Event Programme

Dhaka Lit Fest 2017

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2017

TIME

ABDUL KARIM

SAHITYA BISHARAD

AUDITORIUM

POET SHAMSUR

RAHMAN

SEMINAR ROOM

LAWN

VASKAR NOVERA

EXHIBITION HALL

COSMIC TENT NAZRUL STAGE
9:30am-10:15am    

[101]

SPIRITUAL SONGS

Bahá'i Writings

Neda Shakiba

     
10:00am-11:00am

[102]

Pung Cholom

Manipuri Theatre

         
11:00am-12:00pm

[103]

Inaugural ceremony

DLF directors and

honourable Minister

of Cultural Affairs

Asaduzzaman Noor

 

Opening

Adonis

 
       
12:15pm-1:30pm

[104]

Adonis

with Kaiser Haq

       
 
1:45pm-2:45pm

[105]

Mujib: Taking history

to the next generation

Radwan Mujib Siddiq,

Syed Rashad Imam

Tanmoy, Luke Neima

and Arzoo Ismail with

Jerry Pinto

[106]

The short of it

Nadia Kabir Barb,

Salahdin Imam and

Aamer Hussein with

Nadeem Zaman

[107]

A Life in Letters

Imdadul Haq

Milon with Ahmad

Mostofa Kamal

[108]

Beautiful Animals

Lawrence Osborne

with Eleanor

Chandler

[109]

বাংলার নারী,

দুর্জয় ঘাটি

Mithila Farzana,

Nobonita

Chowdhury, Masuda

Bhatti and Selina

Hossain with Papree

Rahman

 
3:00pm-4:00pm

[110]

Staging stories

David Hare and

Asaduzzaman Noor

with Iresh Zaker

[111]

ফেক নিউজ

Zulfiqer Russell, Arif

Jebtik, Rumeen

Farhana and Garga

Chatterjee with

Probhash Amin

[112]

Words of conscience?

Poetry and activism

Nausheen Eusuf,

Kaiser Haq and

Sophia Walker

with Syed

Shehzar Doja

[113]

The Bengalis:

A race divided

Sudeep

Chakravarti,

Kushanava

Choudhury,

Ikhtisad Ahmed and

Ananya Kabir

with David Davidar

[114]

গল্পকার -

সীমানা যখন কেন্দ্র

Sayed Azad, Kana

Basu Misra,

Marina Nasrin

and Masudul

Haque with

Mohammad

Moheuddin

[115] 

কবিতা -

কিশোর মান্নান  ও আবৃত্তি

Khalek Bin Joinuddin,

Aslam Sani, et al

4:15pm-5:15pm

[116]

Magical tales

Ben Okri with

Ashok Ferrey

[117]

সাহিত্যের স্বদেশ

বিদেশ

Nazmun Nesa,

Alim Azij, Rafique

um-Munir

Chowdhury and

Mojaffor Hossain

with Zahid Shohag

[118]

Caustic workplaces

and commutes

David Szalay with

Kelly Falconer

[119]

America: Asia's

setting sun

Dominic Ziegler,

Victor Mallet,

Lawrence

Osborne and Jeff

Kingston with

Zafar Sobhan

[120]

LECTURE

The (mis)rule of the

British Raj

Roderick Matthews

introduced by Sadaf Saaz

[121]

Ampersand

performance

poetry in English

and Bengali by

young poets

 
5:30pm-6:30pm

[122]

Gemcon Awards

[123]

Ghosts of the

tsunami

Richard Lloyd

Parry with David

Davidar

[124]

বাঙালী

মুসলমানের মন

Sajjad Sharif,

Zakir Talukder,

Samia Huq and

Syed Saifuddin

Ahmed

Maizbhandari

with Sumon Rahman

 

[125]

From page to screen

Sharbari Ahmed

with Ikhtisad Ahmed

 

[126]

