KARACHI: Founded in 2010, the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) will begin its fifth edition on February 7, 2014, announced Ameena Sayyid and KLF director Asif Farrukhi at a press conference on Friday.
Over 180 Pakistani and 34 international authors, poets and academics will grace the Festival, including the renowned historian and Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Dr Rajmohan Gandhi ( keynote speaker at the inauguration; the award-winning novelist, Kamila Shamshie, and the Pakistani BBC broadcaster, Raza Ali Abidi, both of whom will be the keynote speakers at the closing ceremony.
It is for the first time that, Sayyid announced, awards will be given to authors for three different prize categories: KLF-Coca-Cola Best Non-Fiction Book Prize, KLF-Embassy of France Prize, and KLF Peace Prize. The panel of judges for the prizes include some of Pakistan’s most eminent critics, writers and scholars, who have short-listed three books for each prize category.
The KLF-Embassy of France Prize has been instituted to promote excellence in fiction written in the English language by a Pakistani author.
The KLF Peace Prize is a joint project of the KLF and the Consulate General of Germany in Karachi and the Embassy of Germany in Islamabad to recognize books that promote peace, international understanding, and tolerance.
Saiyid elaborated that this year there is a range of interesting sessions and events planned for the Festival. Among the many literary luminaries, academics, and journalists participating, both from Pakistan and abroad, there will be Ashis Nandy, Kuldip Nayar, Mushir ul Hasan, Moni Mohsin, Amjad Islam Amjad, Asma Jahangir, Amar Jaleel, Attiya Dawood, Bina Shah, Bushra Ansari, Fehmida Riaz, H.M. Naqvi, Hamida Khuhro, Kishwar Naheed, Maleeha Lodhi, Mohammed Hanif, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Shehnaz Wazir Ali, Shehzad Roy, Uzma Aslam Khan, Zehra Nigah, Zia Mohyeddin and Zubaida Jalal, among others.
According to the programme, proceedings on the opening day will commence with a discussion with Moni Mohsin; a session titled ‘The Power of the Fourth Estate’; and a session on Faiz. These will be followed by a conversation with Mustansar Hussain Tarar; a session with Bushra Ansari; a session on ‘Literature and Music in Pakistan’ with Tina Sani, Zeb Bangash, and Sarmad Khoosat as panellists; readings by Intizar Hussain with the launch of Silver Jubilee edition of his novel Basti, and a conversation with Rajmohan Gandhi. The first day will end with a Mushaira.
Important sessions on the second day of the festival include ‘Contemporary Fiction at Home and the Diaspora’; New Voices in Sindhi Poetry’; ‘Shayer e Awam: Habib Jalib’; ‘Glitter of the Silver Screen’; ‘Qawwali Music and the Sufi Poetry Tradition’; conversations with Kamila Shamsie, Uzma Aslam Khan, Zehra Nigah, and Raza Ali Abidi; dramatic storytelling by Nadia Jamil; and Dastangoi by Danish Hussain, Darain Shahidi and Mahmood Farooqui.
Highlights of the third day will include sessions on ‘Baloch Literature and Landscapes’; ‘Karachi: From Stone Age to Cyber Age’; ‘Bringing Down the Gender Walls’; ‘Drama and the Small Screen’ with Haseena Moin, Sultana Siddiqui, Shakeel, Seema Taher Khan and Attiya Dawood as speakers; conversations with Ashis Nandy, Navid Shahzad, Mohammed Hanif, Amar Jaleel, and Abdullah Hussain; Readings by Zia Mohyeddin; ‘Chulbuk Chori’ a play by Thespians Theatre; screenings of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s films; kathak performance by Nahid Siddiqui; and a concert by Laal.
The festival will include launches of about 28 books including Dr Rajmohan Gandhi’s book Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten, The Kashmir Dispute 1947 by A.G. Noorani, I’ll Find My Way an anthology of short stories edited by Muniza Naqvi, The Rest is Silence: Zahoor ul Ikhlaq: Art and Society in Pakistan, Jazeera Sukhanwaran by Ghulam Abbas, Delhi by Heart by Raza Rumi, The Prisoner by Omer Shahid Hamid, Urdu Afsanay by Hasan Manzar, and What’s Wrong with Pakistan? By Babar Ayaz.
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