Eighth Karachi Literature Festival to commence on Feb 10
The eighth edition of the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is to take place from February 10 till February 12 and the venue will be the same, the Beach Luxury Hotel.
This was announced by Ameena Saiyid, OBE, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (Pakistan), while addressing a press conference in this regard at the Arts Council on Tuesday afternoon.
Saiyid said that the festival would feature 136 Pakistani and 40 international speakers from 10 countries. Internationally acclaimed historian Ayesha Jalal and noted Pakistani author Mustansir Hussain Tarrar will be the keynote speakers.
The festival will include panel discussions, interviews, mushairas, performing arts, literary awards, and other related features.
Since 2017 marks the completion of seven decades of Pakistan’s independence, the theme of the festival will be a peek into the varying facets of the country through subjects as diverse as honour killings, teaching of history, and climate change.
Some of the illustrious names participating include Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Amar Jalil, Fehmida Riaz, Zafar Hilaly, Victoria Schofield, and Zia Mohyuddin.
Among the prominent persons from outside Pakistan will be Shabnam from Bangladesh and American Roger Long, a biographer of the late Pakistani Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan.
Among the many topics will be Pakistani music: from raag to raagas; gender violence, religion, law, and power in Pakistan.
Referring to the success and popularity of the festival, Saiyid said that while the first literature festival in 2010 saw 5,000 visitors, the seventh one in 2016 had 1,75,000.
The prizes she announced were: the KLF-Pepsi non-fiction prize; KLF-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize; KLF Peace Prize sponsored by the Consulate-General of Germany in Karachi; KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize; and the Italy-Reads-Pakistan Award, sponsored by the Consulate-general of Italy in Karachi.
The three books shortlisted for the KLF-Pepsi Non-Fiction Prize are: ‘Surkh Salam: Communist Politics and Class Activism in Pakistan” by Kamran Asdar Ali’; ‘A Book of Conquest: The Chachnama of Muslim Origins in South Asia’ by Manan Ahmed Asif; and ‘The Raj at War’ by Yasmin Khan. The prize carries an amount of Rs300,000.
The sponsors this year include the Consulate-General of Germany in Karachi, the US Consulate-General, the Manchester Literature Festival, the British Council, the British Deputy-High Commission, Consulate-General of Switzerland, Karachi, American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Consulate-General of Italy, and Goethe-Institut.