I want a poem

Mousumi Banerjee,

Bigoa Chuol

and Jerry Pinto,

introduced by

Nausheen Eusuf

 
6:45pm-7:45pm

[127]

FILM PREMIERE

Paperfrogs

Nuhash Humayun

with Luba Khalili

 

 

[128]

A past divided

Ananya Kabir, Ali

Riaz and Perween

Hassan with Parsa

Sanjana Sajid

followed by

presentation of a

virtual Museum of

Shared Pasts by

Fahmida Zaman

and Taufiqur Rahman Khan 

[129]

কবিতা

বাংলার মুখ - ১

Habibullah Siraji,

Asad Mannan,

Muhammad

Samad, et al

[130]

রোহিঙ্গা - বিপন্ন

মানবতা

Bakhtiar Uddin Chowdhury,

Tapodhir Bhattacharjee and

Harun Ur Rashid with

Sheriff Al Sire

[131]

Religion in politics:

Absolutism or

democracy?

Azeem Ibrahim,

Charles Glass,

Michael Vatikiotis,

Jeff Kingston and

Zafar Sobhan

with Samrat

Choudhury

 
 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017

TIME

ABDUL KARIM

SAHITYA BISHARAD

AUDITORIUM

POET SHAMSUR

RAHMAN

SEMINAR ROOM

LAWN

VASKAR NOVERA

EXHIBITION HALL

COSMIC TENT NAZRUL STAGE
9:00am-10:00am    

[201]

SPIRITUAL SONGS

Kirtan

Mohaprobhu

Shongho

     
10:00am-11:00am

[202]

From Xanadu to nine lives

William Dalrymple

with Shazia Omar

[203]

অক্ষর ও অঙ্ক

Mousumi Banerjee

with Garga Chatterjee

 

[204]

Out of the jungle

Samrat Choudhury

and Stephen Alter

with Valentine Cunningham

[205]

Critical Muslim:

Launch of Bangladesh issue

Kaiser Haq, Maria

Chaudhuri, Rajib

Rahman and Sharbari

Ahmed with Aamer

Hussein

[206]

CHILDREN'S SESSION (<12yrs)

তোতোন মামার

ম্যাজিক ঝোলা

reading by Nazia Jabeen

 

[207]

[11am - 11:15am]

The historian's eye

Opening of William

Dalrymple's photo exhibition

**2nd floor, main building

11:15am-12:15pm

[208]

We need to talk

about Shriver

Lionel Shriver

with André Naffis

Sahely

 

[209]

Em and the Big Hoom
Jerry Pinto with Sabahat Jahan

[210]

Mothers and daughters 

Nandana Sen with Sara Zaker

[211]

Integrating science

Belal Baaquie with Ashok Ferrey 

[212]

Kabul in our hearts

Nasreen Sattar and

Ameerah Haq

with Salahdin Imam

[213] 

মেয়েদের লাঠিখেলা

Bir Sreshtho Noor

Mohammad Lathiyal Dol

12:30pm-1:30pm

[214]

Performances as

authorship

Tilda Swinton with

Ahsan Akbar

 

[215]

চলচ্চিত্রকার  হুমায়ুন

Riaz, Matin Rahman,

Meher Afroz Shaon

and Mahfooz-ur

Rahman Khan

[216]

প্রকাশনা - একাল সেকাল

Dipankar Das, Rajib

Che and Syed Zakir

Hossain with Firoz

Ahmed

 

 

 

 
2:00pm-3:00pm

[217]

Hideous Kinky
Esther Freud with

Sharbari Ahmed

[218]

Memoirs of a publisher

John Makinson with

Mahrukh Mohiuddin

[219]

#metoo

Sabina Faiz Rashid,

Samia Zaman, Sophia

Walker and Bachi

Karkaria with Jyoti

Malhotra

[220]

