Literatis, gear up for some thought provoking, entertaining and informative sessions, as the Hyderabad Literary Festival is back. The three-day literary extravaganza, which will be conducted virtually from January 28 to 30, will host several eminent authors, filmmakers, photographers, and other artists from across the country.

Sharing the details of the festival, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology and Industries and Commerce, said, “We really hoped to conduct the 12th edition of Hyderabad Literary Festival offline. However, looking at the prevailing Covid condition, we kept it virtual.”

Just like last year, the audience members will be able to attend the live session via online platforms. The sessions will be available on the HLF YouTube channel for the viewers to watch later as well. “Those who want to attend the live sessions will have to register for the same in advance,” he said adding that various small sessions will be planned for the literature lovers over the year, so as to keep the community engaged.

The Guest Nation for this year’s edition of HLF is the United Kingdom. Over 10 UK-based speakers will be participating in various online sessions, which are being supported by the British Council, National Centre for Writing, Norwich, and Art and Humanities Research Council, UK.

Dr T Vijay Kumar, Festival Director, said, “Two UK-based organisations, Speaking Volumes, which specialises in getting underrepresented voices, especially of writers of colour, and Out on the Page, which supports the emerging LGBTQ writers, have coordinated the participation of come of the writers.”

He added, “Among the Indian languages, the festival will focus on Punjabi this year. Several authors have been writing about the ordeals of the civilians during the 1984 riots. We will have a panel discussion on the same. Apart from that we will also have a session with celebrated photojournalist Raghu Rai and conservation architect Gurmeet Rai on their book Amritsar: A City in Remembrance.”

This year the HLF is also trying to revive the lost stories told to many by their grandparents.

“We believe that the values and belief systems that have been passed down the generations through folklore and stories told to us by our grandparents are now losing their space in our lives as we move into the age of nuclear families and fast-paced lifestyles,” shared Dr B Kinnera Murthy, Festival Director, adding, “Project “Save endangered Stories” focuses on recording and saving these endangered stories and folklore narrated by our grandparents.

Four seniors — Kore Surya Latha, Saraswati, S.C.Bhargava and Indumati Ramdeo — will be narrating a story each, which will also be digitised later and be available for wider circulation and reference through e-library.

There are very some sessions planned for movie/theatre lovers as well. “The Red Curtain International and Os Satyros, Brazil will present a play which is set in a dystopian future after a pandemic has changed the world the way we know it. What is interesting is that the audience will be as much a part of this play as the actors. They will be able to share their thoughts and interact during the play,” informed Festival Director, Amita Desai.

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