Handicraft is not simply decoration; to artist-weaver Priya Ravish Mehra it is also part of the art of life. Out of nothingness, a thread is woven. A cloth’s lifetime is prolonged by the art of rafoogiri, or darning; an art that itself remains invisible. Weaving thus lends itself easily into poetry and metaphors: of Kabir’s devotion woven into a cloth, of poetry woven out of silence, and of healing and repair.
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness…” The spirit of Elie Wiesel’s words animated the air as the Sahitya Akademi hosted a unique poetry evening, with readings by seven major writers in various languages, and a conversation among them, to mark the launch of the cultural banner of LILA Foundation, LILA Bearing Witness. The event, entitled ‘Voices in Verse’ celebrated the multicultural origins of the participants, and also served as an initial collective reflection on the possibilities of individuals and communities bearing witness to the times in general, and to the multitudinous ways in which poets in particular tend to bear witness.