The iconic Jaipur Literature Festival will once again make its mark on Australia when the second annual JLF Adelaide hosts three days of transnational celebration and cultural exchange at the Adelaide Festival Centre from 1 November 2019.
Founded in 2006, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) is an annual event produced by Teamwork Arts and held in Rajasthan, India. Over the past decade the world’s largest free event of its kind has hosted more than 1600 speakers and welcomed more than 1.2 million participants.
Festival guests include JLF Co-Directors Namita Gokhale (IND) and William Dalrymple (UK/IND), who will be launching his new book, The Anarchy: Rise and Fall of the East India Company.
“The Jaipur Literature Festival is a unique celebration of writing that has grown into something bigger and more wonderful than anything we could have ever hoped for,” said William Dalrymple. “We can’t wait to once again share with Australia a little taste of the energy and colourful brilliance that has made JLF the most happening literary festival in the world.”
Teamwork Arts Managing Director Sanjoy K. Roy said the Adelaide program was Australia’s only satellite JLF event and he was excited to see it return following the success of last year.
“The Jaipur Literature Festival is a confluence of East and West, bringing together enlightened voices from across the world, to highlight contrasts, recognise similarities, engender empathy and acknowledge the right of every individual to have the freedom to dream and express,” said Sanjoy K. Roy. “It is this dream that binds communities together and gives fruition to a creative force, celebrating and embodying every aspect of being human.”
JLF Adelaide will celebrate Asia’s stories, heritage and rich culture while also exploring Australia’s place in the region – including the shared interests, understanding and relationships with global powers India and China.
Across 40 free events, the program will bring together more than 60 writers, thought leaders, activists and artists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, The Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Program highlights include Indian parliamentarian, political commentator and award-winning author Shashi Tharoor, who also served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations during Kofi Annan’s tenure as Secretary General.
Wu Ming-Yi will visit from Taiwan and is an award-winning novelist, artist, designer, photographer, literary professor, butterfly scholar, environmental activist, traveller and blogger. His works The Stolen Bicycle, longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, and The Man with the Compound Eyes, have both been translated into English.
China’s Sheng Keyi is the author of 10 novels depicting the lives of China’s poor and survival of its women. Her works include Northern Girls – which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize.
Manisha Koirala is one of India’s leading Bollywood actors. Following her own experience of ovarian cancer, Manisha now also promotes women’s rights, human trafficking prevention and cancer awareness.
Tony Joseph (IND) – author of Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From – has been a journalist and editor of leading business and economic newspapers and magazines for more than three decades.
James Crabtree (UK/SGP) is a British journalist living in Singapore and author of The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age. He is currently Associate Professor of Practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Australian guests include Melanie Cheng, whose debut short story collection Australia Day won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction; two-time recipient of Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award Michelle De Kretser; former diplomat and current Chancellor of the University of Queensland Peter Varghese; Professor of Ecology at Griffith University Darryl Jones; much-loved writer and translator Robert Dessaix and 2017 Patrick White Literary Award winner Tony Birch.
JLF Adelaide is part of Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival – Australia’s leading contemporary arts festival engaging with Asia. OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Joseph Mitchell said artists performing shows in the festival’s final weekend would also participate in panel discussions for JLF Adelaide.
“A stunning program of Australian and Asian works will feature in the JLF Adelaide line-up including spoken word poet/award-winning author Omar Musa (Since Ali Died) and Punjabi theatre maker Abhishek Thapar (My Home at the Intersection),” said Joseph Mitchell.
“Also coinciding with JLF Adelaide is the Australian Premiere of Outwitting the Devil by internationally renowned choreographer Akram Khan along with local artist Daniel Connell’s exhibition Sisters Sangam, which features collaborations between artists from South Australia and India.”
Former Adelaide Writers’ Week director Laura Kroetsch recently joined the JLF Adelaide programming team after directing Dark and Dangerous Thoughts at Dark Mofo 2019. Ms Kroetsch said she was thrilled to be working on yet another thought-provoking cultural program for Adelaide audiences.
The JLF Adelaide Literature Festival takes place at the Adelaide Festival Centre: 1 – 3 November. For more information and complete program, visit: www.jlflitfest.org or www.ozasiafestival.com.au for details.
Image: JLF Adelaide Literature Festival 2018 – photo by Daniel Purvis