Challenges to the Preservation of Goan Religious Heritages

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Thursday March 15, 2018 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Fundação Oriente India, 175, Fiilipe Neri Road - Fontainhas, Panjim, Goa, India 403001  (map)

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Date and time:15 March at 5pm–8pm

Venue: Fundação Oriente India, 175, Fiilipe Neri Road - Fontainhas, Panjim, Goa, India 403001


Continuing the annual sessions focusing on the preservation of the Goan built heritage, organised by the Fundação Oriente – Delegation in Goa and the ARTIS - Institute of Art History – University of Lisbon, this year presentation intends to debate the importance to safeguard the diverse Goan religious heritages as part of the collective historical memory of Goa. Four authors will present different themes and discuss how the conservation of the heritage belonging to the different faiths is being addressed and developed.

JOAQUIM RODRIGUES DOS SANTOS Architect, master’s in architecture, Territory and Memory and Ph.D. in Architecture; Post-Doctoral researcher at the ARTIS - Institute of Art History, School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, with a theme on the safeguarding of heritage with Portuguese influence in India. Specialist in preservation of architectural and urban heritage.

The Preservation of Religious Buildings in Goa within the Problematisation of the Safeguarding of Transcultural Heritage: Goan culture to a large extend is a transcultural product, the result of intense exchanges that occurred with various peoples and cultures over the centuries: If 450 years of Portuguese presence undoubtedly marked the cultural matrix of Goa, the fact that this territory was a privileged trade post throughout its history brought influences from many other cultures. The same heritage has been the object of several interventions that have both contributed to enhance and undermine or even destroy its value. Several issues associated with this will be briefly addressed.

VISHVESH KANDOLKAR Associate Professor at Goa College of Architecture; Ph.D. candidate with Manipal University through the Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, Bangalore. Writer of op-ed columns, as well as art and architecture criticism.

Mausoleum for the Living: Presenting Old Goa’s Architecture: The decadal expositions of the relics of St. Francis Xavier, in their ritualistic and periodic commemoration, is all the more symbolic for it serves as a site of performance for the participants’ minority identities. The presence of these attendees at the Expositions signal the participants’ connection to the Catholic site as one that, while obviously borne out of religious affiliation, may additionally speak to other possibilities, including resistant ones. That non

upper caste Catholics and other Goan minority subjects see in the relics of the saint the possibility of celebration and the need for constant commemoration speaks to the symbolic importance of Xavier and the architecture that surrounds him. Though the State may have other designs for these elements of Goan culture, those most tied to these very markers of faith and history continue to resistantly manifest their presence in celebration and renewed meaning of Old Goa’s relics.

AMITA KANEKAR Independent researcher in architectural history, novelist, and teacher at the Goa College of Architecture. Member of The Al-Zulaij Collective. Author of a guidebook on the Portuguese sea-forts of the Deccan, published by the Deccan Heritage Foundation, of a novel, “A Spoke in the Wheel”, published by HarperCollins and of several papers on temple architecture.

The Origins of the Goan Temple and the Challenges for their Preservation: The architecture of Goa is a heterogeneous one, the result of its long and cosmopolitan history as an Indian Ocean port, a part of the Islamicate Deccan, and then of the Portuguese empire. And one of its most distinctive and heterogeneous developments is in the realm of temple architecture. The Brahmanical temples that were built in Goa from the seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries were creatively inspired by Renaissance Europe (via the churches of Goa), the Bijapur Sultanate, the Mughals (via the Marathas), and the Ikkeri Nayakas, along with the local architecture. These varied vocabularies came together to produce a recognisable architectural ensemble by the end of the 19th century which spread across the region of Goa and beyond. This is why the Goan temple should be seen as an architectural type in its own right.

GULAFSHAN KHAN bachelor in history and Economics; Master in History at Goa University on the topic “Muslims in Goa: A Historical Study”. Master’s candidate in Ancient Indian History Culture and Archaeology at Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute, Pune.

Turning Visible the (In)Visible: The Muslim Heritage in Goa and its Preservation: The presentation deals with the various exceptional facet of Islamic Heritage in Goa. An attempt is made to trace the influence of Portuguese architectural style on Islamic monuments in Goa if any. It also illustrates the fundamental perception of safeguarding the diverse religious monuments, challenges as well as methods to overcome the same. The focus is also laid on the role of Archaeological Survey of India in the preservation of monuments.

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