Dhaka Lit Fest: Don’t miss out on
Feature Desk

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9:30AM – 10:15AM

POP FICTION | Bhasha Stage

What is so compelling both about writing within rules, and its inevitable breaches? How far can genre break rules while still staying within the genre? Three authors discuss the call of genre fiction and its wide appeal. Featuring Srabonti Narmeen Ali, Nesar Nadim, and Khondokar Ashif Uz Zaman. Marking the launch of Zaman’s novel Faded by Bengal Publications and Nadim’s Demons by Daily Star Books. In conversation with best-selling novelist Nirupama Subramanian.

10:30AM – 11:30AM

SHOOTING HISTORY | Main Stage 

In a conversation with writer and DLF director Ahsan Akbar, notable international journalist Jon Snow discusses his wide-ranging experiences in reporting from conflict zones, covering political change through the past three decades, and facilitating numerous public debates and news campaigns.

KALKATTA | Bhasha Stage

Novelist and short story writer Kunal Basu in conversation with writers Wasi Ahmed and Tilottama Majumdar. Moderated by Poulomi Sengupta. Marking the Bangladesh launch of Basu’s new novel Kalkatta.

FRACTALS | Lawn  

The Bangladesh launch of poet Sudeep Sen’s latest poetry collection Fractals, with Nirupama Subramanian.

HIBIJIBI KOTHA | Bottola

Children’s play based on Shukumar Ray’s poems and rhymes. Presented by PathyoNat Kendro. For children ages: 8-14 years.

11:45AM – 12:45PM

NAYANTARA SAHGAL | Main Stage

Nayantara Sahgal, leading light of Indian liberalism, talks to her biographer Ritu Menon about her life of wide-ranging literary and political commentary, from the heady days of early Indian independence, to her recent works and strong stance to uphold secularism and the right to dissent. Moderated by MK Aaref.

BEHIND THE LENS | Bhasha Stage

Voted as the second Most Impactful Woman of 2015 by The New York Times, Leslee Udwin has also won the Anna Lindh Human Rights Prize and London Critics’ Circle Producer of the Year Award. The celebrated documentarian discusses the pleasures and perils of truth telling in a complex format with local film critic Juditha Ohlmacher and filmmaker Dina Hossain.

THE CHILD WITHIN | Lawn    

Master storytellers Muthoni Garland and Paro Anand, and Children’s Literature Festival founder Ameena Saiyid, discuss the challenges of writing, publishing and marketing children’s and young adult literature, with publisher Mahrukh Mohiuddin.

STRANGE BODIES | Cosmic Tent    

Marcel Theroux discusses his latest novel and the relationship between body and soul with Kelly Falconer.

1:00PM – 2:00PM

LONDON FIELDS | Main Stage   

Amit Chaudhuri with a new work on London, one of the most written-about cities, discusses its enduring appeal and shaping influence. Farrukh Dhondy, a great Londoner himself, joins the discussion with Khademul Islam.

A LIFE IN ARTS AND SCIENCE | Bhasha Stage

Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher, talks to writer Sadaf Saaz about his lifetime of passion for literature and science.

PUBLISHING—THE WAY FORWARD | KK Tea Stage

Ritu Menon of Women Unlimited, Ameena Saiyid (Oxford University Press, Pakistan) and Maina Bhagat (Oxford University Press, India) discuss the future of the written word with Somak Ghoshal of HarperCollins India.

2:15PM – 3:30PM

INDIA’S DAUGHTER | Bhasha Stage

The controversial documentary India’s Daughter was banned in India and sparked worldwide debate. The film’s director Leslee Udwin, Bangladeshi women’s rights activist Shireen Huq, and actor Sara Zaker, discuss violence against women in today’s world.

GANDHI BEFORE INDIA | KK Tea Stage

The controvertial documentary India’s Daughter was banned in India and sparked worldwide debate. The film’s director Leslee Udwin, Bnagladeshi women’s activist Shireen Huq. And actor Sara Zaker, discuss violence against women in today’s world.

ATTACHMENT AND ALIENATION | Cosmic Tent

Syed Waliullah, widely regarded as the first truly modern Bangladeshi novelist, lived in Paris and was heavily influenced by French existentialism. The publisher Niaz Zaman responds to a new translation of Walilullah’s Kado Nodi Kado (Cry, River, Cry) by Writers.ink.  In conversation with MK Aaref.

3:45PM – 4:45PM

CRICKET: THE UNQUIET ONES | Main Stage

Notable historian Ramachandra Guha and sports writer Osman Samiuddin discuss the history and future of cricket with Kazi Inam Ahmed, delving into why the beloved game captures hearts and minds across the board.

FEMINISM: THE NEXT F WORD | Lawn

Fearless social commentator Shobhaa De, Southbank artistic director Jude Kelly, activist Tasaffy Hossain and publisher Urvashi Butalia debate on the issues of modern feminism. An embodiment of empowerment, a straightforward “us” versus “them” debate, or an outdated concept—what is the new equation for equality?

AMPERSAND: SPOKEN WORD PERFORMANCE | Cosmic Stage

An emerging group of spoken word artists perform a collection of original works.

3:00PM – 5:00PM

BEHULA LACHARI | Bardhaman House

A folk dance-drama retelling of the age-old myth of Manasa, the Serpent Goddess, and celebrating the power of female forces through Behula’s epic and victorious struggle to bring her husband back to life. Presented by cultural activist and Sanskrit scholar Lubna Marium.

5:00PM – 7:00PM

CLOSING PLENARY: IS THERE ANY FUTURE FOR LIBERALISM IN SOUTH ASIA? | Main Stage

All countries in South Asia are experiencing severe pressures on the liberal ideal at the root of their founding. Figures from the region who cut across generations and professions discuss how, if at all, Nehruvian liberalism can hope to survive. Featuring Nayantara Sahgal, Kiran Nagarkar, Kazi Nabil Ahmed, Fasih Ahmed and Bikash Sangraula. Moderated by Victor Mallet.

* Program is subject to changes

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