সম্পর্কের এপার ওপার
Shamsuzzaman

Khan, Jahar Sen

Majumder, Tapodhir

Bhattacharjee,

Shaheen Akhtar,

Tapodhir Bhattacharjee and

Sajjad Sharif with

Ahmed Reza 

[221]

The story in a portrait

Sandro Kopp with

Katerina Don

[222]

CHILDREN'S SESSION

Presenting Sukumar Ray

Bottola

(A play)

3:15pm-4:15pm

[223]

The Famished Road 

Ben Okri with Jerry

Pinto

[318]

CHILDREN'S SESSION 

Poran the Postman:

Storytelling and Doodling

Sharada Kolluru,

Saiq'a S Chowdhury

and Sabyasachi

Mistry with

Muhammad Sohel

[224]

POETRY RECITATIONS

The Promised Land
André Naffis-Sahely

and Sophia Walker

with Ritu Menon

[225]

Colonial hang-up and/or hangover

Deepak Unnikrishnan,

Roderick

Matthews, Stephen

Alter and Anuk

Arudpragasam with

Kushanava Choudhury

 [226]

CHILDREN'S SESSION (<8yrs)

Mambi and the

Forest Fire and Not Yet! 

Nandana Sen

 

[227]

CHILDREN'S SESSION

সাত ভাই চম্পা ও

অন্যান্য গল্প

reading by Anisul Hoque

 

 
4:30pm-5:30pm

[228]

HerStories:

Homegrown Supergirls

Mabia Akhter,

Madiha Murshed,

Nayma Hoque,

Nishat Mazumder

and Tamanna-E-Lutfi

with Seuty Sabur

5:20pm - unveiling by

Asaduzzaman Noor 

[229]

Intangibles

Ananya Kabir and

Syed Jamil Ahmed

with Shuprova Tasneem

 

[230]

SPECIAL RECITATIONS

Adonis

introduced by Sadaf Saaz

[231]

Djinn City
  
Saad Z  Hossain with

Sabrina Fatma

Ahmad

[232]

Rohingyas: Landless future

Azeem Ibrahim,

Ameerah Haq, Jeff

Kingston, Justin

Rowlatt and Michael

Vatikiotis with Zafar Sobhan

[233] 

CHILDREN'S SESSION

The puppet master 

Mustafa Monwar

5:45pm-6:45pm

[234]

ASIAN FILM PREMIERE

Shadow World

introduced by Anadil

Hossain 

[5:45pm-7:15pm]

 

 

[7:15pm - 8pm]

Andrew Feinstein

with Dominic Ziegler

 [235]

Temporary People

Deepak Unnikrishnan and

André Naffis-Sahely

with Rifat Munim

[236]

[5:45pm - 6:30]

Selected Poems

Poet Kamal

Chowdhury in

conversation with

Shamim Reza

 

[6:45 - 7:30]

কবিতা

বাংলার মুখ - ২

with Jahidul Huq,

Muhammed Sadique,

et al

[237]

রূপকথা - পূরনো কথা যখন নতুন করে আসে

Farida Hossain,

Bibhas Roy

Chowdhury, Moinul

Ahsan Saber and

Anisul Hoque with

Parvez Hossain 

 

[238]

কবিগান

 Azit Roy Sarkar and

Nirmalchandra Ray Sarkar

[5:30pm-6:30pm] 

 
 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2017

TIME

ABDUL KARIM

SAHITYA BISHARAD

AUDITORIUM

POET SHAMSUR

RAHMAN  SEMINAR

ROOM

LAWN VASKAR NOVERA EXHIBITION HALL COSMIC TENT NAZRUL STAGE
9:00am-10:00am    

[301]

SPIRITUAL SONGS

Marfoti

Ujan Bhati Shilpi Goshthi

     
10:00am-11:00am

[302]

Women, art and politics

Esther Freud,

Nandana Sen, Bigoa

Chuol and Sadaf Saaz

with Bee Rowlatt

[303]

