BENGALURU: A weekend with books and authors, conversing and debating, queuing up for signings... all that is synonymous with the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) may be different this year owing to the pandemic. Recognising that a literature festival with a footfall in thousands may not be a possibility, BLF will now see smaller online segments, titled WorldLit, starting on June 6 with an interaction between writers Anthony Horowitz and Paro Anand. WorldLit is the BLF’s digital literary platform bringing livestream sessions, video interviews and podcasts with leading international and Indian authors. This is being done in collaboration with the Bangalore International Centre (BIC).
“With the outbreak of the pandemic we realised it was time to re-think the conventional model. No more would it be possible for thousands to partake in the literature festival. Secondly, we figured that authors might not be comfortable with travelling anytime soon. With these emerged the idea to organise sessions online, especially with international authors. There will also be Indian authors participating,” says V Ravichandar, core team member of BLF and honorary director of BIC.
The month of June will also see an interaction between Chetan Bhagat and Shrabonti Bagchi (scheduled for June 16 as a podcast), and a conversation between cricketer Paddy Upton and commentator Harsha Bogle on June 27. Writers Pico Iyer and Samanth Subramanian are scheduled for an interaction, probably sometime in July.
At the same time, Ravichandar understands that with events and seminars going online during the lockdown, there’s a webinar fatigue that has set in. “But we’ve noticed that while there might be a certain number viewing a live event, there’s also a large number viewing the recorded versions at their convenience,” he says, adding that in addition to the virtual conversations they hope to include a physical festival with a small gathering that might be held at the end of the year if circumstances permit.
For more details, visit BIC website