Get Your SALTAF on This Weekend in DC

NetSapDC in conjunction with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program is sponsoring SALTAF, the 6th annual South Asian Literary and Theater Arts Festival.


This year, for a small entrance fee, you can hobnob with the cognoscenti during the opening night fundraiser and cocktail reception at the Fly Lounge. Here are some tips on how to mingle and mix with the literati: Don’t forget to ask Kiran Desai if a Booker Prize is actually a prize—is it a statue, is it a piece of paper, huh, huh? While you’re at it, make sure to inquire after Devyani Saltzman’s mama’s project, Water. If you don’t come across as a complete bumbling idiot, maybe they’ll let you hang around after the 9 p.m. closing call. Why so soon?


And if your hangover wanes by Saturday morning, you’re in for an all day (10 a.m.–6: 30 p.m.) FREE desi artsy-fartsy extravaganza at the Baird auditorium. You’ll be privy to the US premiere of DOR, followed by a Q&A session with auteur Nagesh Kukunoor. Damn, how exclusive are you?

Soon thereafter, you’ll have a lunchbreak. You’re on your own here (the event is FREE after all) —although what’s a macacafest without food, yaar?

Next up are two literary panels: Writing on the Edge: Collapsing Borders in South Asian Diasporic Literature and Second Chances in Life and Literature. The panelists are Kiran Desai, Samrat Upadhyay, Tarun Tejpal, and Devyani Saltzman—moderated by Terry Hong and Jyoti Mohan. Uh, we don’t know everyone on this list, but we promise you by the time these panels end, we’ll all be reschooled in Homi Bhaba, Gayatri Spivak, Edward Said and every other post-colonial theorist we couldn’t wrap our heads around in college. Ah, the agency, the difference, the location of culture, and the binary orientalism of it all!

After a short break (Yay!), you can kick back and watch the DC debut of a Sundance and Tribeca film festival selection: Punching the Sun, a film by Tanuj Chopra.

Keeping company with all the accolade-ridden artists for a whole weekend may rub off but we’re not promising anything except a few morsels of enlightenment.

October 31, 2006
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  1. October 31, 2006, 6:20 pm Ismat

    I think the Booker is a big fat check.