Issue no. 4 May/Jun 2017


Narrative non-fiction
The Menino Will Come Tonight by Fatima M Noronha
Reflections on the last Christmas of childhood

Humus or Hummus by Ahmed Bunglowala
A latter-day love story

Drishti by Janet H Swinney
Can a lifeguard on a Goan beach save the world?

Mhajem Ghar by Nayana Adarkar
Translated from the Konkani by Ramesh Laad
When space embodies self-worth

All Soul’s Day; St. Inez Cemetery by Manohar Shetty
Two poems

Video: Memories of East Africa
3.40 min featuring Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania

Panjim: From Bogland to Capital by S. Carvalho
Celsa Pinto’s new books on Panjim

The Blood is on all our Hands by R. Benedito Ferrao
Karishma D’Souza, artist, in conversation

Vamona, uma Pessoa: The Poet in the Painter by V. Kandolkar
Vamona’s continuing love affair with the Portuguese writer

Mohan Naik: The Man & His Muse by S. Carvalho
Not a slave to history

Book Review
Faces of Colonial Goa: Xavier de Trindade by S. Carvalho
Fatima Gracias's biography on the artist

Art Gallery
Ancestors - Preview Karishma D’Souza’s Paris exhibition




Memory and Space

Memory and space, both in narrative and visual art, underpins this issue. Memory bears the burden of nostalgia, and carries the responsibility of interpreting space and our place in it. That we should do so in a manner that is confessional and compelling is what makes memoir an important genre.

Fatima M Noronha’s exquisite narration in The Menino Will Come Tonight takes up back to 1962 Lisbon, ‘that last Christmas of childhood,’ where an uncertain future awaits following Goa’s Liberation. In Nayana Adarkar’s Mhajem Ghar (translated from the Konkani by Ramesh Laad) space is brutalised by societal failure and then by the machinery of the State.  Karishma D’Souza’s upcoming solo exhibition Ancestors at Xippas Gallery, Paris, is rooted in collective memory. How do we interpret ancestry? How do we acknowledge, within our shared space, our ties to each other? How do we hold the nation-State accountable for its excesses?

If we were to invert this picture, can our issues be relevant to writers half way across the world? Can non-Goans borrow from the Adam’s rib of universality and create characters peculiar to our landscape? In this, Rochelle and I were in agreement, that Janet H. Swinney’s beautifully written story Drishti should find a place on the issue. A writer’s prime responsibility is to imagine themselves in the lives of the other. And if we can portray ‘the other’ with empathy and compassion, then we are enhancing not appropriating cultural production.

The art-focus issue has been put together in collaboration with R. Benedito Ferrao. The cross-generation of artists featured - a review of Xavier Trindade’s biography, Vamona’s Muse Pessoa, Mohan Naik’s childhood influences, and Karishma D’Souza’s political and social engagement with the world, presents us with projector images of Goan art history from classism to modernism.

Perhaps what writers and artists need more than anything is to speak in their own tongues, to unravel their own histories, to have audiences who share their cartography. We hope Joao Roque Literary Journal becomes that space. 

The Goan will publish JRLR's annual winning piece of writing in their newspaper. So happy writing and submitting.

The views expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Joao Roque Literary Journal. They are here in the spirit of free speech to evoke discussion.

© Joao Roque Literary Journal.