Dale Luis Menezes will present a paper titled, “Reginald Fernandes and Concanim ‘Romans’ in the Literary History of Goa” at the III Congresso Internacional do LIA – Laboratório de Interlocuções com a Ásia, on 19 October, 2017 at Casa de Portugal, São Paulo, Brazil. This presentation will be part of the Pensando Goa project, which aims to produce a literary history of Goa.
Reginald Fernandes’ writing career spans almost 40 years. This period that stretched around c 1955-1992, Fernandes wrote more than 120 novels or what in Concanim came to be known as ‘romans’ or ‘romaxeo’ (pl.). The Concanim ‘romans’ is not adequately studied, neither in the history of Konknni literature nor in the history of Goan literature. Fernandes’ writings give the impression of pulp on first glance: they were printed on cheap paper, the books were pocket-sized, the plots were formulaic and revolved around love stories, crimes, and magic realism, and the language used had a touch of the dramatic in it. Perhaps this is the reason why dominant canons of Konkani and Goan literature never seriously considered the writings of Fernandes – or indeed other writers in the genre of ‘romans’ – as legitimately constituting literature.
Fernandes’ writings not only talk about Goa, but also other places like Africa – often set in a magic realism-esque manner. The language used in Fernandes’ novels is infused with Portuguese or Portuguese-inflected words, and as such it points to larger connections across linguistic and geographical boundaries. Fernandes was inspired by pulp fiction in English – both in English pulp writings and films—which also suggests that Goan literature through the Concanim ‘romans’ had wider connections with other literary cultures. This study proposes to discuss the life and career of Fernandes and locate him in the historical context in which he produced his oeuvre.
By R. BENEDITO FERRÃO
2017, “[Book Review],” Journal of Lusophone Studies 2(1): 212-214. Download the PDF here.
In translating and compiling these 45 stories in the double volume Lengthening Shadows, editor Paul Melo e Castro showcases the legacy of the Portuguese short story from the former region of Goa Portuguesa. Held by the Portuguese between 1510 and 1961, Goa was the capital of Luso-Asia and the Estado da Índia Portuguesa. For Melo e Castro’s purposes, the anthology functions as “the autopsy of a dead literature,” focused as it is on a corpus that spans the period between 1864 and 1987 (8). After its 451-year colonization by Portugal, Goa was annexed by the Indian nation-state in 1961, a diminished literary output in Portuguese being a marker of the change in the enclave’s political identity. Even as the collection brings together a range of Portuguese stories by Goan authors, Melo e Castro’s introduction to the work dwells on the writers’ literary styles, their historical and social milieux, and links that could be made across the collection. In tying together Portuguese-language cultural production with Goa’s Portuguese identity, the edited volume looks to Goa’s past to recall its literary heritage. In this, the book is a testament, but its very publication may evidence a cultural continuity that cannot be so easily relegated to a bygone era.
By VISHVESH KANDOLKAR
2016. “Tourism’s Unsustainable Consumption of Goa.” In Sustainable Energy for All by Design: Proceeding of the LeNSes Conference, Cape Town, South Africa 28-30 September 2016
, edited by Emanuela Delfino and Carlo Vezzoli, 365–72. Cape Town: Edizioni POLI.design. Download PDF here
. To view the original see here
At once uniquely regional, yet possessing international cache, it is Goa’s Portuguese past that makes this now-Indian territory a site of consumption. Located along the western coast of the Indian subcontinent, it is not only the ‘sights’ of Goa that have been commercialized, but the very ‘site’ that has been occupied as elite India’s playground. Goa is overburdened with tourism-based real-estate development, and, the latest trend is to own a second home, catering to the needs of the elites from the urban metropoli like Bombay and Delhi. Such second homes add to the environmental concerns of the place, especially when the basic needs of housing for the locals are ignored. This paper argues that luxury second homes, even if they are certified as ‘green’, are in fact environmentally as well as socially unsustainable for a given place.
Keywords: Goa, Sustainability, Second homes, Tourism
By VISHVESH KANDOLKAR
The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa is important not only because it houses the relics of St Francis Xavier, but also because it is a critical part of Goa’s architectural history. Apart from being a religious building, constructed between 1587-97,the Basilica represents the flowering of Renaissance style architecture in Goa.
By VISHVESH KANDOLKAR
A thorny question faces a number of parishes in Goa where the congregation has outgrown the existing churches. Some are more than willing to tear down, or drastically modify, their old churches to build bigger ones. Others are horrified at such proposals and argue that these churches, like the one in Nuvem, are part of the unique architectural heritage of Goa.
