Moira – culturally speaking! November 5, 2019 – Posted in: News

A legendary village of the wise fools and ‘Mundollchim kellim’ (bananas), Moira has been home to a number of notable individuals particularly Dr Jack de Sequeira, Tetonio De Souza and Loretta D’Souza to name a few. Over the years, however, the village has been attracting a creative commune of people – artists, designers, photographers, writers – from all over India and even abroad to her folds. Her charm apparently lies in her peaceful and scenic environs, far from the madding crowd. Another, is her connect with the surrounding villages of Ucassaim and Aldona which are witnessing a similar migration of creative minds. Shantanu Sheorey’s One School Goa, Ucassaim, and Amitav Ghosh’s residence in Aldona are cases in point.
The advent of The Cube Gallery in Moira is perhaps redefining the cultural landscape of the village, without trying to detract from its original set up. “I chose to set up home in Moira for the simple reason that I liked the scenic beauty of the village as well as its architecture and the fact that there are so many creative and well-known people living in this village,” avers owner and animation specialist Sonny (Satinder) Singh, who moved to Goa from Los Angeles in 2006. “Another reason is that so many people from the creative field have come down to Goa and set up home in the surrounding villages of Ucassaim and Aldona, so opening a gallery in Moira made sense,” he says.
Goa, and particularly Moira, has been equally inspirational for his fashion designer wife, Carolina Paez, who has set up her own design studio ‘Salty Lulla’ adjoining the gallery.
“Goa lends itself to creative people who need the space, peace and cultural environment to grow,” endorses Kanchi Mehta, founder and curator, Chameleon Art Projects. “We chose Moira for the fact that it’s far away from the chaos and tourism hub. Many of our young friends have also moved to neighbouring Aldona. It’s a perfect place for me to work on my numerous projects in peace and then travel around the world on work,” she says.
Another resident, renowned photographer, Prashant Panjiar, who arrived in this village by a happy accident, also views Goa as the perfect foil for creative people and the arts. “The unique aspect about Goa is that it is both cosmopolitan and has a rich peaceful village life as well and is very well-connected. Not surprisingly, many people from the creative field are moving here. Our choice of Moira was just a coincidence,” explains Panjiar, who curated the recent Sensorium Festival at Sunaparanta.
Their close neighbours are also famed creative names of the likes of photographer David D’Souza and writer Siddharth Shanghvi, the Author of ‘The Last Song of Dusk’ and ‘The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay’
While, there does not seem to be a conscious choice to congregate around the Moira-Ucassaim-Aldona triune, the creative atmosphere lends to each other’s work. “When I started The Cube Gallery the idea was to have an art gallery, but looking at the tremendous response it has received since it began last year, it has turned out to be a cultural hub. We first started off with art and now animation and later fashion. We will develop as we see the audience and what direction we want to go,” explains Sonny while maintaining that despite Goa being a world hub, art and culture has remained in the background. “Goa can become a great art and culture destination as well,” he says.
As various villages like Moira continue to attract creative minds, adding to the rich local inventory of talent, the idea of Goa becoming a hub of creative work is not a distant dream.
Herald 25 APR 2015