Bengaluru’s flagship literary event is back: Events for children, music performances, interactive installations, and more…

The Bangalore Literature Festival, Bengaluru city’s flagship literary event, is all set for a spectacular 2019 eighth edition on November 9th and 10th in the breezy green lawns of Hotel LaLiT Ashok in Kumara Krupa High Grounds, Bengaluru. 

The two-day event will feature a host of distinguished speakers, authors and artistes including thespian and National Award-winning actor Pankaj Kapur; former CEO of McKinsey and co-founder of the Indian School of Business Rajat Gupta; Historian and author of Savarkar: Echoes from a Forgotten Past Vikram Sampath; inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for Temporary People Deepak Unnikrishnan; renowned mythologist, writer and columnist Devdutt Pattanaik; acclaimed author, poet and Sahitya Akademi Award winner Jerry Pinto; ecologist and founder of the Centre for Ecological Sciences Madhav Gadgil; Author, actress and TV host Lisa Ray; Political and social essayist Mukul Kesavan; Historian William Dalrymple; writer, critic and artist Agni Shreedar; Poet Arundhathi Subramaniam; Creator of Avahan, India’s national AIDS program and the world’s largest private HIV prevention program Ashok Alexander; John Grisham of Banking Ravi Subramanian; Renowned writer, translator, journalist and theatre critic Shanta Gokhale; author and Pratham Books founder Rohini Nilekani; Veteran theatre and film actor Supriya Pathak, Journalist Tony Joseph; one of India’s most decorated military officers Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain and many many others. 

The Bangalore Literature Festival remains among the most sought after and must-attend event for readers and writers from Bangalore, India and the world, with its lively discussions, interviews and literary sessions. 

As in the past, this year too the Festival will see authors, thought leaders and unique performances. Highlights include Dopehri: A Dramatized Reading; Jane Austen – The Lass With the Delicate Air by Jagriti Theatre; Moola Ramayana by theatre and handloom activist Prasanna; Beloved Witch by India’s best known Wiccan Priestess Ipsita Roy Chakraverty; The Courtesan Project by Manjari Chaturvedi; Masala Shakespeare by Jonathan Gil Harris; an interaction with Rudy David (formerly of TaaQ) and Lucky Ali; From Cosmic Dance to Climate Change by Revanta Sarabhai along with conversations on literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, feminism, crime, popular science, Bollywood, Donald Trump, wildlife, sci-fi and speculative fiction, graphic novels, memoirs, poetry and a lot more. The Festival also features a remembrance of Girish Karnad’s work and life by leading writers and theatre personalities Jayant Kaikini, B. Jayashree and K Marulasiddappa. 

A few firsts that the Bangalore Literature Festival is proud to offer to our city in this edition of the Festival are: 

  1. Blue About Green – Beyond Climate Change: Chitrangada Choudhury, Madhav Gadgil, Navroz Dubash and Tim Flannery with Karthik Shanker – Australian Environmentalist, with other climate change and environmental specialists discuss the future of the planet
  1. Surviving a Terror Attack with Nidhi Chaphekar – Former Jet Airways cabin crew and the face of the Brussels Airport terror attack survivors
  1. Bad Man with Gulshan Grover – One of the best known antagonists in Bollywood talks about his life and work
  1. Nehru Lives On with Purushottam Agrawal – Writer, academic, novelist, literary critique, theologian, secularist, columnist, and broadcaster.
  1. The Power of Realism Writing Workshop by Australian short-story specialist Julia Prendergast. 
  2. Khooni Baisakhi Jallianwala Bagh centenary – a reading by Navdeep Suri with Harpreet Singh 

This year the Bangalore Literature Festival has expanded the children’s programmes to include three forums Abracadabra for 4y+; Khul Ja Sim Sim for 8y+ and Shazam for 12y+ on both days of the Festival and an exclusive bookstore for children. Titled ‘Children|Literature|Fun – (C|L|F)’ this includes writing workshops, illustration, storytelling, creative games, music performances, all in a carnival atmosphere. 

Some of the exciting elements of C|L|F this year are sessions with authors including Geeta Ramanujam, internationally renowned children’s storyteller, educator and the vision behind Kathalaya; Bindhu Malini Narayanaswamy – National Award winning singer and composer; Janaki Sabesh – actor, storyteller, author of children’s book ‘The Jungle Storytelling Festival’; Lavanya Karthik – author of the popular Ninja Nani Series and The Lion’s Feast and illustrator of the graphic novel on President Kalam; Savio Mascarenhas – art director at Tinkle Comics and creator of Shikari Shambhu and Suppandi; performances by Spanish clown Monica Santos, Founder of Big Smiles; Sowmya Rajendran – author of graphic novel Nirmala & Normala and The Incredible History of India’s Geography; Devika Cariapa, author of India Through People: 25 Game Changers; children’s writer and cartoonist Arthy Muthanna Singh; Award winning animation filmmaker, artist, author Gautam Benegal, music performances and education sessions with Saskia Rao de Haas; interactive sessions with the Museum of Art and Photography; performances by Yakshadegula; Lithuanian illustrator and storyteller duo Lina Itagaki and Jurga Vilė and a whole host of other fun and exciting programming, curated by Vikram Sridhar, which promises to take not just children but the little kid in every adult too by storm. 

The Festival will see some stellar evening music performances – From Shakespeare to Shishunala: A Poetic Journey by Manasi and Friends and a show by the Thayir Sadam Project. 

Interactive installations at the Festival this year include itihaasa, that recounts the history of Indian IT since the 1950s; an Arts & Tech experience by Bengaluru Fantastic; Kafka in Virtual Reality – Experience the world as GregorSamsa, brought to us from Germany by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore; Celebrating 150 years of Mendeleev’s Periodic Table in collaboration with Royal Society of Chemistry and typewriting fun with the Bengaluru Busking Project. 

The Festival will be anchored by the city’s much-loved radio personalities Melodee Austin and Sriram Sullia. 

The Bangalore Literature Festival and Atta Galatta, the city-based bookstore and hub for literary events, will also give out the Atta Galatta–Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize to honour the best of English fiction and non-fiction and Kannada writing. There will also be a session in partnership with the The New India Foundation for the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay NIF Book Prize for the best non-fiction book on modern/contemporary India. 

Festival Director Shinie Antony says: “We hope to once again bring BLF magic to our city. The Festival has been put together with much love by the team, keeping in mind the city and its passions.” 

Venue: The charming lawns of The LaLiT Ashok Bangalore, Kumara Krupa High Grounds, Bengaluru

Date: 9th and 10th November, 2019 (Sat-Sun)

Time: Events start from 10 am on both days

View and download full the schedule here.

More information at: 

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