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Hyderabad Literary Festival: Governor goes off-script at Hyderabad Literature Festival, attacks author

HLF 2016-LogoThe sixth edition of the Hyderabad Literary Festival took off to a fiery start on Thursday with a war of words breaking out – bang in public view – between acclaimed author Nayantara Sahgal and governor E S L Narasimhan, who was the chief guest at the event.

Sahgal, speaking first, stressed on the diminishing space for dissent in the country and how a series of “intolerant” incidents over the past one year — from the killings of rationalist writers to the lynching of Akhlaq in Dadri – marked the rise of a “Hindutva ideology.”

The murders “were not isolated incidents but part of the growing Hindutva ideology. It is time that we decide if we want to build modern spaces that are open to reason,” said the writer who was the first person to give up her Sahitya Akademi award protesting ‘the failure of the state to safeguard India’s diversity’. She added: “There has been violence in the past as well. But for the first time the state failed to take a stand.”

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HLF 2016 Strives for Inclusivity

HLF 2016-LogoHyderabad Literary Festival is as much about literature and art as it is about social responsibility. Over the years, HLF has introduced several features to make the festival broad based and inclusive. Continuing its effort at inclusiveness, HLF 2016 will host a series of events on LGBTQ issues, as well as panels by the differently abled.

Look forward to the following and more!

  • Panel discussions on gay identities with authors and activists such as Hoshang Merchant, R Raj Rao, Sridhar Rangayan, Moses Tulasi, Bharat Jayaram and others.
  • Exhibition by artist-architect Maitri Dore who will bring stirring visuals and drawings on contemporary topics related to sexuality and the state. Her work ranges from the humorous to the tragic, while taking on issues like Section 377 of IPC, social stigma and stereotypes.
  • Performance by the transgender theatre group Colour of Trans 2.0. It will trace the experiences of the actors themselves through seven episodes. The performances will mix the forms of cabaret, monologue, clown theatre, commedia del arte, film, and the theatre of the absurd. Colour of Trans 2.0 raises questions of self-representation, trans activism, caste and new interventions in theatre.
  • Screening of films featuring stories of LGBT persons victimized and subjugated by law, family and society; and hopeful stories of younger LGBT persons who have overcome barriers to live openly with dignity.
  • Panel discussion featuring differently abled achievers such as Shakila Maharaj who pioneered the establishment of innovative disability services in South Africa, the disability rights activist Anita Ghai,and promoter of cricket for the blind and producer of TV serial Nazar ya Nazariya, George Thomas.

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Hyderabad Literature Festival 2016 to showcase Singapore literature and culture

HLF 2016-LogoFrom offering an inspiring growth model to the new state to preparing a blueprint of a futuristic capital, Singapore indeed seems to be the flavour of the season in this part of the country. But Singapore is not just a swanky city-state proud of its modern achievements; it is equally passionate about its cultural heritage.

The richness and diversity of Singapore’s literature and culture will be on show at the forthcoming Hyderabad Literature Festival (HLF) 2016 (7-10 Jan). Two years ago, the National Arts Council of Singapore, which functions under the Ministry of Culture, had sent a small delegation of writers to HLF to check out the festival. Apparently pleased by the way the festival was organized, the NAC has now readily acceded to HLF’s proposal to feature Singapore as the ‘Guest Nation’ at HLF 2016.

Mr Roy Kho, Singapore Consul-General in Chennai will be a guest of honour at the inaugural of HLF 2016, and six writers and nearly as many artistes will present their work at the festival in readings, panel discussions, workshops, and cultural events. Musicians of BronzAge Gamelan ensemble will accompany Rosemarie Somaiah of Asian Storytelling Network, Singapore’s first professional storytelling company, at the inaugural cultural event.

Besides, five animated short films produced by ‘The Filmic Eye’ will be screened at the festival. These films were produced under ‘Utter 2015’. Utter is a special initiative of the Singapore Writers Festival and it showcases the best of Singapore writing and celebrates its potential to be adapted into different media and across languages.

To complete the collaboration, Kitaab the Singapore-based publishing and multimedia company, which focuses mainly on Asian writing, is HLF’s official online media partner. Zafar Anjum, the founder and editor-in-chief of Kitaab, will participate in HLF both as a journalist and an author.