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The Karachi Literature Festival heads to London to celebrate Pakistan’s 70th birthday

The famous literature festival will take place at Southbank Centre on 20th May in celebration of Pakistan’s 70th birthday, states KLF’s website.

Mohammed Hanif will kickstart the event with unique insights into Pakistan’s history, hopes, and dilemmas. The extensive list of speakers includes designer Maheen Khan, writers Kamila Shamsie and H M Naqvi, PPP member Sherry Rehman, actor Nimra Bucha, among others.

Khumariyaan, Saif Samejo, lead vocalist and founder of the band The Sketches and Lahooti Melo will be performing at the festival.

This is the first time the KLF will be taking place outside of Pakistan. Read more

Source: DAWN


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The Karachi Literature Festival needs disruption to win back Pakistan’s literary heart


Harris Khalique verbalised my thoughts at the eighth edition of the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) exactly when, during the launch of his book Crimson Papers, he mused, “Why do I write? And what difference will it make?”

He revealed this as the question he struggles with endlessly, and it occurred to me how this is what literature festivals ought to examine today. Because as borders become impermeable, as walls go up between people and as bans become common, a conversation about the limits of literature and language to bridge divides — or the new ways in which writing must be appropriated to effect change — becomes essential.

This year’s KLF felt smaller and more subdued than its predecessor. The festival clearly suffered from tensions between India and Pakistan as only a handful of Indian authors made it across the border. Read more

Source: Images

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Pakistan’s literature festivals – elitist and irrelevant?

Literature festivals have become an annual affair in Pakistan for the past seven years. They are held in three to four big cities in February and March and run for several days. Writers and intellectuals from Pakistan, other South Asian countries and the West attend these gatherings and discuss a host of topics ranging from current trends in Pakistani and international literature to social issues such as gender discrimination and urban planning.

In a country where cultural activities have taken a back seat due to a rise of religious intolerance and political and sectarian violence, the “LitFests” are like a breath of fresh air. There is a cultural suffocation in the Muslim-majority country and any liberal activity should be welcomed wholeheartedly.

Although the organizers don’t claim they aspire to counter growing intolerance in Pakistan, it should be expected that such activities do translate into some sort of social action that brings forward a counter-narrative and challenges the forces of retrogression and obscurantism. Yet, many experts argue that Pakistani literature festivals, which generate large funds through corporate and non-profit organizations, have remained an “elitist” affair with writers and intellectuals participating in them remain somewhat detached from the major challenges the South Asian country faces today.

Against this backdrop, the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) kicks off on Friday, February 10, and will run for three days in a luxury hotel in the southern metropolis. Read more

Source: DW

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Karachi Literature Festival travels to London

Pakistan’s biggest literary event, the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) organized by Oxford University Press (OUP), will be launched in London on May 20, 2017 at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, as part of their Alchemy festival.

Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, Oxford University Press,  Nadir Cheema, Tariq Suleman, and Nigham Shahid of Bloomsbury Pakistan (a research collective based in London), and Rukhsana Ahmed, members of the KLF London executive committee.

KLF London will present sessions on Pakistan’s rich history, literature, and culture, and promises to be a vibrant affair. The event, which replaces the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) at Southbank, will be a great opportunity for London’s significant population of South Asian origin to gain an insight into the region’s complex history and culture as expressed through its literature and arts. Read more

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Call for Submissions: 2017 Karachi Literature Festival calls for Best Fiction Book Prize

You are a Pakistani Fiction writer and interested in attracting good audience with wining some reward against your hard or smart work? Then it is for your. Please, know the detail mentioned below and submit your entry before the deadline. Read more

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Throwing out actors, hating an entire people is small and reductionist: Saba Naqvi


I was invited in February 2013 to the Karachi literature festival with my book on India’s popular religion and syncretistic practices. I was surprised and touched to see that the opening ceremony of the festival included a dance-drama called “Tagore”. Gurudev’s poem “Where the Mind is Without Fear” was recited to a dance, included in which was a rendition of Gandhiji’s favourite bhajan, Raghupati Raghav Rajaram, patita paavana Sitaram, Ishwar Allah tero naam …

I later overheard some important citizens of Pakistan grumbling about the kind of projection being given to Indian visitors and the theme of the opening. But no matter: what that little event symbolised is people’s search for compassion even as doctrines of hate jolt their worlds. By the time the festival ended there was curfew in Karachi after a massacre in Quetta claiming over 80 lives. Many international visitors had to leave with security escort.

In the worst of times and places people always look for ideas that separate their sanity from their circumstances. Indian political thinkers, writers and poets have been evoked across the world for the sheer breadth and scale of the grand humanitarian visions they posited. Let’s not diminish ourselves because we have a consistent and real problem with our neighbouring country.

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India: Arvind Kejriwal Accepts Karachi Literature Festival 2017 Invite

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in New Delhi today accepted an invitation to attend the Karachi Literature Festival 2017.

During an event ‘The Coalition Conference’ held in New Delhi at the Talkatora Stadium when Karachi Literature Festival founder Ameena Saiyid invited Mr Kejriwal to attend the festival, he replied in the affirmative.

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Elite literary festivals are often irrelevant to the masses

Pakistan appears to be vying to be recognised as a normal country. Consequently, several literary festivals are held throughout the year, mainly funded by foreign donors, primarily in three major cities: Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. This year, too, two festivals were held in different cities but with varied clientele, audience, expectations and socio-political idioms. They also differed in terms of media and elite attention. Continue reading

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KLF: Revisiting our roots— South Asian fiction and politics in focus at the Karachi Literature Festival

Talking about fiction writing and the gender play in writing, the women on the ‘South Asian English fiction: Where mythology and history meet’ are on a roll. It’s only the day’s second session, and the audience is being given plenty to think about.

“Fiction writers are more interested in the myths of the future (like Star Trek), even if we are writing about the myths of the past,” Kamila Shamsie starts by talking about writing as mythmaking. In a time of colonialism, Shamsie feels post-colonial writers might be re-making language, but they still carry colonial burdens.

The conversation quickly moves to gender. Shamsie says written narratives are modeled on masculine narratives, because men are given priority in education departments and therefore associated with the written word. Women meanwhile are more easily associated with the oral narrative.  Continue reading

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At the Karachi literature festival, books really are a matter of life and death

In one of the world’s most dangerous cities, more than 100,000 people come together in a multilingual celebration of the written word : The Guardian

In Britain, where every two-horse village has a book festival and authors have become stumbling, portly simulacrums of their rock-star cousins, forever touring their greatest hits, we’ve grown to take our literary get-togethers for granted. It’s hard to imagine that a festival might be revolutionary, politically divisive, that attending could be a matter of taking your life in your hands. The Karachi literature festival (KLF) is now in its sixth year, and welcomed more than 100,000 people through its security scanners last weekend. The festival ended with a lavish British Council-hosted dinner, where the only clue that we were anywhere out of the ordinary was the throb of police boats circling the dark waters of Chinna Creek nearby.

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