Man behind Jaipur lit fest hails UAE Capital's cultural projects

Man behind Jaipur lit fest hails UAE Capitals cultural projects
Sanjoy Roy speaks at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi - Sanjoy Roy says the UAE Capital has become an assimilation of civilisations


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 20 Mar 2018, 8:05 PM

Last updated: Wed 21 Mar 2018, 3:16 PM

The UAE as a country will continue to succeed, as its leaders have rightfully focused on promoting culture, said a prominent Indian artist.
Sanjoy Roy, the man behind the Jaipur Literature Festival, lauded the successful conduct of book fairs in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, which exhibited the government's vision.
"All of them are doing very well, which is fantastic. Any nation which has focused on culture will succeed. Till a country doesn't know its traditions and roots, it is difficult to find a way forward. It is really through culture, literature and reading that you are able to get a sense of what that root is, or what the basis of the tradition of the place is," Roy told Khaleej Times, on the sidelines of an event held at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Roy, also an art entrepreuner, said: "As the fourth industrial revolution passes by, the next one - the fifth revolution - will be about creativity, ideas and technology. For creativity to come to the fore, you have no choice but to able to focus on culture, tradition, arts and ideas in every way. You will find fresh ideas in an emerging economy.
"The Middle East and the UAE are poised to be a great intersecting point between the east and the west," said Roy, the managing director of Teamwork Arts, the company that organises the "greatest literary show on Earth", the Jaipur Literature Festival.
Driving around Abu Dhabi, Roy felt the UAE Capital has become an assimilation of civilisations.
Roy lauded the efforts of the UAE government in developing Saadiyat Cultural District. "This is amazing as you don't necessarily see this part of the world being immersive in culture.
"So, Abu Dhabi positioning itself as the cultural capital is fantastic. It is the most important thing to open up to different cultures and ideas. Assimilate, look, find the best, then make it your own and take it forward."
Back in India, there were smart cities popping up everywhere but they can be realised only if they are 'art cities', he noted. "Abu Dhabi is an art city and thus a smart city." Shifting topics to the economics of art and culture, Roy said: "People make the mistake of looking at culture, science, business and industry separately. It is all one. If you don't understand the culture of a place, there's no way you can do business."
Future collaborations
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair programme manager Nabeel Al Mehairbi, attending the event at the embassy, welcomed the idea of future collaborations with Jaipur Literature Festival.
"We are always interested in what other book fairs are doing. We always participate in other book fairs like in London, Frankfurt, Beijing and New Delhi. I am here to learn what Jaipur Book Fair is all about and to exchange information about our book fair."
He said the Indian Embassy event served as a "platform to know each other in a better way". "Collaborations can take place not just once, but every year in small or big scale. There are many possibilities," Al Mehairbi said.
Roy also said that cooperation was the way forward. "We are always open to collaborations. We are happy to provide know-how or cross market. If all of us work together, we will make a stronger offering," Roy added.

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