Bangalore Literature Festival turns two

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In a fortnight from today, the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF), will be celebrating its second edition.

Building on the successful 2012 debut edition, this year’s edition will  feature over 100 authors and speakers. They include Gulzar, Ramachandra Guha, William Dalrymple, U R Ananthamurthy, Rajmohan Gandhi, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, David Davidar, Ravi Subramanian, Prasad Bidapa, Ramakant Rath, Ashokamitran, Anita Nair, Ian Jack, Meena Kandasamy and several others.

Cinema and writing
This year’s highlights include commemorating 100 years of Indian cinema with a discussion on the adaptation of biographies to bio-pics featuring one of India’s most critically acclaimed actors Farhan Akhtar, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and lyricist-writer Prasoon Joshi, whose ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was a stellar success this year.

The discussions on cinema writing will feature veterans in the field like Baradwaj Rangan, Sidharth Bhatia, Sharmishta Gooptu, MK Raghavendra, Kishwar Desai, Bhawana Somaaya, Jayant Kaikini and others. Poet Gulzar who wowed audiences at BLF 2012, and loved being there himself, will participate this year too in a discussion on film lyrics with Joshi.

German influence
This year, BLF has collaborated with the Goethe-Institut-Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore and Germany is the focus country. Authors from Germany, including the celebrated slam poet Bas Botcher, Tilman Rammstedt and Christopher Kloebel. Saskya Jain and Abbas Khider will be participating, as will be Ian Jack of Granta and Mofussil Junction fame. Aurélia Lassaque the French/Occitan poet. BLF 2013 will also showcase South Asian Writing, featuring authors from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Some of the visitors include Babar Ayaz, Mira Hashmi, Kanak Mani Dixit, Farah Ghuznawi and Ashok Ferry.

Local touch
This second edition of the Festival also has sessions planned on  Kannada literature featuring stalwarts like Chandrashekhara Kambara, U R Ananthamurthy, HS Venkatesh Murthy, Nissar Ahmed, Venkatachala Shastry,  Narahalli Balasubrahmanya, Viveka Rai, KS Bhagwan, Jayant Kaikini, Mamta Sagar, Giraddi Govindaraju, CN Ramachandran, MM Kalburgi, Padekal Vishnu Bhatt and several others.

Another interesting element this year is the emphasis on the 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.

The young face
This year’s edition of BLF also promises to be bigger and better for children and young adults too. Several children’s sessions and activity corners have been organised in the Makkala Koota tent in association with Pratham Books, Bookalore and Amar Chitra Katha.

Beyond Books
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 poetry sessions; 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.

Entry is free and open to all via online registration. Since it is based in the Silicon Valley of India, sessions at BLF will be streamed live through partnerships with AuthorTV and Radiowalla.

“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 Vikram Sampath.

Where? The Crowne Plaza, Velankani Park, Electronics City

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