Photo courtesy: https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/
Photo courtesy: https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/

London: London is all set to dazzle this weekend with the third edition of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), which will showcase South Asia’s unique multilingual heritage.

“Showcasing South Asia’s unique multilingual heritage, JLF at Southbank is an intense teaser of what has been declared the ‘greatest literary show on Earth,” said a statement issued by the organisers.

“The London edition of JLF retains and resonates with the unique spirit of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival, which has firmly established its place in the global literary calendar as the world’s largest free literature festival.”

Dubbed as ‘Jaipur on Thames’ by writer, historian and Co-Director William Dalrymple, JLF at Southbank features a creative caravan of writers and thinkers, poets and balladeers with a chance to bask in the colourful ideas of Jaipur without having to so much as put a foot on an aeroplane.

Writer and Co-Director of the Festival, Namita Gokhale says, “We are looking forward to the third edition of JLF at Southbank and to recreating the magic of the Jaipur Literature Festival for our wonderful London audiences.”

Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts and Producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival said the festival is “a think tank for the enlightened!”

It will be held on May 21 at The Royal Festival Hall as part of South Bank Centre’s festival of explosive South Asian Culture – ‘Alchemy ‘.


Here is the entire schedule for the day-long programme :

Celebrated author and Co-Director of the Festival, William Dalrymple, probably Britain's best known historian of India, will join fellow historian Nick Robins in conversation with author Ferdinand Mount to discuss Mount’s bestselling novel The Tears of the Rajas in a session by the same name.

Iconic Bollywood actor, the irrepressible Shatrughan Sinha will be in a no holds barred lunchtime conversation to discuss his recent biography, Anything But Khamosh, with Rachel Dwyer, Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS.

In Savage Harvest: Literature of the Partition, current High Commissioner to the UK, Navtej Sarna, along with fellow novelists Tahmima Anam, Rakhshanda Jalil and Salil Tripathi will delve into the many historical and human dimensions of Partition Literature from the subcontinent.

James McConnachie delves into Kamasutra: The Book of Love, the ultimate guide to love and written in the 3rd century AD.

The session Reporting India sees stalwarts from the fourth estate congregating and explaining what it is like to chronicle the events going on all over India. John Elliot, Dean Nelson, Andrew Whitehead are on the frontline with Barkha Dutt.

The Third Gender is a hot topic. We shake it up. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is a transgender rights activist, actress and dancer. In conversation with storyteller Vayu Naidu and writer, publisher and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale, they talk about sexual minority rights and social and personal gender roles.

The story of medicine in South Asia is rich and complex, involving cutting-edge technological developments as well as ancient traditions. In The Healers, Gavin Francis, a physician and writer, and biologist, writer and broadcaster Aarathi Prasad will speak with writer and psychotherapist Lucy Beresford about the varied challenges and opportunities of futurist medicine as well as India’s plurality of medical cultures.

British Asians: The Changing Face is a vital and timely debate assessing the ethnic legacies of second and third generation South Asians. Resisting stereotypes, this session discusses difference and belonging as well as integration. Chaired by the intrepid historian Patrick French, the panel includes Mukulika Banerjee, Sathnam Sanghera and Yasmin Khan.

In the session Incarnations: India in 50 lives, Dalrymple joins author Sunil Khilnani in a journey across the country, and through its past, to uncover more than just history. For all of India's myths, its sea of stories and moral epics, Indian history remains a curiously unpeopled place. Sunil Khilnani's Incarnations, which was also made into a BBC Radio 4 series, fills that space, recapturing the human dimension of how the world's largest democracy came to be.

The evening will see music in the form of world music collective, Lokkhi Terra; described as "probably the world's best Afrobeat-Cuban-Bangladeshi group". From the melas of Bangladesh to the streets of Havana via a Lagos nightclub and a bustling London club.

The Indian Diaspora(Feedback: info@theindiandiaspora.com)

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