Reading is one of the most essential and indispensable skills of human life. It enriches our knowledge as well as our creativity. This is why the month of September is celebrated as The Literary Month. It’s when all the book fairs and literary festivals happen in and around Colombo. As reading, literature and language are all supported by Akuru (letters) we found it only fitting to join in on the celebrations with our own series of events.
‘Akuru Celebrating Literary Month’, was a successful series of online and offline events celebrating language, literature and letters. Every weekend of September had its own thrilling affair;
5th Sept – Movie Night (The Linguist)
12th Sept – ‘Learnings from type history’ an online discussion.
19th Sept – ‘Maname’ font launch & font discussion.
26th Sept – Akuru Collective Annual Get together
On the first weekend, we all gathered in W.A. Silva Museum to a free, online screening of the movie ‘The Linguist’. It is an Award-winning documentary film about the journey of two linguists across the world in search of dying languages. They trek to India to explore how English colonists altered the nation’s culture, and they also visit the American Southwest to talk with Native Americans. The movie had hit close to home for many participants who, after the movie, shared their own experience with their native language and the current treats we see on langauges and letters.
Following the excitement of the movie night, we had a live discussion with three international type researchers for our second weekend. Dr. Pedro Amado from Portugal presented on The revival of Portuguese letterpress scenario as Prof. Udaya Kumar from India generously shared his study in to Tamil letterpress. Dr. De Baerdemaeker added a special touch to our discussion with his research on Tibetan or Javanese early type. Dr. Sumantri Samarawickrama, Akuru Co-founder, moderated this international panel.
Next, instore for Akuru Celebrating Literary Month was ‘Maname’ font launch & font discussion. It was a great opportunity for all type enthusiasts to learn about the behind the scenes of font making with Pathum Egodawatta. ‘Maname’ was developed by Pathum as a partial requirement of his Masters where his aim was to develop a font that gives a novel texture to Sinhala body text. It was quite exhilarating to see how simple a concept can become a beautiful font. Akuru Collective is eager to see what this new font holds for future designs and publications.
To mark the perfect ending to a perfect celebration, Akuru Annual Get Together happened in the last week of September 2020. Akuru members, volunteers, W.A. Silva foundation members, our friends and well-wishers gathered on this day for a night of good music and much chatter. Here, Pathum Egodawatta, as the co-founder, thanked everybody for their continued support in all our endeavors. A small token of appreciation was given to our 6 members of the steering committee for their valuable efforts. With that ‘Akuru Celebrating Literary Month’ came to an end. And we are already excited for what’s next.