Festival of Ideas and Resistance, Calicut: Irfan Ahmad, Sanna Irshad Mattoo among speakers

Irfan Ahmed (left) and Sanna Irshad Mattoo

Political anthropologist Irfan Ahmad, Telugu story writer and poet Shaik Yousuf Baba, who writes under the name Skybaaba, Kashmiri documentary photographer, journalist, and artist Sanna Irshad Mattoo,  acclaimed writer and women’s rights activist Susie Tharu, Jamathe Islami Hind General Secretary T.Arifali and Malayalam filmmakers Muhsin Parary, Zakariya Muhammed and Leela Santhosh feature on Festival of ideas and Resistance’s list of 100 speakers.

Aysha Renna, Ladeeda Farzana and Shaheen Abdulla, the students of Jamia Millia Islamia who became the brave faces of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act movement, will also join festival in its inaugural ceremony. Ayisha and Ladeeda are being hailed across India for their defiant bravery after a video went viral on social media, showing them confronting policemen to save their friend journalist Shaheen Abdulla during a protest in capital New Delhi. They were among the thousands of people agitating against the controversial Citizenship Act and their picture has become representative of the struggle against the Citizenship Act.

The festival organized by Students Islamic Organization (SIO) Kerala and Campus Alive, in its first edition, is expected to see participation by over 100 authors, thinkers, artists and culture icons, with a special focus on ‘troubling thoughts and discourses in the realm of Knowledge, Politics and Aesthetics’.

It will be held from December 27-29 2019 at the Aspin Courtyards in Kozhikode.

“The event marks the presence of many who are disdained from the mainstream despite their immense contribution to the domain of knowledge politics and social justice,” Shiyas Perumathura who is the director of festival says.

Different topics around knowledge, theory, politics, aesthetics, art and literature will be discussed at the festival.

Six half-day interactive workshops which will be led by eminent scholars from Indian and international universities focus the topics like: Democracy and Critique: Reflections from Political Anthropology, Who Wants Theory, Science, Society and Democracy, Genealogy of Modern and Primitive, Language and Regional Discourses and  Kerala Muslim Modernity: Issues and Debates.

Several art-cultural-educational-media and industrial ventures collaborate with the festival to feature art exhibitions, expos and cultural events.

The festival’s speakers list also includes a vastly diverse mix of scholars, activists, columnists, journalists, broadcasters and poets like transgender activist and founder of Trans Rights Now Collective Grace Banu, historian and author Bhangya Bhukya, Delhi University professor Hany Babu M.T, Delhi University Assistant professor Jenny Rowena, English and Foreign Languages University faculty Sherin B.S, writer and film maker Jyoti Nisha who directs a feature length documentary on B.R Ambedkar, prominent social critiques in Kerala and Dalit thinkers K.K Kochu and K.K Baburaj and JNU research scholars Heba Ahmed and Ummul Fayiza.

Kashmiri actor and rapper Mu’azzam Bhat, rapper and student activist Sumeet Samos, also known as “Turuk, Da-Lit boy”, The Nagore Boys- Abdul Ghani, Ajah Maideen and Saabrumaideen Babha Sabeer- the three devotional singers from little town of Nagore in Tamil Nadu, Malabar’s famous musicians, Ghazal-Khawali singers, Sameer Binsi and Imam Majboor and Mehfil-e-Sama’a which is a Delhi based Sufi-Hindustani classical music ensemble are set to perform at the festival.

The presence of artists and more than 50 art installations at Festival of ideas and Resistance will confirm a platform for artists from conflict-prone and India’s marginalized societies.

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