Blown to bits 

Anuk Arudpragasam,

Catherine Lacey and

Karan Mahajan

with Eleanor Chandler

 

[304]

PEN: Measured

speech

John Makinson,

Andrew Feinstein,

CR Abrar, Justin

Rowlatt and Jyoti

Malhotra with

Sudeep Chakravarti

 

[305] 

Displacements

David Szalay and

Jesse Ball with

Sharbari Ahmed

[306]

CHILDREN'S SESSION (8-12yrs)

Magic of Math

Imran Ahmed,

Srabanti Datta and

Shahriar Rahman

 

[307]

CHILDREN'S SESSION Bonku the Superdog

storytelling by Biva

Siddiki 

 

বনের গল্প

storytelling by

Farzana Ahmed

 
11:15am-12:15pm

[308]

The Story of

Kohinoor

William Dalrymple

introduced by Sadaf Saaz 

[320] 

 Dhaka University

looking back

Firdous Azim, Fakrul

Alam, Khademul

Islam and Syed

Manzoorul Islam

with Shamsad Mortuza

[310]

Ceaseless Chatter of

Demons

Ashok Ferrey with

Ikhtisad Ahmed

 

[311] 

1974: The Silent Year

Naomi Hossain and

Syed Badrul Ahsan

with Garga

Chatterjee

[312]

CHILDREN'S SESSION (8-14yrs)

Talky tumble

Nandana Sen 

 
12:30pm-2:15pm

[313]

FILM PREMIERE

The seasons in

quincy: A tribute to

John Berger 

readings by Tilda

Swinton, introduced

by K Anis Ahmed

[314]

ভাষার রাজনীতি,

ভাষার অর্থনীতি

Moinul Ahsan Saber,

Sebanti Ghosh,

Kinnar Ray and Altaf

Shahnewaz with

Hamim Kamrul Haque

[315]

Syria: War Without End

Charles Glass and

Azeem Ibrahim with

Justin Rowlatt

[316]

PEN: কলমকে কেন

এতো ভয়

Lovely Bashar, Ballari

Sen, Ahmad Mustafa

Kamal and Mahbub

Aziz with Tanim

Ahmed

 

[317]

Daughters of

Jorasanko

Minoti Chatterjee,

Averee Chaurey,

Sharmila Bakshi,

Jayati Ghosh

followed by

Aruna Chakravarti

with Neeman Sobhan

 

 
2:30pm-3:30pm

[319]

The Blue Touch Paper

David Hare with

Khademul Islam

[309]

Communism and Zionism:

Unexpected futures

Charles Glass,

Richard Lloyd Parry,

K Nabil Ahmed and

Dominic Ziegler with

Bee Rowlatt

[321]

Whose culture is it,

anyway?

Lionel Shriver,

Lawrence Osborne,

Karan Mahajan and

K Anis Ahmed

with Kelly Falconer

[322]

The Invisible Universe

Belal Baaquie

with Talal Ahmed Chowdhury

[323]

ধর্ষণ - পৌরুষের

ক্ষমতা, পৌরুষের

অক্ষমতা

Anwara Syed-Haq,

Sadeka Halim, Rita

Das Roy, Bina Biswas

with Munni Saha

[324]

স্বরচিত কবিতা ও

বঙ্গবন্ধুকে নিবেদিত

কবিতা আবৃত্তি

Jahar Sen Majumdar,

Jewel Mazhar, et al

 
3:45pm-4:45pm

[325] 

GRANTA LAUNCH

Best of Young

American Novelists

Jesse Ball, Catherine

Lacey, Karan

Mahajan with

Eleanor Chandler

and Luke Neima,

introduced by Ahsan

Akbar

[326] 

Ganges: A river runs

through it

Victor Mallet with

Stephen Alter

 

[327]

[3:45pm-4pm]

মিছিলের দিনগুলি - মুক্তিযুদ্ধের পূর্বাপর

কবিতা

recitations by Helal

Hafiz

introduced by

Shamim Reza

 

