The 10th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is scheduled to be held on 1, 2, and 3 March 2019 at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. A vibrant program of talks, interviews, panel discussions, readings, book launches, English poetry readings, Urdu mushaira, stand-up comedy, satire, author signings, performing arts, documentary screenings, book fair, and literary award have been lined up.
The event promises to be a literary and cultural feast.
Speaking on the occasion, Arshad Saeed Husain said, “KLF is not just an event, but it’s a celebration of literature, books, reading, performing arts, culture, and diversity and like every year we aim to bring forward its international and cosmopolitan flair through an exciting lineup of speakers, authors, book launches and English poetry readings”. This year, among the many events, the book launches will feature OUP titles: The Economy of Modern Sindh; The Begum: A Portrait of Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan; Pakistan’s Radioactive Decade; and Defiance of the Rose: Selected Poems of Parveen Shakir. This year also features a session with talented youth in ‘Nayee Nast ki Awaz: Kal Hamara Hai’. The future-focused sessions include: ‘The Karachi Dilemma: Conservation or Evolution’; ‘Urdu Theatre Kal, Aaj our Kal’; ‘Pakistani Cinema: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’; ‘Publishing 2020 and Beyond: New Trends, Digitization and Technology’; and ‘Rethinking Education in the Fast-Changing World’. Five Pakistani documentaries featured in this year’s festival are: ‘City by the Sea: The Future of Karachi’s Coastline’; `Qalandar Code—Rise of the Divine Feminine’; ‘Indus Blues: Pakistani Folk Artists and Their Struggle to Keep a Fading Art Form Alive’ (Pakistan premiere); and ‘These Silences Are All the Words’. A short film about a Transgender Pakistani Woman titled ‘Rani’ will also be screened at the Festival. President of Arts Council Muhammad Ahmed Shah said that KLF started from Arts Council and now it has become the pride of the city.
He added, “There is a long struggle behind Karachi Literature Festival, numerous litterateurs have sacrificed for this event to be successful”. The KLF—Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize of Rs 200,000 will be awarded to the best book of prose or poetry in Urdu. The books shortlisted for this prize include Northern Command by Sami Ahuja; Qila-e-Faramoshi by Fahmida Riaz; Rooh-e-Qadeem ki Qasam by Sabir Zafar. The performance highlight of this year’s festival will be Qawwali by Hamza Akram and Brothers and Pepsi Battle of the Bands. Around 220 Pakistani and 15 international authors and speakers from ten countries will be participating. Deborah Baker and I.A. Rehman will be the keynote speakers at the inauguration and the closing ceremony will be addressed by Ishrat Husain and Iftikhar Arif. There will be 20 book launches and more than 80 sessions. This was announced by Arshad Saeed Husain.Among the many literary luminaries, academics, and intellectuals participating are: Adrian Husain, Ahmed Shah, Amar Jaleel, Amar Sindhu, Amin Gulgee, Anwar Maqsood, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Asif Noorani, Azra Abbas, Baela Raza Jamil, Bilquis Edhi, Ghazi Salahuddin, Hafiz A. Pasha, Hameed Akhund, Harris Khalique, Haseena Moin, Huma Baqai, I.A. Rehman, Iftikhar Arif, Ikram Sehgal, lmrana Maqsood, Ishrat Husain, Jami Chandio, Javed Jabbar, Khaled Anam, Kishwar Naheed, Manna Khan, Mujahid Barelvi, Muneeza Shamsie, Murad Moosa Khan, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Noorul Huda Shah, Sabyn Javeri, Sajid Hasan, Shafqat All Shah Jamote, Shamshad Akhtar, Sheema Kermani, Wusatullah Khan, Zia Mohyeddin. Participating from the US: Anita Weiss, Deborah Baker, Blair Glencorse, Canada: Mona Eltahawy; France: David Waterman; Italy: Elena Nicolai; UK: David C. Heath; Sudan: Leila Aboulela and from Singapore: Ayesha Baqir.