Omaid Sharifi is a patron of the arts, Co-Founder and President of ArtLords, Founder of Wartists and Rebel Group. Mr. Sharifi is a fellow with Atlantic Council, Asia Society and American Foreign Relations Council/Rumsfeld Fellowship. Mr. Sharifi started his career as a kid selling cookies and cigarettes in the streets of Kabul, he was part of the small team and aide to President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani at Transition Coordination Commission and a Program Manager for Tawanmandi – a multi-million-dollar challenge fund for strengthening civil society in Afghanistan.
Ibha Gupta is a doctoral research scholar with the Dept. of English and an assistant professor in the Dept. of French, at Goa University. She specializes in the area of Crossover Fiction, Narratology and Dialogic Criticism. She has presented papers at universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Pondicherry University, and St. Aloysius, amongst others. Her paper on the construction of girlhood in the 21st century was published in the book Young Adult Literature: Issues and Trends. She also works with Goan Writing in English. Her paper on Lambert Mascarenhas has been published in a book titled Goa Matters in Lore and Letters: Writings of Land, Loss and Longing, and her paper on Mahabaleshwar Sail has been published in a book titled Probing Perspectives. She has completed a course on Literary Theory under Prof. Roland Greene (Stanford) and Prof. Galin Tihanov (Queen Mary) at Indian and Foreign Languages University. She is also a member of the NGO, Goa Heritage Action Group, and has previously organized talks and events on aspects of Goan Heritage.
Ivo de Figueiredo (b. 1966) is the critically-acclaimed biographer of Norway’s treasured cultural icon, Henrik Ibsen (Yale University Press, April 2019), and his next book is the official biography of Edvard Munch, commissioned by the Munch Foundation. In 2002, he was awarded the Brage Prize for a biography of Johan Bernhard Hjort, the co-founder of the Norwegian Fascist Party. A Stranger at My Table was influenced by such authors as W.G. Sebald and Daniel Mendelsohn. The book received one of the highest non-fiction honors in Norway, the 2016 Language Prize and was nominated for the Brage Prize that same year. Figueiredo works as a critic at Morgenbladet and Aftenposten and is a member of the Norwegian Academy.
Sanket Mhatrewas the chief assistant director of Kavyotsav 2001: the first bilingual poetry reading festival of Marathi and Kannada poets. He has held several poetry reading sessions in Mumbai and across Maharashtra. He performed at Kavyahotra 2018, the 72-hour poetry reading festival in Goa with 9 poets from other languages. Widely published, he performs at old age homes under the program (???????????? ????? or Poems By Grandchildren). He is a renowned lyricist. His title song for the daily soap 'Radha Hi Bawari' was awarded the best song at Zee Alpha Gaurav. Crossover Poems is his brainchild, that started with The Poetry Club to unify poets from multiple languages, and embracing sensibilities unique to every language. He is also the film director of Kavita Cafe archived on Youtube that captures the best of Marathi poets in recitation
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew's photo-based artwork is a striking blend of still and moving imagery and draws on archival photographs as a source of inspiration to re-examine historical narratives. Her recent solo exhibitions include the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, Nuit Blanche Toronto, and sepiaEYE, nyc. Matthew has also exhibited her work at the RISD Museum, Newark Art Museum, MFA Boston, San Jose Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts (TX), Victoria & Albert Museum (London), 2018 Kochi-Muziris Biennale, 2018 Fotofest Biennial, 2009 Guangzhou Photo Biennial as well as at the Smithsonian. Grants and fellowships that have supported her work include a MacColl Johnson, John Guttman, two Fulbright Fellowships and grants from the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts.
Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island. She was also the Director of the Center for the Humanities from 2014-2019 and the 2015-17 Silvia Chandley Professor in Peace Studies and Non-violence. Matthew is represented by sepiaEYE, NYC.
