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10 November, 2018 10:12:21 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 November, 2018 10:13:27 PM

Swinton to Shirshendu, glimpses from DLF ending

Independent Online Desk
Swinton to Shirshendu, glimpses from DLF ending
Photo Collected

Tilda Swinton was asked a question which perhaps been echoed a 100 times before in the Abdul Karim Shahitya Bisharad Auditorium. 

In response, when asked about her frequent visits to Bangladesh – it’s her second time at DLF - she in her trademark voice asked the hosts to turn up the lights and the hall got illuminated. 

Swinton then answered by saying, “I just put light on the reason. You audience are the reason for my returning to Bangladesh every year!” 

Cheers and applauds filled the hall as the 8th Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF), the much-anticipated annual literature festival, came to a close on Saturday.

As the day passed on the number of visitors got a boost with a noticeable amount of youth in the audiences thronging to all the different attractions. 

The AKSB Auditorium was filled to the brim when Tilda Swinton, Oscar winning Hollywood actress and a sincere friend of Bangladesh took the stage with Ahsan Akbar, event co-director to partake in a dialogue session titled ‘On Drumduan Hill’.

Since the session’s beginning Swinton engaged the crowd in a thoughtful discussion regarding the definition of Education.  She asked them to express their opinions about education. 

Eventually she discussed Drumduan School, that follows an alternative Steiner- based curriculum in the Scottish Highlands, where Swinton hails from.

At one point she strongly condemned today’s generations’ overdependence on technology and said “Technology can disrupt the rhythm of a child’s curiosity.” 

She even argued about how the Steiner-based education model could work in cities like Dhaka after the dialogue in a Question and Answer Session. 

With Swinton’s final individual session completed, numerous other sessions were due attention. 

The poet Shamsur Rahman Seminar Room hosted a dialogue session with the title ‘Rights in the age of fake news’ which engaged several key figures of modern media and literature including Zafar Sobhan, Afsan Chowdhury, Hugo Restall, Annie Zaidi and Asif Islam. 

Several discussions and cultural performances were acted out on the final day of DLF all over Bangla Academy Premises. 

Locations like Bangla Academy Lawn, the Cosmic Tent, the Nazrul Stage and other halls were filled with art and literature loving crowd enjoying different segments of DLF. 

Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith adorned the AKSB auditorium as the chief guest of the event in the penultimate session which marked the closing of 8th Dhaka Lit Fest 2018. 

Before his finishing speech, English novelist Phillip Hensher and Actress Tilda Swinton spoke along with event co-director Sadaf Saaz, all of whom thanked everyone related to the festival and appreciated the crowd. 

The Minister expressed his delight saying “It’s a matter of particular pleasure to me to stand here.” 

He mentioned that all the ruling parties kept the art and culture of the country sector secure.

The Minister expressed his hope that the guests would return further to join in DLF in the upcoming years. 

He concluded his speech by giving his best wishes to the participating speakers, authors, poets and likely the audience. 

Much to the crowd’s surprise and joy, a highly anticipated dialogue session with enigmatic west Bengal author Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay took place after the closing ceremony with noted Bangladeshi Writer Imdadul Haq Milon. 

The 83-year-old author graced the stage in the final dialogue session of the fest titled ‘Kathopokothone Shirshendur Shathe’. 

The almost one-and-half-hour long dialogue session ranged between various topics related to Bangla literature and the author’s life and works. 
Shirshendu mentioned about his first novel, ‘Ghunpoka’ and how the mass rejected it upon publication. 

“I never have any idea about the ending of a work be it story or novel when I write,” he said. 

He termed himself as an ‘unscientific’ writer nevertheless stating “I write for myself until I’m satisfied.” 

The author also recollected past memories regarding his two late friends, prominent author Shunil Gangopadhyay and noted poet Shakti Chattopadhyay. 

On a serious note, he remarked about our language saying “We need more research on Bangla language to improve its further impact on world literature.” 

He also said that the current culture of Bangla short stories is being judged differently as with the passage of time, the readers’ perspectives have changed. 

Following the insightful dialogue session, a Question and Answer session was held engaging the audience with several enquiries to their favourite author. 

With the merriments of Dhaka Lit Fest being over on Saturday evening, the vitalizing literature carnival leaves us with more expectation from it for the upcoming year. UNB




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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