Friday, December 15, 2023

JCB Literature Foundation Debuts at the Serendipity Arts Festival with its ‘Text/Matters’ Collaboration

Introduces literature as a prominent art form at the festival

Goa, December 15, 2023 – For the inaugural inclusion of literature as a prominent art form in the Serendipity Arts Festival, the JCB Literature Foundation and the Serendipity Arts Foundation, jointly bring forth their ground-breaking 'Text/Matters' initiative. This project is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the culturally rich tradition of writing in the subcontinent, specifically focused on themes deeply rooted in the region's heritage. 'Text/Matters' is a celebration of the harmonious intersection between literature and the arts, marking a significant milestone in the JCB Literature Foundation's commitment to fostering interdisciplinary and cross-cultural exchanges at the festival.

At the Serendipity Arts Festival, the foundation also played host to a compelling panel discussion on 'Fiction Matters: A Wealth of Imagination Across The Arts,' featuring speakers like independent Professional Artist Veena Basavarajaiah, Vikram Iyengar, dancer and choreographer, Mita Kapur, Literary Director, JCB Prize for Literature, and Akshay Mahajan, artist, photographer and curator.

The JCB Literature Foundation also displayed the most notable works of contemporary Indian fiction from the past six years of their flagship project, The JCB Prize for Literature, within the ‘Text/Matters’ project housed at the Old GMC in Panjim, Goa. The exhibition featured a curated selection of 60 books, including 21 translations from 7 languages, all of which have been longlisted for The JCB Prize for Literature. The showcased books presented a panorama of stories from the subcontinent, offering readers new adventures and a glimpse into diverse subcultures at the turn of every page. 

Talking about the collaboration, Mita Kapur, the Literary Director of the Prize, on behalf of the Foundation said-

“The JCB Literature Foundation in the last six years, has been working dedicatedly on creating a variegated platform for Indian literature. Be it through its flagship project, The JCB Prize for Literature that awards authors of contemporary fiction across languages, or its unique DIY Library programme and curriculum for government schools or its support to various organisations that work in this field, the Foundation aims to promote Indian literature and instill a sense of pride in our literary legacy. 

Literature, be it fictional or otherwise, is the backbone of any arts practice, but often enough one moves away from the source text to only perceive the final format in which one receives it. This year, the Text/Matters project, supported by the JCB Literature Foundation aims to  implore audiences  to look at literature as an art practice in itself- within the milieu of all art practices. The Serendipity Arts Festival has over the years been working towards bridging the various expressions of arts within India, and we are extremely excited for this collaboration that narrows the gaps even further.”

Adding to this Smriti Rajgarhia, Director Serendipity Arts Festival & Foundation, said “Serendipity Arts Foundation is thrilled to announce our partnership with the JCB Literature Foundation for Serendipity Arts Festival 2023. The JCB Literature Foundation's support for the Text/Matters project is a testament to our shared dedication to fostering interdisciplinary exchanges in the arts. 'Text/Matters' spotlights our engagement with the rich tradition of cultural writing, showcasing archives from pivotal magazines, Marg and Art India. We are excited to partner with JCBLF - who have played a huge role in championing Indian fiction translations - to not only celebrate the past, but also provide a platform for independent publishers and host insightful talks around print culture and writing in the arts.”

'Text/Matters' is a project deeply entrenched in the exploration of cultural traditions. As part of this undertaking, the Serendipity Arts Foundation takes pride in presenting the archives of two influential publications—Marg, a venerable 77-year-old magazine, and Art India, a premier quarterly with a 27-year history of delving into modern and contemporary art. These publications, selected for their insightful writing and scholarly contributions, symbolize distinct phases in the evolution of writing and publishing within the arts and culture domain.

Moreover, 'Text/Matters' provides a dedicated space for small presses and independent publishers at the Serendipity Arts Festival. This platform showcases a variety of publications, including the prolific app-based editorial initiative ASAP | Art, reaffirming the festival's dedication to amplifying independent voices in the literary and artistic spheres. In parallel, 'Projects/Processes' and 'Write | Art | Connect' explore the discourse of contemporary art through commissioned research essays, longform writing, and short-form reflections, uniting diverse voices and perspectives in shaping the cultural narrative. The Independent Publishers' Room adds another dimension by hosting five publishers and featuring ASAP | Art, contributing to the preservation and cultivation of India's contemporary print culture. 

Overall, the 'Text/Matters' initiative supported by the JCB Literature Foundation at Serendipity Arts Festival stands as a landmark, seamlessly blending literature and the arts for a vibrant and enriching cultural experience.


The JCB Literature Foundation, a not-for-profit company registered under Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act, is single-handedly responsible for running the Prize. In 2018, JCB India established the JCB Literature Foundation, whose purpose is to promote the art of literature in India, and whose principal activity is to administer The JCB Prize for Literature. A leading global manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment, the company has been active in India since 1979. JCB’s desire to create an enduring cultural legacy in India is based on this substantial and long-standing involvement in the country’s social and economic life.


JCB is a leading global manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment. The JCB Group has been active in India since 1979. Through its subsidiary, JCB India Ltd, the British company today employs 5,000 people in India, and operates five state-of-the-art factories: in New Delhi, in Pune, and in Jaipur. Products made in these factories have been exported to more than 93 countries around the world. Over its journey of close to four decades in India, JCB, through its products has contributed significantly towards the development of Infrastructure in the country. JCB is committed to being a socially and ethically responsible company at both a global and local level. For the past 20 years, JCB India has been working across India with vulnerable communities through the Lady Bamford Charitable Trust with the aim of providing them access to a better quality of life through education, enhanced income, business and skill development, and supporting traditional arts, culture and heritage.

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