HYDERABAD: The sixth edition of Hyderabad Literary Festival will begin on January 7 and will continue till January 10, 2016. In a press conference held at Goethe Zentrum on December 16, the features of HLF, 2016 were announced by the festival directors Amita Desai, Prof Vijay Kumar and Ajay Gandhi. The venue will be Hyderabad Public School (HPS), Begumpet. The entry is free to all.
Last year 12,000 visitors are reported to have attended HLF and more are expected this year. The guest nation this year is Singapore; six writers and five artists from Singapore have been invited for HLF. Other than that the focus will be on Marathi literature and language. Talking more about this Prof Vijay Kumar, one of the festival directors, said, “The focus of HLF has been on endangered languages of India that are on the brink of extinction. We have chosen Marathi literature this time as Maratha region was an important part of Telangana and Andhra region.” Mohan Agashe will present theatre sessions. Personalities like Urmila Pawar, Sharan Kumar Limbale and Pradnya Daya Pawar will be present for a plenary panel. In all there will be 120 writers and artistes for HLF, 2016. Some of the writers’ and poets’ names are Nayantara Sahgal, Tabish Khair, Christine C Fair, Meena Alexander, Rochelle Potkar, Kazim Ali and Zafar Anjum.
Other than that HLF 2016 will also provide space for differently-abled writers. Not only this the focus is also on LGBTQ community as part of which noted poet-professor Hoshang Merchant has been invited along with other figures from the community. Two new features have included from this year to HLF namely stage talk consisting of artistes’ interaction with the audience; the second feature is promoting a cause under which five social causes have been selected. Another feature included is announcement of Museindia Literary Awards in categories of fiction and poetry.
There will be several workshops along with art installation works to be displayed in the festival premises better known as Art Street. For example, a photography workshop will be held for the visually impaired.
In addition to this, deaf theatre with sign languages will be showcased for the hearing impaired. Slam poetry will also be a part of HLF. Their online media partner is kitaab.org. Other than that writers from ten more countries such as Denmark, Macedonia, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Germany, UK and US will attend the literary festival.
The guest of honour for the inaugural programme will be consul general of Singapore Roy Koh. Festival director Amita Desai informed, “Rosemarie Somaiah and BronzeAge Gamelan will render stories from Singapore folklore.