Creativity unleashed

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Cosfest Goa 2020, the only competition of its kind in the state, is just around the corner. And enthusiasts are all set to morph into their colourful alter egos for a day. NT KURIOCITY gets the details

ANNA FERNANDES

Creativity will take a tangible form at Cosfest Goa 2020, the only cosplay competition in the state. Organised by the students of the English Department, Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts and Science (Autonomous), Cosfest Goa was conceptualised in 2016 as an extension of their Visual Literature (Comics Studies) course. Now in its third edition, the festival promises to be bigger and better.

For the uninitiated, Cosfest is simply a celebration of cosplay. A portmanteau of the words ‘costume play’, cosplay is a performative art that involves costume, role-play and prop-making to portray characters from TV, films, comics, pop culture and games. “The event is open to everyone – from six years to 60! Families, too, can participate by cosplaying together. Over the last two editions, the popularity has only been increasing… from 40 odd participants in the first year to over 70 in the second,” shares assistant professor at Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts and Science, Andrew Barreto.

At its heart, Cosfest Goa offers young and old a newfound creative outlet. For many who attend this fest, cosplay isn’t about the particular costume they have chosen to wear; instead it’s about the chance to become their favourite character for a day. Taking the art of dress-up a step forward, participants are given the liberty to transform themselves into characters of their choosing, across time, gender, and genre. So, whether you want to go medieval or Marvel, your options are truly endless.

“For the event, participants are welcome to compete in the competitive sections or come casually dressed to soak up the atmosphere and click snaps with the competitors,” says Barreto, adding, “In the competitive sections individual winners can win up to `4000 in prize money, and in the group event up to `5000.”

Participants will be judged on sustainability; accuracy, that is, how close the contestant resembles the character they are cosplaying; quality of costume, use of materials and creativity; overall appearance and effect of the costume or cosplay. Through the organisation and participation in the event, students have an immersive learning experience. “The event is clubbed with their experiences at Comic Con India, and Indie Comix Fest, which introduces them to various Indian graphic novelists and artists,” says Barreto.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, a teen or an adult, Cosfest Goa guarantees a world of fun. “Expect to see a lot of costumes that will knock your socks off. A fun experience awaits us all,” adds student coordinator, Nikita Sequeira.

As an added bonus, this year, Cosfest Goa is paired with the 12th edition of Pegasus, a two-day inter-collegiate literary festival, where institutes compete to win the coveted rolling trophy. With 16 selected events, there are medals and certificates worth `20000 to be won. The theme this year is ‘Apocalypse’, which focuses on dystopian and apocalyptic literature. With a packed schedule of exciting activities and events, the literary festival is a treat for all and is open for public viewing, alongside Cosfest Goa.

(Cosfest Goa 2020 will be held on January 13 at Parvatibai Chowgule College of Arts and Science, Margao, and is open to all. Details: cosfest [email protected] / sites.google.com/chowgules.ac.in/cosfestgoa )