The Making of m.i.l.a.p.
With the Manipal International Literature and Arts Platform (m.i.l.a.p.) kick-starting on the 15th of September, The Manipal Journal got in touch with a few members of the organising committee to uncover how the very first international literary fest of Manipal came into being.
Dr H Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor of Manipal University, introduced the idea at an editorial board meeting of the Manipal University Press. “Art appreciation programmes and a University Press already exist, and the management of the Yakshagana Kendra is also under the Manipal University. The Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities (MCPH) also houses the Hebbar Art Gallery. A Literature and Arts festival would ensure that all of these aspects come together provide a platform for these to be promoted,” said Dr H Vinod Bhat.
The fest looks toward promoting the arts and its scope in the student town of Manipal. “MU is culturally diverse in terms of the varied courses it offers and the students that hail from various ethnicities. This brings out a whole new potential for expression through literature and arts. The fest is an opportunity to exhibit the emerging interest in Humanities and social sciences among the students across colleges,” said Srinivasan Acharya, a member of the organising committee.
To start planning the literary fest, the members first needed to venture out to other fests across the country to gain insight into the processes involved. The research began with a few members of the team scouting the Bangalore, Jaipur and Delhi lit-fests along with Sahitha Sambhrama at Dharwad. Soon, a team of 25 university officials sat together to brainstorm ideas and possible resource persons to approach.
“Initially we were only receiving rejections and for a while it was disappointing but after a point in time, we started receiving emails from the resources without having to approach them. Even certain people who had declined earlier got back to us saying their schedules had cleared up. We now have around 45 resource persons coming down for the event,” said Neeta Inamdar, co-ordinator of m.i.l.a.p. The fest was expected to be a small event with just a literary meet and a translation workshop but now has multiple events and focuses running parallel.
Multiple programs have been lined up for the three-day fest. However, the translation workshop is the focus for the fest. Apart from the regular activities, m.i.l.a.p. has also organised youth events to provide a platform for the talents of the student community.
To reach out to the students who aren’t going to be present physically, certain events like the Street plays will be displayed on the digital boards at the edu building as well as the one in MIT. “We do have a locational disadvantage with the fest being hosted at a corner of the town that students from MIT and KMC don’t usually go to. The boards will help disseminate the events to the students,’ said Dr. Bhat.
The only regret, according to the team, is that they were unable to include an event for Children’s literature. From the subsequent years, the literature fest will adhere to a single theme with all of its elements, the film screenings, the talks, etc. based on the same lines.
Edited by Soumyait Saha
The Manipal Journal is the official media partner for MILAP, Manipal’s first literary and art platform, to be conducted on 15, 16 and 17 September 2017.