Confluence Festival of India in Australia was officially launched on Tuesday 26 July, at the Maritime Museum in Sydney. The festival is the most significant showcase of Indian arts and culture ever to be staged in Australia, taking place in seven cities across the country between August and November 2016.
The national media launch was a phenomenal success with over two hundred guests in attendance, including media and government representatives from both countries. The launch provided a teaser of what is to come when the first show kicks off on 15 August in Melbourne, which happens to coincide with the 70th Indian Independence Day celebrations. One of the festival’s key components, fostering bilateral ties, with joint performances and collaborations between Indian and Australian artists and thinkers was addressed by Paul Myler, Assistant Secretary, India & Indian Ocean Branch, DFAT on the night. Kevin Sumption, Director and CEO Maritime Museum provided the host welcome.
“I would like to thank the Indian Government and all the artists from India who have brought this showcase of Indian culture to Australia on such a grand scale. The Australian Government is proud to support the festival and looks forward to its success over the coming months, in cities across Australia. In particular, the Government is pleased that the festival features joint performances and collaborations between Indian and Australian artists and thinkers. I hope the Festival of India will help to foster closer ties between our nations.” Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for the Arts.
The website drew attention to the festival highlights, which include theatre performed through life-sized puppets, an Indian take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, an exhibition on the philosophy of Gandhi – the global icon of equality, nonviolence and peace, a musician who blends rock with Indian folk and a 5000 strong Bollywood flash mob on the Opera House forecourt. Events are scheduled in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
“Confluence represents a meeting point – of arts and artistes, of ideas and ideals, of cultures and civilisations. Like the waters of two rivers, they meet, share and imbibe from each other. That’s the focus of our festival, of the collaborations that it strives to promote.” said Navdeep Suri, the High Commissioner of India in Australia.
A special festival support message was provided by Australian High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu and Shri Narenda Kumar Sinha, Secretary Culture, Ministry of Culture from India through a video link on the night.