HYDERABAD: After being an online affair for two consecutive years, the prestigious Hyderabad Literary Festival is back in its full glory. Often described as a ‘citizens’ festival’ that celebrates art, culture and literature, the HLF was inaugurated at Vidyaranya High School on Friday.
With 150 activities in 13 varied streams, including literary sessions, workshops, exhibitions, film screenings and cultural programmes, this year’s edition has something for everyone. The ‘Meet the Author, Meet the Book Section’ gives the literature enthusiasts an opportunity to interact with reputed national and international writers during the three-day festival.
At the inaugural session on Friday, Konkani writer and Jnanpith Awardee Damodar Mauzo offered an insight into the fascinating trajectory of Konkani, the focus language of this year’s HLF.
In conversation with Pritha Sardessai on ‘Ink of Dissent: Language, Literature and Freedom’, he said: “Konkani language has been subjected to a lot of suffering owing to colonialism. Post the liberation of Goa, it also fought for its own identity because of the controversy of it being a language or dialect.” “It might be the only language with five different scripts... spoken across four neighbouring States. Which is a disadvantage as it becomes difficult in scripting literature,” he said. Hailing from a humble south Goan village, Damodar Mauzo depicts the lifestyle of Goans in his works of fiction.
Helene Bukowski, a German writer in her maiden eco-fiction work Milk Teeth, addressed the climate crisis, significance of nature and environment. Speaking at the event, she said that it is interesting to get the Indian perspective on her work.
Speaking about with her memoir A Country Called Childhood, Indian-American actress and writer Deepti Naval said that though she juggles with many forms of expression like painting and acting among others, writing comes closest to her heart.
The new addition to HLF this year is the story box, which disperses short forms of content at a click of the button. It contains a collection of stories, poems, books, facts and puzzles as well as the schedule of the festival. Along with the colourful palette of art exhibitions, this year the festival has also set up a few stalls concerning preservation of Hyderabad’s natural heritage like the Chevella Banyans and the rock formations of Hyderabad.
The Chevella Banyans stall showcases paintings, drawings, installations and photographs of around 35 artists and photographers. These artworks highlight the aesthetic, historical, heritage, environmental and ecological aspects of these magnificent trees.
The Society to Save Rocks stall displays the array of photographs of the stunning Deccan rocks captured by ace photographers Amita Talwar and Ashok K Vootla. There are also fun activities like balancing the rocks, creating rock sketches or doodles among others. The Nocturnal Dialogues: The Darkroom Project curated by schoolchildren from the MPSF Confederation of Charminar Budget schools is another highlight of this year’s festival.
Speaking to TNIE, Founder of the Children’s Fine Art Gallery, Atika Amjad said: “We have taken inspiration from Iranian artist Maryam Ashkanian and displayed 10 of her works. These works are different from the regular ones as they are embroidery on the pillow along with the filling.”