Bangalore Literature Festival to be hosted in Electronic City

Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF), the flagship literary event on the cultural calendar of Bangalore city, is all set for its second edition from September 27 to 29 at the Crowne Plaza, at Velankani Park in Electronics City.

From (L-R) Shinie Antony, Vikram Sampath, Srikrishna Ramamurthy – cofounders of Bangalore Literature Festival (1)

Building on the successful 2012 debut edition, this year BLF will  feature over a 100 authors and speakers, including several distinguished literary names like Gulzar, RamachandraGuha, William Dalrymple, U R Ananthamurthy, Rajmohan Gandhi, Chandrashekhara Kambara, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Farhan Akhtar, David Davidar, Wendell Rodricks, Prasoon Joshi, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Shashi Deshpande, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravi Subramanian, Nissar Ahmed, Madhu Kishwar, H S Venkatesh Murthy, Prasad Biddappa, Ramakant Rath, Ashokamitran, K Satchidanandan, Nilanjana Roy, Kishwar Desai, Anita Nair, Ian Jack, Shobhaa De, Karthika VK, KapishMehra, Meena Kandasamyand several others.

This year BLF will witness authors engaging the audiences with diverse themes. Highlights include commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema with adiscussion on the adaptation of biographies to bio-pics featuring one of India’smost critically acclaimed actorsFarhanAkhtar, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and lyricist-writer Prasoon Joshi, whose ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was a stellar success this year; discussions on cinema writing featuring veterans in the field like Baradwaj Rangan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sharmishta Gooptu, M K Raghavendra, Kishwar Desai, Bhawana Somaaya, Jayant Kaikiniand others. Poet Gulzar who wowed audiences at BLF 2012, andloved being there himself, will participate this year too in a discussion on film lyrics with Prasoon Joshi.

This year Bangalore Literature Festival is collaborating with the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore to feature Germany as a focus country for the 2013 edition. Authors from Germany, including the celebrated slam poet Bas Botcher, Tilman Rammstedt, Chirstopher Kloebel, Saskya Jain and Abbas Khiderwill be participating, as will be Ian Jack of Granta and Mofussil Junction fame,and Aurélia Lassaque the French/Occitan poet. BLF 2013 also throws the spotlight on South Asian Writing, featuring authors from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka: Babar Ayaz, Mira Hashmi, Kanak Mani Dixit, Farah Ghuznawi and Ashok Ferry.

This second edition of the Fesival also has sessions planned on  Kannada literature featuring stalwarts like ChandrashekharaKambara, U R Ananthamurthy, HS Venkatesh Murthy, Nissar Ahmed, VenkatachalaShastry,  NarahalliBalasubrahmanya, VivekaRai, K S Bhagwan, JayantKaikini, Mamta Sagar, Giraddi Govindaraju, CN Ramachandran, MM Kalburgi, Padekal Vishnu Bhatt and several others speaking on a host of issues relevant to the language. Another unique and interesting element of BLF is the emphasis on oral literary languages of Karnataka including Beary, Tulu, Kodava and Konkani, as also a special panel on the village of Mathoor and its success with making Sanskrit all pervasive there.

Bangalore Literature Festival 2013 is also supported by the Sahitya Akademi,India’s National Academy of Letters, in helping bring together many stalwarts and upcoming Indian language authors, some of them for the first time to Bangalore. Names include Ramakant Rath (Odia), Nabaneeta Dev Sen (Bengali), Ashokamitran (Tamil), Ashok Vajpeyi (Hindi), Govind Mishra (Hindi), K Satchidanandan (Malayalam), Vempalli Gangadhara (Telugu), Farooq Shaheen (Kashmiri), Dharmakirti Sumant (Marathi), Arindam Borkataki (Assamese) and others.

True to the Festival’s moorings, several city authors are supporting the event and participating in the Festival. Leading names include Shashi Deshpande, Usha K.R., Anita Nair, Gita Aravamudan, VarunAgarwal, PreetiShenoy, LavanyaSankaran, Nandita Bose,SwarThounaojam, JahnaviBarua, Athena Kashyap, NilanjanChoudhury, MinalHajratwala and others.

Other key attractions that audiences can look forward to at BLF this year include a session on Spirituality and Writing by renowned Guru, Sri Sri Ravishankar; interesting presentations and lectures by eminent historians Ramachandra Guha and William Dalrymple; nuances of fashion writingwith Wendell Rodricksand much more.

This year’s edition of BLF also promises to be bigger and better for children and young adults too. In association with Pratham Books, Bookalore and Amar Chitra Katha, several children’s sessions and activity corners have been organised at the ‘MakkalaKoota’ tent at the event venue.

The Festival opens at 10am on the three days, with sessions going on through the day across three tents at the charming lawns ofCrowne Plaza at Velankani Park, Electronics City. Other interesting sidelights include an evening Carnatic violin performance by the Mysore Brothers – Dr. Manjunath and Shri Nagaraj; the famous Veeragase dance folk form of Karnataka, performance poetrysessions; Slam poetry workshops; a Hyde Park style Speakers’ Corner, short film screenings, stand-up comedy, book-nooks for literature lovers, a Festival bookshop by Oxford Bookstore along with several Kannada and Indian language book stalls to browse and buy books; book launches and author signing sessions; a unique spatial setup to explore and inhabit, film poster and memorabilia exhibitions,food and beverage outlets with street food, local and international cuisine – all making for a unique literary and cultural extravaganza and a true celebration of ‘Literature in the Park’.

Entry is free and open to all via registration on the website www.bangaloreliteraturefestival.org and via Facebook and Twitter on BlrLitFest. Pre-registration is highly recommended. Full list of events, schedule, participating author bios and other information will also be available on the website. True to its Bangalore roots, BLF will also take advantage of technology and all sessions will be streamed live through partnerships with AuthorTV and Radiowalla.

The 2013 edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival is supported by Crowne Plaza, Bengaluru as the Venue and Hospitality sponsor, Bangalore International Airport, ING Vysya Bank, ITC Foods and a group of eminent Bangaloreans coming together as Friends of Bangalore Literature Festival.

Partners this year include Alliance Française De Bangalore, Bangalore International Arts Festival, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan,  BrandComm, Electronics City Industries Association, Goli-Soda, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore, HIMĀL Southasian, Kumar La Noce, LinOpinion, Redbox Ideas, Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Sahitya Akademi.

“Bangalore truly lives up to its cosmopolitan status and we have strived to reflect this in our programming of the Festival too. This year the focus is on being experimental yet inclusive with more languages, a blend of serious and light writing, intense and diverse themes coupled with celebrity attendance and general interest panels. We believe we’ve put together something for everyone and look forward to high levels of participation from namma Bengaluru,said author and founding trustee of the Bangalore Literature Festival VikramSampath.

Related Articles

Don’t be afraid of Bangalore Literary Fest
Early start to Lit Fest this year: Vikram Sampath talks about what’s new