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IBNS-CMEDIA: The closing session of the U.S. pavilion at the International Kolkata Book Fair 2024 was marked with the event titled ‘U.S.-India Arts to Fight Climate Change’.
It was an evening of poetry with music, discussing climate crisis, and using excerpts from the works by American authors Joy Harjo, the first indigenous American Poet Laureate (from 2019 to 2022); Gary Snyder, associated with the Beat Generation poets and the San Francisco Renaissance; the American marine biologist Rachel Carson, who pioneered environmental crisis consciousness with her book Silent Spring; and Indian diasporic writer Padma Shri Amitav Ghosh.
Alongside this, Padma Shri Mamang Dai’s poems about the Northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh were also a part of the evening’s readings.
These authors have written in moving verse and prose about environmentalism. The music ranged from American jazz, bluegrass, and country to Indian and Nepali folk songs.
U.S. Consul General Melinda Pavek delivered the opening remarks and also participated in a warm-up activity at the beginning of the program.
A few people from the audience were asked to identify on a world map where he/she felt our planet is hurting due to the ongoing climate crisis.
Fulbright scholar Somrita Ganguly anchored the event. She began the closing session by reading a self-composed poem.
She was joined by Justin Kahn from the U.S. & Sukrit Sen from India, and 15 university students who read poetry, played music, and discussed the climate crisis. The readings were accompanied by instrumental music and songs sung by Justin and Sukrit in English and Indian languages.
The program highlighted U.S.-India cultural ties and promoted awareness about the ongoing Climate crisis through poetry and discussions.
Apart from U.S. Consul General Melinda Pavek, American Center Director Elizabeth Lee and Deputy Director Juan Clar were also present at the event.