NEW DELHI: Queer literature will be a part of Sahitya Akademi’s annual Festival of Letters in the national capital from February 24 to February 29. After introducing transgender poets’ meet last year at its festival, the Akademi is expanding the representation from the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) community among its poets. The LGBTQ poets’ meet will be held on February 27. There will be two sessions at the meet. Poet Hoshang Merchant and writer R Raja Rao will deliver the inaugural and keynote address at the meet.
“The Akademi felt it should have a wider representation from the LGBT community. So, we are holding a dedicated session which will give a national platform to poets from the community. This comes after we held a meet for transgender poets last year,” said K Sreenivasa Rao, secretary, Sahitya Akademi.
Vikramaditya Sahai, Aditi Angiras, Raveena Bariha, Maya Sharma, Manabi Bandopadhyay, Vishal Pinjani, Daniel Mendonca, and Toshi Pandey will be among the over 15 poets attending the sessions.
The annual lecture will be delivered by former president Pranab Mukherjee. “The topic will be picked by the former president himself. The lecture is scheduled for February 26,” said Rao. The Akademi will also host a conference for tribal writers spread over three days. It will include both women and men writers. The languages which will find representation include Bhil, Mising, Maring, Tarao, Jaintia, Kui, Tarao, Dimasa, Karbi, Garo, and Aimol.
Jaishankar calls for collaboration
Cinema has the potential to build collaboration between India and the rest of the world, said Foreign Minister S Jaishankar at the Berlin Film festival. The I&B Ministry along with the CII is participating in the Berlin International Film Festival.