By VISHVESH KANDOLKAR
A large crowd had gathered for the Western classical music concert at the remains of St. Augustine’s in Old Goa on 7th January, 2016. Was the gathering purely one whose purpose it was to witness a musical performance, or was the fact that it occurred at a historical location itself symbolic of something more? Or is it that the congregation in great numbers was a performance in itself, a gathering to assert Goan identity, which the place and the music is emblematic of.
Exploring the Islamicate in Goa, Dale Luis Menezes will make a short presentation titled, “Azulejo tiles and the Islamicate in Goa” on September 4, 2017, at 7 pm, at 6 Assagao.
The presentation will focus on the azulejo tiles used in 17th century monuments in Goa. These tiles which were originally produced by the Persians, found their way to Western Europe through the Arabs. Initially Spain and later Portugal, adopted the art of making azulejo to so great an extent that it became indigenous to these two countries. The Augustinian buildings in Goa (Nossa Senhora de Graça [Our Lady of Grace] church, along with the convent of Santa Monica) located in Old Goa are the only religious buildings known to have used such tiles for ornamentation (c. 17th century and later). The complex political geographies in which the Portuguese Estado da Índia was located consisted of many forts, ports, as well as imperial formations such as those of the Mughals, Ottomans, Safavids and so on. Officials, missionaries, and traders from Goa would often travel within these realms. Hence, one can imagine a space that was connected with each other in dynamic ways, exchanging not just goods, but also cultural artifacts. The fact that such dynamics exchanges were taking place regularly should essentially make us seek the many ways in which cultural artifacts were exchanged. One such way of doing this is to deeply explore the ‘Islamicate’, which, as Marshall G. S. Hodgson and other historians subsequently have argued, is cultural and artistic practices inspired and related to Islam, but which is not necessarily religious in nature. Thus, one can easily expect to find Islamicate art right in the middle of a Catholic church or a Hindu temple. By formulating questions and theories about the origins of the azulejo tiles used in the Augustinian buildings, and the political conditions that may have led to their transport in Goa, this presentation seeks to open up Goan history to the Islamicate.
R. Benedito Ferrão will present a paper titled ‘With this Sea-Port I thee Wed: Of Royal Dowries and Self-Makingin Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children‘ at the Oceans and Shores: Heritage, People, and Environments conference – III CHAM International conference, FCSH/Universidade Nova de Lisboa, 12-15 July, 2017.
Ferrão’s paper will examine how Rushdie’s novel, Midnight’s Children, uses the early modern history of sea-ports and maritime trade to underscore the postcolonial location of characters and their Lusophonic connections as subaltern legacies subsumed in post-British India.
In having Mary Pereira/Braganza be Goan, Midnight’s Children brings into focus the significant utility of his character’s native land in the European imperial history of South Asia. Mary Pereira evokes the figure of Goa as one of the earliest colonies and then the last foreign dominion (1510-1961) in what was to become modern day India. In adopting the Braganza moniker, the character recalls an important historical moment in the making of coloniality. The 1662 marriage of Catherine of Braganza to Charles II was orchestrated to secure the relationship between two colonial powers. Through the alliance, England received the port city of Bombay as dowry.
Further, in renaming herself after the Portuguese infanta, Mary Pereira also evokes that other Catherine. On 25 November, 1510, Afonso de Albuquerque took the port of Goa. It was the feast day of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and the Portuguese conqueror believed she had overseen his defeat of the Muslim ruler of the enclave. This conquestchanged the course of commercial relations between Europe and Asia, displacing Middle Eastern trade hegemonies. Simultaneously, the site where Saint Catherine discovered her faith – North Africa – doubly pagan and quintessentially “other” in the later Occidental imagination is also the continental location from which sprung the Moors: Muslims who once ruled over Iberia.
By centring on the iconic naming and renaming of Mary Pereira in Midnight’s Children, the paper argues that the novel uses the history of the ports of Goa and Bombay to challenge the Anglo-centrism of postcolonial thought in relation to India, especially by highlighting maritime commerce.
More information about the conference here.
Vishvesh Kandolkar and Pithamber Polsani will present a paper titled ‘The Ruination of the Inconvenient: Eroding Goa’s Intangible Heritage’ at the conference on Preserving Transcultural Heritage: Your Way or My Way, to be held at the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, from 5-8 July, 2017.
In this paper, the authors argue that the architecture of monuments is not only emblematic of the history of a place, but also the lived experience of its people. Subsequent to Goa’s annexation by India, the State’s political dispensation has continued to obscure the history of the Portuguese empire in Goa while conveniently using the heritage of the Estado period in promotion of its tourism industry. The State’s attitude to heritage conservation has been biased towards addressing only the tangible components of heritage, such as architecture, while sidelining such intangible heritage as minoritised people who also require protection.