[4pm onwards]

Poetry of Fire

Recitations by Ben Okri and Tilda Swinton

[328]

In Hot Blood

Bachi Karkaria with

Manjula Narayan

[329]

YOUNG ADULT SESSION

MindKraft

Maruful Hoque,

Tabassum Salma

Islam, Saiq'a S

Chowdhury and

Imran Hasan with

Shakil Ahmed

[330]

CHILDREN'S SESSION

Tiny Jumps In

storytelling by Inshra

Sakhawat Russell

5:00pm-6:30pm

[331]

Closing and DSC

Prize-giving

by honourable

Minister of Finance

Abul Maal Abdul

Muhith

 
 
     
 
 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Plenary: Adonis with Kaiser Haq

Role of poetry is to diffuse perfume against ignorance, fundamentalism – Adonis.

The greatest living poet in Arabic will share his views on poetry, philosophy, writing, fundamentalism, and about his own works that span seven decades, taking him from the small village of al-Qassabin to Paris, where he has lived since the 1950s. His works and influence have been compared to TS Eliot’s in the Anglophone world, and he has won numerous international prizes, including the Goethe Medal in 2001 and the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature in 2017.

Adonis talks to Kaiser Haq, the leading Bangladeshi poet in English.

 

The Seasons in Quincy: A Tribute to John Berger

Readings by Tilda Swinton, introduced by K Anis Ahmed

“The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger” is the result of a five-year project by Tilda Swinton, Colin MacCabe and Christopher Roth to produce a portrait of the progressive late art critic, author, painter, and intellectual John Berger. His best-known work was Ways of Seeing, a book and British TV series that for many redefined the way we understand art. Tilda Swinton will read the words of John Berger, a man who became a mentor and friend to the actress. Introduced by author and co-director of the Dhaka Lit Fest, K Anis Ahmed. 

 

Shadow World: Asian Film Premiere

Introduced by Anadil Hossain 

Andrew Feinstein with Dominic Ziegler

DLF is proud to present the Asian premiere of the documentary based on Andrew Feinstein’s critically-acclaimed book ‘The Shadow World: Inside the global arms trade’. This award winning film reveals the corruption, greed, and lies behind covert links within politics, business, the military, intelligence agencies and the arms industry, exposing the secretive world of the global arms trade. Introduced by Bangladeshi producer Anadil Hossain, the screening will be followed by campaigner and writer Andrew Feinstein in conversation with journalist Dominic Ziegler.

 

Rohingyas: Landless Future

Azeem Ibrahim, Ameerah Haq, Jeff Kingston, Justin Rowlatt and Michael Vatikiotis with Zafar Sobhan

The Rohingyas were deemed the "most persecuted" of peoples even before new purge by the Myanmar army led to the influx of over half a million of them into Bangladesh. If this pattern continues, someday more Rohingyas may come to reside as refugees in Bangladesh than inhabit their traditional Arakan homeland in north-western Myanmar. Can a people survive without a land? What will it take for them to be able to return to their homes? Azeem Ibrahim, author of Rohingyas, and Ameerah Haq, former Under Secretary General of the UN, take up this vexing topic with academics and journalists from the region. Moderated by Zafar Sobhan.

 

The Historian’s Eye

Opening of William Dalrymple’s photo exhibition 
Through a collection of black and white images taken during his travels around the world, the celebrated historian William Dalrymple showcases his rediscovered passion for photography which he pursued in his teenage years, only to be superseded by his greater love: writing. The exhibit of 24 images show a different side to a writer, who happens to be a star on Instagram, and this special show will be inaugurated by the writer-photographer himself, who'll share the story of how it all started. 

