ICAF ‘Indo Czech Autumn Festival’ is the cultural event coinciding with India’s one of the largest and Bengal’s largest ceremony Durga Puja. Purpose of the festival is to bring in all the Indian art forms, music, dances, rituals, yoga and food into one platform, in the historical capital city of Prague. For the Indian community living in the Czech Republic, as well as for Indian visitors from abroad, there is a rich content of activities and events that they have the opportunity to fully enjoy here in Prague, outside their homeland. The festival is attended by Indians, Czechs and all lovers of Indian culture from all over the Europe and the world.
We believe, that this socio-cultural convergence of European and western cultures at the artistic level, and thus overcoming social differences has become increasingly relevant, especially in recent years, given the growing migration and identity crisis of the European Union.
ICAF started in 2015, in the presence and blessings of the living legend Purna Das Baul Samrat, Papia’s music master, who was invited to perform at the festival. Event was inaugurated by the Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of ČR and ex-ambassador to India PhDr. Hynek Kmoníček, Indian Ambassador to the ČR Ashok Venkatesan and other eminent personalities.
The festival, being the brainchild of prominent Indian artist and experienced event organizer Baul Papia Ghoshal, is completely secular and non-religious although authentic Indian rituals are a natural part of it and cerebrated in their most authentic way, which is welcomed not only by Indians but also by Czech and foreign visitors and guests.
The festival is a five-day celebration of classical Indian ragas, Indian music and dance, exhibitions of paintings, sculptures & photography, film presentations, yoga, traditional and heritage baul and tribal songs, all in the rhythm of drums, giving visitors a true picture of India, amidst the autumn colors of unity and diversity in our beautiful Czech Republic.
All participating performers and artists come from India, the Czech Republic and others joining us from various parts of Europe.
The visual attraction of the festival, as in previous years will be the sculpture of Goddess Durga, shaping up at the painting atelier of fine artist Baul Papia Ghoshal. Known in the music industry as Papia das Baul, she is a singer, performer, music composer, painter, poet and an actor, who has devoted her life to art and culture.
In 2018, the festival was supported by the Czech Baroque Foundation ´Nadace Český Barok´. They sponsored the festival with the Gallery Lapidarium at the Old Town square, to exhibit the sculptures, paintings and performances of rituals in the previous years as well. The Indian Embassy in Prague always supported and collaborated with the festival. The Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants sponsored the delicious snacks. The traditional rituals also took place at Papia’s art and music atelier in Prague – Zbraslav.
This year’s Durga Puja Indo Czech Autumn Festival (ICAF) will take place from October 4 – 8, 2019. We expect a large number of visitors within five days. We expect cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of India, the Government of the Czech Republic, NGOs and other companies. This year, we would like to dedicate this festival to a world-respected spiritual leader and revolutionary, Mahatma Gandhi, on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary.
This Indo Czech Autumn Festival will have its 5th anniversary this year in October. We hope with your support, our SHAKTI will be much more prominent and enriched in its approach.