POST TIME: 16 November, 2015 12:52:59 AM
/ LAST MODIFIED: 16 November, 2015 12:54:16 AM
Dhaka Lit Fest starts November 19
This month, Dhaka is going to witness a plethora of literary minds, as over 250 guests, of which 60 from 14 different countries, will join the fifth installment of Dhaka Literary Festival which begins from November 19-21 at the premise of Bangla Academy. The festival is being produced by Jatrik with Bangla Academy as the co-host and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs as special partner. National daily Dhaka Tribune is the title sponsor with City Bank serving as platinum sponsor.
Previously known as ‘Hay Festival Dhaka’, this year, the name has been changed to ‘Dhaka Literary Festival’ to “Represent the true essence which is to brand Dhaka and taking its culture and literature to the outside world”, according to Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi, one of the co-directors and producers of Dhaka Literary Festival.
During a press meet yesterday about the festival at the conference room of Bangla Academy, Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi said that such festival will also give Dhaka’s audience the chance to learn about the trends and happening in world’s literature arena.
K Anis Ahmed, another co-director of the festival said, “Bangladesh’s literary society has been taking a lot from world’s literature. We also have a lot to give to the world’s literature. This festival gives our writer the chance to do so”.
Ahmed said that this year’s event will notably feature a Nobel Laureate for the first time, Dr Harold Varmus, the cancer researcher and author of ‘The Art and Politics of Science’.
VS Naipaul, the world renowned author was supposed to take part in the festival but due to health issues, he couldn’t. “He however confirmed that he will visit Bangladesh in the first quarter of the next year” said Ahmed.
Ahmed also informed the journalists that due to security issues, 12 invitees-seven from UK and five from USA, have cancelled their tour to the festival. “However we are ensuring the topmost security”, he said adding that the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Bangla Academy would aid them in doing so.
Ahmed said that the festival will host the launch of a special Bangladesh issue of the world renowned journal ‘Wasafiri’. This is for the first time that any international journal has devoted an entire issue to Bangladeshi writing.
To promote Bangladeshi writing to the world, this year’s festival will mark the launch of ‘Library of Bangladesh’ by the Dhaka Translation Centre, Ahmed said adding that the first four books of the series will consist of works by Syed Shamsul Haq, Hasan Azizul Haq, Rizia Rahman and Syed Manzoorul Islam.
Ahsan Akbar, another of the three co-directors of the festival, said, “The festival will present a wide array of international talents of diverse origins and genres-top Cuban science fiction writer Yoss, Kenyan children’s storyteller Muthoni Garland, Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan, novelist Amit Chaudhuri, poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and acclaimed filmmaker Leslee Udwin.
Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Akhtari Momtaj, Director General of Bangla Academy Shamsuzzaman Khan, Managing Director and CEO of City Bank Sohail R.K Hussain and Editor of Dhaka Tribune Zafar Sobhan were also present at the press meet and delivered their speeches.