 

We need to talk about Shriver

Lionel Shriver with André Naffis-Sahely

Telling other people’s stories is quintessentially what writers do. But what does it mean for fiction if writers must steer clear of experiences that don’t belong to them? Where is the line between appropriation and artistic license? Journalist and author Lionel Shriver talks to poet, critic and translator André Naffis-Sahely about stepping into others’ shoes and trying on their hats.

 

Mambi and the Forest Fire and NOT YET!

Nandana Sen 

A playful and fun interactive bilingual session by children’s writer Nandana Sen. Suitable for young children up to 8 years.

 

HerStories: Homegrown Supergirls

Mabia Akhter, Madiha Murshed, Nayma Hoque, Nishat Mazumder and Tamanna-E-Lutfi with Seuty Sabur

Unveiling by Asaduzzaman Noor

HerStory Foundation is launching HerStories: Adventures of Supergirls at Dhaka Lit Fest. Narrators will include writers, illustrators and activists from the HerStories project. Meet the supergirls—Nishat Mazumder (Everest Summiteer), Mabia Akhter (weightlifting champion), Syeda Madiha Murshed (MD of Scholastica Group) and Nayma Haque and Tamanna-E-Lutfi (BAF combat jet pilots). Moderated by Seuty Sabur.

 

The Famished Road
Ben Okri with Jerry Pinto
Ben Okri is a living legend of contemporary fiction, who has drawn from such diverse influences as Western mythic and fabulist traditions and melded them with his own Nigerian folk narratives to create a form of storytelling that is virtually his own. He captivated the world with his trilogy about the life of Azaro and now readers around the world are dazzled by the unique vision in his fiction, which transcends reality while cutting into its core more deeply than ordinary realism. In conversation with Jerry Pinto.

 

A Life in Letters

Imdadul Haq Milon

Marks the launch of eminent Bangladeshi writer and poet Imdadul Haq Milon’s Two Novellas by Bengal Lights Books.

 

From Page to Screen

Sharbari Ahmed with Ikhtisad Ahmed

From the success of her off-Broadway hit ‘Raisins not virgins’, to writing for the drama series Quantico as the first Bangladeshi scriptwriter on a major USA TV series, American-Bangladeshi writer Sharbari Ahmed talks about her journey navigating different mediums to tell stories, with Ikhtisad Ahmed. 

 

Beautiful Animals

Lawrence Osborne with Eleanor Chandler

Hailed as a modern Graham Greene, Lawrence Osborne transports readers to Greece, Morocco, Macau and Cambodia with his “exotic literary thrillers” which explore the deeper, darker side of human nature. He talks to Granta's Eleanor Chandler about his latest novel, Beautiful Animals—a critically acclaimed bestseller in the UK, which, along with several of Osborne’s other works, is currently being adapted for the screen.

 

Words of Conscience? Poetry and Activism

Nausheen Eusuf, Kaiser Haq and Sophia Walker with Syed Shehzar Doja

At a time when we are desensitized to horrific acts around us, as well as the business of just going about our daily lives, how is it that poems make us stop and think, and remind us of our humanity? How does the craft of poetry render itself to the voice striving for a cause? Poets from different generations and regions ponder on the power of poetry. Kaiser Haq, Nausheen Eusuf and Sophia Walker in conversation with Syed Shehzar Doja.

Marking the launch of Nausheen Eusuf’s debut poetry collection Not Elegy, But Eros and Kaiser Haq’s new edition of Pariah and Other Poems.

 

The Bengalis: A Race Divided

Sudeep Chakravarti, Kushanava Choudhury, Ikhtisad Ahmed and Ananya Kabir with David Davidar

Bengalis may speak the same language, but are they still one people? They now have their own nation-state in the form of Bangladesh, but reside in plentiful numbers in the Indian states of Bengal, Tripura, and Assam. They also constitute substantial immigrant groups in the US, UK and Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. As one of the earliest colonies of the British Raj, Bengal was also a crucible – though not a beneficiary – of modernity. From famous figures Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, to scientist Satyen Bose, entrepreneur Amar Bose, and statesman Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman all came from Bengal. But who are the Bengalis today, and how have political lines led to diverse identities? David Davidar leads the discussion.

