring South Asians and their families/communities, to be presented in conversation with informative panels from the Smithsonian’s Beyond Bollywood exhibit and SAAPRI. Both contemporary and older photos are welcome; we’re especially interested in seeing images from earlier years of South Asian presence in Chicago.
Possible topics include:
· Culture and Identities
· Immigration & Citizenship
· Youth & Youth Cultures
· Community Organizing
· Chicago and or Community neighborhoods
· Arts and Literature, including dance, music and theater
· Religion and Spirituality
Media: Please send in up to 5 digital images (in .jpg format) for consideration; if you need help scanning photos in, AARCC has a scanner that you may use. Many libraries can also help with scanning. When submitting, smaller images are welcome (maximum 500K file size per image).
Work Size: The final work, once accepted, should be high res images (300 dpi), suitable for printing. Larger images are welcome, to maximize potential printing size.
Entry requirements: This exhibit is open to UIC students / alumni / faculty / staff.
Exhibit Run: August 25-October 30, 2014; reception on September 25
Entries Due: August 4, 2014, 5 p.m. by e-mail
Selection Process: By a committee consisting of UIC faculty and staff; we will review the week of August 4
Notification: By August 8, we will notify all submitters by e-mail
Accepted Work: If accepted, UIC will install and print images; students will be able to pick up work after November 1
Reception: Thursday, September 25, from 4-6 p.m.
Sales: No artwork will be offered for sale
Submit to: Neha Kumar, Festival Assistant Director, email@example.com; In e-mail subject line, please put – “Kriti Exhibit Submission”
Contact with questions: Dr. Mary Anne Mohanraj, Festival Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re thrilled to announce that Nura Maznavi, co-editor of Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love, will be joining us for the festival!
Nura Maznavi is an attorney, writer, and Fulbright Scholar. She has worked with migrant workers in Sri Lanka, on behalf of prisoners in California, and with a national legal advocacy organization leading a program to end racial and religious profiling. Nura is the co-editor of the groundbreaking anthologies “Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women” and “Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy.” She is an alumna of VONA/Voices of Our Nations writers’ workshop. She lives in Chicago.
Three more of our fabulous panelists!
Vidhu Aggarwal grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and Sugar Land Texas, and currently lives and teaches in central Florida. Her poetry and video are a mash-up of cultural forms such as Bollywood, Star Trek, video games, internet porn, anime, minstrel shows, and tourist attractions.
Her poems can be found in Sugar House Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Juked, Nimrod, PANK, desi-lit, and interlope among others. Readings and videos are available at the website www.vidhu-aggarwal.squarespace.com
She is the found editor of SPECS, a journal of arts and culture with issues on Toys, The Perverse, and Homuncular Flexibility — www.specsjournal.org.
Sonali Dev’s first literary work was a play about mistaken identities performed at her neighborhood Diwali extravaganza in Mumbai. She was eight years old. Despite this early success, Sonali spent the next few decades getting degrees in architecture and written communication, working as Assistant Editor at The Indian Architect and Builder and blogging for sulekha.com and rediff.com.
With the advent of her first gray hair her mad love for telling stories returned full force and she combined it with her love of Bollywood films and her outrage at archaic social customs to conjure up her debut novel, A Bollywood Affair, which was a 2013 finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest. Sonali believes that the modern face of the romance genre is the perfect feminist platform- stories of women, by women, for women, and she is excited to bring diversity and social awareness to it while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after.
Arvind Venugopal is a trained Carnatic vocalist from Chennai, India. Carnatic music from South India is one of the oldest systems of music in the world. For almost a decade, Arvind trained at Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha under the guidance of two gurus, the late Sri Gopalakrishna Sarma and Sri Ranganathan Sarma. Arvind grew up in a musically gifted family where music permeates daily life. His mother has dual degrees in Classical Hindustani and Carnatic Music, his father is a learned classical music connoisseur, and his extended family fills family gatherings with melodious ragas.
Arvind believes that the beauty of music is that it is fundamentally universal and simplistic. Like his transcontinental life across America and India, he believes that the fusion of different genres of music across East and West is a symbol of our shared worlds. With his roots in classical music theory, Arvind experiments with multiple instruments and music apps on his tablet – creating unique hybrid sounds that serve as his inspiration.
Nayomi Munaweera is a Sri Lankan-American author. Her debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, was initially published in South Asia in 2013. It was long-listed for the Man Asia Literary Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Prize. It won the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia and was short listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. It will be released in the on September 2nd 2014 by St. Martin’s Press. She is currently at work on her second novel and lives in Oakland, California.
Riti Sachdeva is a theatre maker, dancer, and cultural worker. She is a 2014-16 Women’s Project Theatre Lab fellow and an alumnus of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater. Her plays have been developed by The Civilians, The Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, The Minneapolis PlayWrights Center, and the National New Play Network. Her play, Parts of Parts & Stitches, received the Kennedy Center’s Quest for Peace award and a world premiere in NYC produced by Manhattan Theatre Works. Riti is a devoted student of flamenco and is primary instigator at midNites cHiLd Productions (http://www.facebook.com/midniteschild)
Ankur Thakkar is the City of Chicago’s first Digital Director and a Fiction Editor for
TriQuarterly Magazine. His writing has previously appeared in Guernica, TriQuarterly, and as
part of the 2014 Twitter Fiction Festival. He has an MFA in creative writing from Northwestern
University and is writing his first novel.