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Devdutt Patnaik

Understanding and deciding symbols of Sanatan: The Hindu notion of fragility

A speaker at TED India 2009, Devdutt is a celebrated author of 30 books and 600 columns, with bestsellers such as My Gita, Jaya, Sita, Business Sutra and the 7 Secret Series.

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Carlos Scolari

The Laws of the Interface

A Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and Communication Languages, Carlos has lectured in more than 25 European, Asian & Latin American countries on semiotics and various media and transmedia topics.

Established in 2012, Semiofest is the world’s only annual conference that celebrates semiotic thinking. It aims to propagate the discipline by bringing various Indian & international speakers together, to discuss the possibilities that can be opened up by applying semiotics in every day business.

This year, the theme is ‘Metanoia’, which focusses on how adaptive evolution brings a more ‘meaningful’ approach to dealing with changing situations, rather than holding on to well-established ways; which are in imminent danger of being rendered obsolete.

Mumbai: A narrative of rupture, encroachment and rebirth.

The Semiofest, at its core is a celebration of diversity - a festival of signs, and symbolic artifacts of the evolving culture that we inhabit. Not only is it an attempt to make sense of the world we live in, but a document of the evolving methodologies we propose to understand it in all its ephemeral brilliance. What better icon of change and cultural diversity than Mumbai as the backdrop to an event of this nature?

How do we begin to understand the multiple streams, cultures, stories that create the living, breathing entity that is Mumbai?

Someone once described Mumbai as
"a scream, a dream, a whisper; a secret that everybody knows but never admits. Trying to describe the city is like trying to hold a thought that slips through the fingers of the manic mind faster that sand. It is difficult to catch the pulse of this amorphous animal, this beating heart, this synecdoche of survival, this rupture."

The only way you can understand rupture is to study the debris, colorful shards that make up the fabric of the beast that explodes and is born anew every single day. You have to study the parts, to understand the whole.

Hosting Semiofest in Mumbai is an endeavor to study and participate in the break-neck pace of change that this city and its surroundings embody.

From the urchin who sells fidget toys at traffic signals, to the dancing traffic policeman, to the taxi driver who drives home late night commuters for free - Mumbai is a space of magic and innovation. There is an inherent power of will, an aggressive stamp of life that shines through - a power of will that compels creation, and creative survival.

The space is a rich, multifaceted immersion in constant change. Mumbai as we see it is a space of constant flux. Buried deep in this cityscape is the idea of survival, a thread that runs through every cell of the city and its metaphorical shadow. It is this thread that we choose to pull. Our thematic lens will attempt to magnify and enhance this very idea of survival.

We believe that Mumbai is the writing on the wall; a memo from reality that we forgot to read. So welcome to Mumbai and may we say, brace yourself.

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Venue: vastu sangrahalaya

Founded in the early years of the 20th century, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly named the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India), is the main museum in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was created to commemorate the visit of Edward VIII, (who was then Prince of Wales). It is located in the heart of South Mumbai near the Gateway of India.