 

 

Integrating science

Belal Baaquie with Ashok Ferrey

Why is rubber elastic? Why can a gecko climb a wall? Come and find answers to this and a myriad of other puzzles of nature that arise from our daily experiences. Eminent physicist Belal Baaquie talks to mathematician-turned-novelist Ashok Ferry, about the most fascinating principles in science, drawing on biology, mathematics, chemistry and physics to bring light to the most complex and intriguing phenomena.

 

Mujib: Taking history to the next generation

Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy, Luke Neima and Arzoo Ismail with Jerry Pinto

The Mujib graphic novel series, launching its first English iteration today, uses the ever-accessible medium of visual storytelling to present the unfinished memoirs of Bangladesh’s founding father to a new generation of readers. Publisher Radwan Mujib Siddiq and cartoonist Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy join Arzoo Ismail, Granta online editor Luke Neima and writer and journalist Jerry Pinto in discussing the importance of new tools of engagement and personal narrative in making history come alive for the next generation.

Marking the launch of the English translation of the graphic novel.

 

Syria: War Without End

Charles Glass and Azeem Ibrahim with Justin Rowlatt

The Syrian civil war has effectively ended after six very bloody years, with Bashar-al Assad still in place. This harrowing war saw the full depth of modern war crimes, including the use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. Syria quickly became the site of internecine sectarian rivalry, benefiting the rise of the Islamic State. Even as ISIL is militarily defeated, it is not clear what it will morph into, or what will take its place. Will the Assad regime re-assert control over all of Syria again? Or will Syria turn into another "Somalia" – fractured and fractious? Legendary journalist Charles Glass, author of Syria Burning, is joined by other keen observers in a discussion led by the BBC's Justin Rowlatt.

 

#metoo

Sabina Faiz Rashid, Samia Zaman, Sophia Walker and Bachi Karkaria with Jyoti Malhotra

#metoo went viral in October 2017, as thousands of women shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. The impetus for this emerged after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. While many men seemed shocked at the sheer number of women speaking out, women were surprised (or perhaps not!), that men did not know this. How does one tackle the code of silence that protects the rich and powerful?  Will anything change with a few trophy ‘convictions’ (be they trial by social media, or other), and is ‘naming and blaming’ the answer? Feminist poet Sophia Walker, film-maker Samia Zaman, researcher Sabina Faiz Rashid and writer and festival director Bachi Karkaria discuss what needs to be done to bring about a meaningful change in the status quo.  With journalist Jyoti Malhotra.

 

Women, Art and Politics

Esther Freud, Nandana Sen, Bigoa Chuol and Sadaf Saaz with Bee Rowlatt 

Hate in the form of rising fundamentalism and extremism around the world has been cited by the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights as being a major threat to artistic expression. This normalization of extremist and fundamentalist ideology in the cultural, media and political landscape in all regions of the world, and the embracing of these in mainstream politics is a threat to cultural diversity and dissent. Writers, artists, intellectuals and women are particularly targeted as they are seen as a particular threat to the monolithic structures that these groups want to establish. Actor and novelist Esther Freud, children’s writer and activist Nandana Sen, performance poet and cultural facilitator Bigua Chuol and poet and cultural organizer Sadaf Saaz discuss the challenges ahead for women, with writer and biographer Bee Rowlatt.

 

Staging Stories

David Hare and Asaduzzaman Noor with Iresh Zaker

From putting the role of journalism under the spotlight to presenting contemporary Britain comprehensively, Sir David Hare’s distinguished career has explored an extensive range of issues theatrically. One of the foremost names in the history of Bangladeshi theatre and the nation’s serving Minister of Culture, Asaduzzaman Noor, converses about the art of theatre with the two-time Academy nominated playwright. Moderated by Iresh Zaker.