Mumbai’s famous Kala Ghoda Festival 2018 is back this year with its new edition of all-new green.
Green is the new black!
Established in 1998 with an idea to maintain and persevere the heritage and art of the maximum city- Mumbai, the Kala Ghoda Festival this year draws one and all to the magnificence of mother nature. The central theme, ‘Hara Ghoda’ has been realized using sculptures and installations that go around the Kala Ghoda statue in the Kala Ghoda precinct of Mumbai.
The Kala Ghoda festival, like always has not let foodies down. There is a sumptuous spread that awaits all Mumbai foodies. Asked when how the central theme of ‘Hara Ghoda’ goes along with the food, a volunteer is quick to explain, “We want to emphasize on mindful eating. People need to be made aware of focusing on the local produce and reduce the waste from the kitchen.” The foodies surely have a relishing menu with the workshops by chef Thomas Zacharias (of The Bombay Canteen) on cooking with lesser-known Indian vegetables; author and food consultant Saee Khandekar’s showcase of modern Maharashtrian dishes; and chef Sandeep Sreedharan’s demo of vegetarian delicacies from India’s west coast. There are also sessions on discovering the sustainable cooking practices, using or rather, reusing leftovers. Chef-mixologist Arina Suchde will focus on making use of discarded parts of vegetables, like carrot skins and broccoli stems
The famous Rampart Row, similar to each year of the Kala Ghoda festival will be a delight for the shoppers. Under the theme, Springtime, one will find some 70 plus stalls from the artisans and the entrepreneurs from Mumbai, Pune, Mysore, Manipur and West Bengal. One should also not miss the stalls selling Thanjavur paintings, ‘herbal jewelry’, trendy upcycled footwear and organic soaps and jams.
Amongst the other iconic specimens on the Rampart Row stands a new Ambassador installation. One Hetal Shukla is a regular at the Kala Ghoda Festival every year. The Ambassador is his way of paying tribute to the once upon a time favorite car. This year, the car is half covered with foliage and the rest with army fatigue material. The arrangement asks a question, “Are we doing enough to conserve nature?”
Over 50 installations are spread across Rampart Row. Artists through their works have commented on the win of concrete over greenery as the skyscrapers pile up on each other. This artwork will take the shape of a giant tree, its branches heavy with terracotta houses of all types — jhuggis, chawls, flats, and skyscrapers, to reflect the burden of too many people on too little space, and the strain this puts on the city’s remaining greenery. The memory pillar designed is a reflection of the objects most commonly found near trees in the city — including idols, photographs, books, lamps and discarded items.
Geeta Castelino, a member of the Kala Ghoda Festival Committee, shares the idea behind the theme. “Every year we meet in July to discuss the theme of the festival. With the growing concrete and the rise of sustainability issues, it was collectively decided that the theme for this year will be based on nature and green. Our aim is to focus on the conservation of – earth, water, fire, air and ether, the five elements of nature. In November the forms of the stalls and the participants were flown and each participant had to display a sample of his art during the selection process.”
She further adds, “Each workshop is assigned to a curator who has to work on designing the workshop to make it a success. The film screening is another part of the fest and we try to bring the best of films that have been released during the year. They include films from various languages and even foreign films.
Featuring artwork by architecture and fine art student groups, one can expect to see everything from an interpretative installation of a tree to interactive pieces, and for the first time, a universally accessible location map. The Kala Ghoda Art festival 2018 is on from 3rd February till 11th February.