Mamata Verelekar is an assistant professor in Hindi at Government College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Sanquelim, Goa. She has done her masters in Hindi from Goa University. She recently presented a paper at a national seminar held at Goa University which spoke about cinematic translation of literature where she focused on films by filmmaker Mani Kaul. She is passionate about literature and blogs about Konkani poems on her blog-Mhajokonso.wordpress.com
Sandesh Prabhudesai is an author, a journalist and a cultural activist, based in Goa. He has been writing for the last four decades, since 1979, street plays, radio plays, columns, articles as well as literary and cultural reviews in Konkani, Marathi and English, besides his journalistic writing. He has published five books of his ‘original writings’ ??????, ???, ????? ?????? ? ?????? ?????? (Konkani); ????? (Marathi) and Clear Cut (English). He has also translated Bhagat Singh’s ‘Why I am an Atheist’ in Konkani, for the National Book Trust. Since 1978, he has worked in the Student, Youth and Workers’ movements. He initiated the Street Play movement in Goa, in 80s, writing over 20 scripts and songs. He edited and wrote for Student and Youth magazines. He has been actively participating in organising cultural and literary festivals, especially for the students and youth. Sandesh joined professional journalism in 1987, and has since worked in local Konkani, Marathi and English dailies in different positions, from Reporter to Editor. He has also worked for national and international media, including rediff.com, The Sunday Observer, The Pioneer, BBC etc in Print, Radio and Internet. He has also headed Goan TV channels, anchoring debates, election analysis as well as interviews. He edits Goa’s first news website goanews.com, since 1999. He writes opinion columns throughout his career for several newspapers, periodicals as well as Internet portals in Konkani, Marathi and English. He sometimes also plays with Poetry. He has bagged several awards in Journalism as well as Literature, besides Theatre. Presently, he is the Consulting Editor of Goan TV Channel Goa365.
Jerry Pinto is a much-awarded author, poet and editor. His works include Em and the Big Hoom for which he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Fiction and the Windham-Campbell Award from Yale, USA. He has also won the Crossword Award, the Hindu Lit for Life Award, the REC-Valley of Words Award and the Bangalore Festival Prize for Translation. His translated works include the seminal Baluta by Daya Pawar, the first Dalit autobiography in Marathi; I want to destroy myself by Mallika Amar Sheikh; Half-Opened Windows by Ganesh Matkari; I, the salt doll by Vandana Mishra; Strike a blow to change the world by Eknath Awad and When I hid my caste and other stories by Baburao Bagul. His first translation from Hindi, I have not seen Mandu by Swadesh Deepak, is expected next year.
Mr Pinto has taught journalism for more than 25 years at the Social Communications Media department of the Sophia Polytechnic, which is consistently ranked as one of the top ten media departments in India. He sits on the board of MelJol, an NGO that works in the sphere of child rights and represents it on the international board of Aflatoun in the Netherlands. He is a trustee of the People’s Free Reading Room & Library, one of the city’s oldest libraries. He is on the Board of Studies of the English Department of the Sophia College.
He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Suzy and Donald Newhouse Centre at Wellesley College, USA and a Fellow of the Raza Foundation.
Nishant Saldanha is an independent comics artist and filmmaker with degrees from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design (London) and the California Institute of the Art’s School of Film/Video (Los Angeles). This year, he became the first South Asian artist to be included in the prestigious Best American Comics anthology. After 5 years in Los Angeles, Nishant has moved back to his ancestral land, Goa to pursue an independent arts practice, working primarily in the medium of comics and book making, writing and photography. He self-publish his comic series Mr. Good Guy online.
Masood Hussain, a prolific water colourist from Kashmir, collaborated in 2019 with the haikuist Gabriel Rosenstock from Ireland to publish "Walk with Mahatma," celebrating the sesquicentenary of Gandhi's birth. Masood honed his skills at Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai. He teaches at the Institute of Music & Fine Arts in Srinagar, Kashmir, where he was born and raised. “Kashmir draws us to imagine ourselves,” Masood says, “amidst her lush shades of green, crystal clear lakes, gushing streams, snow-capped peaks—a paradise that has sadly been in pathos now for over a generation. We need a Mahatma.”