Connection, communication, celebration – creativity tips from Serendipity Arts Festival 2019

In this photo essay on SAF 2019, we feature regional and international artworks, along with curator insights. It’s a rough and tough world out there – but with the right mindset, determination and networks, success can follow.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 420 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

With over 1,500 regional and international artists, the recent Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) brought a wealth of creativity and discourse to over 14 venues in Goa, as shown in this photo essay. See our earlier interview with Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation; curator insights; and photo essays on the festival launch, innovation exhibits, social messages, artistic trends, and creative impacts.

The exhibition and curator lineup includes Indian imagery (Jyotindra Jain), indigenous innovations (Sudarshan Shetty), staged photography (Ravi Agarwal), trans-media (Rahaab Allana), alternate art histories (Nancy Adajania), and Goan diaspora art (Vivek Menezes).

“Without the arts, our race would have been just another species on the planet and not a civilisation,” said Sunil Kant Munjal, Founder Patron, Serendipity Arts Foundation.

The cross-sectoral nature of the event helped foster a sense of unity across disciplines and artforms. “It has been an immense experience bringing creative energies from many regions on to one platform for all to see, experience, re-imagine, and interact with,” said Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation and Festival.

Those who missed SAF this year need not worry too much. By popular demand, the exhibition at the Old Goa Institute of Management has been extended for public viewing until January 15, 2020.

In this photo essay, we share more pictorial highlights from the exhibitions, including Mundo Goa, curated by Vivek Menezes. “The idea was to explore and celebrate the many different aspects of diaspora on the profoundly globalised and transnational Goan peoples,” Vivek explains, in a chat with YourStory.

This extended from the India-wide dispersal of the Gomantak Maratha Samaj to large, established communities in what was Portuguese and British East Africa. Featured artists in the exhibition’s four venues include Amruta Patil and Antonio E Costa, as well as 25 artists under 40 from the Azulejo 2019 initiative.

SAF is trying to bridge the gap between regional artists and those from other parts of India or overseas, between high-profile and organic formats, Vivek explains. In addition to exhibitions there were presentations, conversations and panels as well, featuring Anjali Arondekar and Aruna D'Souza.


“Art is one means for us to feel alive, to understand who we are. This art project, specifically, was all about identity and belonging, to the Konkani coastline, to India, to the human race,” Vivek explains.

His artistic journey spans identity politics and humanist approaches, and he will be embarking on writing projects in 2020. “Success for my projects means the artists are celebrated with greater understanding,” Vivek explains. He calls for the arts to be taken even deeper into society, further into the streets, and into communities.

Vivek also has sobering advice for aspiring artists. “Get a day job. It's an unpleasant world out there for young people in general, and it's worse for artists in India because the 'art world' is conspicuously broken,” he cautions.

There are large festivals, of course, but not every artist can participate. “Believe in yourself, because there will be times no one else will,” Vivek emphasises.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and listen to your artistic creative side?

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)