History is not what we find in books, but is constantly deciphered from new archaeological discoveries made from time to time. In this sense the history of Goa as found and taught in school and college textbooks leaves much to be desired. To many, even educated people, Goa’s history begins with the Portuguese conquest in 1510. But prior to that, Goa had a millennial civilization from the Mesolithic Era circa 8000 BCE. Thereafter the part of Goa that was under the sea was reclaimed by building bunds and sluice gates to create the fertile rice fields known as khazans. Several dynasties, especially the Shilaharas and Kadambas, held sway over a part of West India from Govapuri, the first capital of Goa. Christianity, it is said, was forced upon Goa by the Portuguese. This is far from the truth, as Christianity was brought to Goa not only by one but two apostles of Christ -St. Thomas and St. Bartolomeu. St.Thomas passed through Goa on his way to Kerala and St. Bartolomeu started from Kalyanpur in Mangalore and died a martyr in Maharashtra. Persian traders put up Pahalavi crosses, one of which was discovered at the Gopakapattana harbour. This paper seeks to examine these and other issues of myth surrounding the heritage of the land we know today as Goa.
THE STORY OF THE GOAN HOME
Gerard da Cunha
The story of the Goan house begins in antiquity and its evolution progressed like others in the various regions of India. With the conquest of Goa by the Portuguese in 1510 and the conversion of the local population to Christianity, a paradigm shift took place in this evolution. Besides the foreign influence, the inhabitants of Goa were striving to establish a new identity. This potent mix, caused one of the most interesting house forms to evolve. The study will explain this evolution in all its visual and design aspects.
IMAGE, TEXT AND NARRATIVE
Exploring how text, image and narrative fuse to create different levels of meaning and underlie much of our cultural experience is the focus of this paper. Using a Big History approach, a wide-angle overview of the evolution of the relationships between words and image in the arts, we can examine their fluid boundaries and their use as complementary devices for visual communication and subliminal narrative. Where does the impulse to write or paint come from? What are the connections between early texts and images? How does text augment a visual narrative? How can a written diaristic practice inform a visual work? And how does this affect/effect the relationship between artist and the work, between artist and the viewer (in terms of linguistic signifiers, cultural signifiers, metaphors, archetypes, symbols, subconscious and genetic knowledge, collective and individual memory). In addressing these questions we can arrive at an understanding of the combinative power of words alongside or integrated into image to create and alter narrative
THE LOCAL AND THE COSMOPOLITAN: THE PRODUCTION OF UNIVERSAL AESTHETIC VALUE IN A DIVIDED WORLD
This presentation is informed by an anthropological understanding of what it means to be local and cosmopolitan. This is discussed within the context of artistic practice, which today has come to be dominated by both, an aspiration towards universal value, as well as an acute awareness of political, economic and cultural differences. Within anthropology, the idea of locality as given, primordial and rooted has been critiqued. This has accompanied a similar exercise showing how modern cosmopolitan sensibilities too are often not as straightforward as they seem. The central and metropolitan context is not by default more cosmopolitan than a peripheral, non-urban one. Similarly one cannot assume locality to be a taken-for-granted term with a given, fixed set of variables defining it. Within such a theoretical framework, how does one respond to artistic practice in contemporary times, which is often locked within a grid of identity differences, as well as a persistent aspiration towards universal values? This study takes a position within this debate. It believes that the local has become a special site of conflict within a divided but highly connected world. It is even less accurate today to understand it as a counter-point to a global, cosmopolitan sensibility or conversely, to believe that the national or the global is somehow more attuned to universal aspiration.