Curtain falls on Dhaka Lit Fest


DHAKA, Nov 10, 2018 (BSS) – The three-day Dhaka Lit Fest, which brought together a diverse mix of the world’s well-known writers, as well as up-and-coming authors, thinkers, and entertainers on one stage, concluded here today with a pledge to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue.

The participation of internationally acclaimed writers, poets and scholars, vibrant appearances of all ages of book lovers made the Dhaka Lit Fest a platform of exchanging and sharing creative practices and knowledge.

The international programming with well known authors served the extravaganza of attracting audiences who could not otherwise be able to hear these authors speak.

An environment that encourages debates about common global issues has been created in the festival where people with different languages and culture gathered with a common goal to foster literature practices and virtually turned it into a platform of sharing and exchanging diversified literatures and cultures.

Festival focused on giving more space to emerging writers, which is part of the appeal for attendees to discover lesser-known voices. It is not just the locals who flocked to the Bangla Academy and the festival has proven its global reach and manages to attract both readers and writers.

The conclusion of the festival underpinned the need for more attention by all stakeholders than they currently do, especially considering the region’s rich literary history and diverse make-up.

The audience for literary festival has widened since the Dhaka Lit Fest began its journey.

With a pledge to promote Bengali literature and culture to the global community, International Literary Festival for the eighth time began Thursday on the premises of Bangla Academy in the capital with the name Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF).

The book title “Thyme Closet” written by Sarina Hossain, a young writer, has gained impressive response from booklovers particularly children at the Dhaka Lit Fest.
Talking to BSS, she (Sarina) said, “I have written three books including Thyme Closet and Castle of Doom, which are already gaining popularity among the children”

Sharina, a student of class nine of Chittagong Grammer School, Dhaka, said, “Both fiction and non-fiction texts contain in Theme Closet…. Children find gaiety in my three books that would help boost their imagination.”

In a spontaneous outpouring of huge crowds the Dhaka Lit Fest today turned into a glittering festival paving the way for multiple practices of knowledge alongside promoting literary appeal of different languages.

The extravaganza made ways for accommodating new ideas on literature and culture setting an example for those absorbed in literary thoughts as renowned litterateurs, cultural personalities, artists and journalists with different languages and cultures assembled to share diverse and critical notions beneficial to people.

The gathering of acclaimed figures with envious contributions in literature, culture and media from all continents across the world fostered literature practices and exchanged literary and cultural ideas on the premises of Bangla Academy.

The three-day fest, organized by the Cultural Affairs Ministry and the DLF committee. The event was not glazed by boredom but prompted thought-provoking ideas.

Rejuvenation of songs and dance echoed in the entire areas of the fest, fittingly graced by Pulitzer Prize winner novelist Adam Johnson, Indian Bengali author Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif, Bollywood actresses Manisha Koirala and Nandita Das, Oscar winning British actress Tilda Swinton and Ondaatje prize winning writer Philip Hensher.

About 40 internationally reputed writers, discussants and researchers from 15 countries and about 200 from Bangladesh joined the DLF, organisers said. A total of 90 sessions at the festival were held.

Sadaf Saz, one of the directors of the festival, said, “The Dhaka Lit Fest was held for the eighth time and this reflects continuous success of all us. We took huge response from writers, visitors and publishing houses from both home and abroad.”

Organizers of the DLF told BSS that the Dhaka Lit Fest has been regarded as the largest literary festival in South Asia.

While talking to visitors at the Dhaka Lit Fest, they described this literary festival as an excellent platform for both literature-loving people, authors and other stakeholders, which eventually will diversify literature practices.

Kazi Anis Ahmed, director of Dhaka Lit Fest, said this international literary festival was held in Bangladesh for the eighth time under the new name, “Dhaka Lit Fest”. Previously, it was held with the name of Hay Festival, he added.

“Our main objective is to project our literature, culture and tradition at international level through this festival. Bangladeshi writers so far have been popularized through this festival,” he added.

The organizers said the eight edition of DLF hosted over 200 speakers, performers, thinkers making it the largest and the most diverse gathering so far.

According to the organizers, fiction writers Prashanta Mridha was awarded the Gemcon Sahitya Puroshkar-2018 at the Dhaka Lit Fest.

Priyanka Ahmed, a staffer of a private bank, described this literary festival as an excellent platform for both literature-loving people, authors and other stakeholders, which eventually will diversify literature practices.

“I am delighted to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of Dhaka Lit Fest…. Really it is a lively gathering of people with different languages,” she added.

While talking to the news agency, a visitor said “I visited previously held all Hay Festivals (former name of the festival). I hope this international literary event will enrich our Bangla literature and culture as it appears as a wonderful gathering of writers, poets, publishers with different languages and cultures.”