Ahmedabad International Literature Festival - A Discussion on the Architectural Legacy of the City

Ahmedabad International Literature Festival

The Ahmedabad Management Association was all bustling with enrichment seekers on December 23, 2017, during the eventful gathering of Ahmedabad International Literature Festival. The two days festivity which concluded on December 24, 2017, was kicked off with an indigenous performing art of Bhavai and was graced by eminent creative personalities including onscreen luminary Annu Kapoor, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, lyricist Sandeep Nath, politician Tuhin Sinha and CEPT professor Arthur Duff. The theme for this year’s literary fiesta was decided as Literature and Heritage which went fluently through various discourses, book launches, workshops and other action-packed happenings.

Few of the key featured topics that awed the audience were on Gujarati Cinema, Visual Presentation of Written Words, Old vs New Gujarati Literature, and Popularity vs quality of literature. The session on the Karnavati Chronicles caught our attention for its thematic value. The discussion had on panel heritage specialists and architects of Ahmedabad including author Riyaz Tayyibji, space planner Manisha Shodhan Basu, author-artist Pradeep Dalal and was moderated by Arthur Duff, who is  a furniture designer from CEPT.  Various aspects of city’s architectural legacy were discussed. Tayyibji’s strong perspectives were delivered saying, “The city is not just the First World Heritage City of India, but also the first to get a municipality operated transport system and co-operative housing society which eventually attracted internationally illuminated edifice designers like Alexander Girard, Buckminster Fuller, Charles Correa, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. It is the people of Ahmedabad that makes it a heritage vicinity.” Architecture is not just the physical dimensions of structure it is about how people have engaged with the space. Author of ‘Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodhan’ concluded the session with a thought-provoking speech on space-design saying, “Heritage should not be a museumized aspect of the city. The economic breakdowns, poverty, ecological issues everything is a part of it. The question arises what are we leaving behind for our future generations in the name of heritage?”

 

The alarming contemporary circumstances of Charles Correa’s Navrangpura Bus Stand and Buckminster Fuller’s Calico Dome narrates the dooming scenario of Heritage conservation in Ahmedabad, for which AMC has to pull its socks up soon. It was an enriching talk that provided multiple perspectives for India’s first World Heritage City to ponder upon.

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