The tourism prospect of the Kalosavam event has yet to be explored in the state so as to attract domestic and international visitors | Photo credit: K.Ragesh
Despite its reputation as the largest student arts festival in Asia, a concerted effort to push the Kerala School Kalolsavam, State School Arts Festival, onto the national and international stage for better visibility is yet to come true.
The low number of domestic and international visitors to the festival reinforces the need for better initiatives from the state government to publicize the Kalolsavam, a celebration of young talent, to global audiences.
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A domestic affair
Apart from the traditional art forms of Kerala, art forms from other states like Yakshaganam and Kuchipudi are also featured in Kerala School Kalolsavam | Photo credit: SAKEER HUSSAIN
“It’s almost a national affair now even though the possibilities are unpredictable. A strategic campaign with the support of national and international media is needed to break down local boundaries for better visibility,” said a former Ministry of Education official who was associated with the management of previous festivals. He said there should be initiatives to project the event like theater festivals or literary festivals, in addition to inviting delegates.
Art trainers, including Sopanam artist Njeralathu Harigovindan, who attend the festival, said no other event could offer such a long list of live events involving trained students who were likely to become performers. prominent in the future. They said having both international and domestic delegates at the festival would double their chances of winning bigger platforms.
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Kerala Cultural Heritage
Team from St. Josephs Higher Secondary School, Kollam performing Margam Kali (HSS) at the 61st Kerala School Kalolsavam, State School Arts Festival, in Kozhikode | Photo credit: SAKEER HUSSAIN
“Although there have been many proposals, the Kalolsavam school has not yet been projected before the tourism circle. The central government is almost no longer a part of it today. I felt really sad as there were no international tourists at the venues,” said N. Sidharthan, a coach from Bharatanatyam. He added that showcasing the talents of students before tourists was an ideal way to showcase Kerala’s cultural heritage to a global audience.
Young entrepreneurs in the tourism sector said foreign tourists’ passion for traditional Kerala arts was well known, but no one was found exploring the sights of Kalolsavam. If the tourism department had coordinated better, tour operators would have publicized the event to visitors, they said.
“We believe there should be dedicated space for national and international delegates at all venues. Inviting renowned international artists will also take the event to the next level,” said TS Naveen, a former arts festival attendee. He said there should be efforts to create a good digital repository for each edition for international promotional activities.