Workshop by Sahitya Akademi award winner and well-known Gujarati litterateur Prof. Suman Shah

A three-day workshop on “Creativity, Short Story and Appreciation” by Sahitya Akademi award winner and well-known Gujarati litterateur Prof. Suman Shah commenced on 27 August, 2019 at Vadodara. The workshop is being organized by the SaMvitti Foundation which is devoted to the empowerment of women in literary and artistic fields through capacity-development programmes, story-sharing project and several other literary activities.

On the first day of this workshop, Prof. Shah deliberated at length on the concept and application of creativity in literature and arts. He underscored that the power to create something new is given by nature to all living beings, including birds and animals. Creative power is as essential as the capacity for logical thinking or imagination as only creative power leads to the invention of ideas or products that are new and unheard-of. The outcome of genuine creativity in arts is a feeling of pleasure for both, the one who created and the other who is appreciating it.  Without the element of joy and emotion, literature would become quite mechanical and uninspiring.

Prof. Shah highlighted that the source of creative literature is life itself. He said the one who have experienced and felt life intensely and able to express the experiences in a way that no one has done before are ready for a life in literature. However, mere reproduction of something that is real is not an art. Creativity is about combining the element of imagination with reality.  Good art and literature are not created spontaneously.

They require considerable investment in thinking about design, innovation and structure of such art forms. Good literature breaks the existing rules and formal structures of writing poetry or short story. Creativity lies in adding new meanings to the existing words, or expanding the existing meanings of words to cover new dimensions.

Thus, creativity helps advances the horizons of our languages. Prof. Shah suggested that one of the ways of developing creative skills is to read the classic and qualitatively outstanding literature and learn how the great writers design the structure of words and emotions to produce great art.

At the end of the first day of the workshop, a motivational film was screened to demonstrate the process and elements of creativity.  A large number of women from diverse backgrounds participated in this workshop and interacted with Prof. Shah. At the outset, Dr. Darshini Dadawala, President of the Foundation, welcomed the guests, while Gaurang Patel, Creative Head, SaMvitti Foundation introduced Prof. Suman Shah.

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