Teamwork Arts announces 2019 season of JLF international editions


After the success of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in India this January, its producer Teamwork Arts presented ZEE JLF at the British Library which returned to the British capital for its sixth edition from June 14 – 16, 2019. This annual celebration of books, creativity, dialogue and diversity brought South Asia’s unique multilingual literary heritage to life in the heart of London.

The sixth edition of ZEE JLF at the British Library,commenced with the opening address, titled ‘Imagining Our Worlds’, presented by Festival Co-Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, Festival Producer and Teamwork Arts Managing Director Sanjoy K Roy, British Library Chief Executive Roly Keating, and High Commissioner of India to the UK HERuchiGhanshyam.

Gokhale said the Festival contributed to “something transformative,” which is happening in contemporary India, where the country’s youth is inspired to listen to some of the finest minds of India – “it is the place where India thinks aloud,” she said. Dalrymple exclaimed what an extraordinary thing it was to watch the growth of this Festival, pointing out that it had received a footfall of over a million in its recent edition in Jaipur. Roy acknowledged the contribution of literature towards the creation of empathy and equity in the world, observing that literature rejoins the contemporary world of growing divisiveness. Keating, highly appreciative of the collaboration between the British Library and the Festival, said that “the fit could not be closer.”Ghanshyamexpressed how events like these develop an understanding of place and people, in the celebration of books and writers, and “life itself.”

The event brought together over 60 speakers from a range of disciplines, genres and cultures, including Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A and former Labour MP; Nobel Laureate VenkiRamakrishnan; acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer; award-winning author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue and acclaimed Bollywood actor ManishaKoirala whose latest memoir recounts her battle with cancer.

The grand feast of ideas traveled for the first time to Belfast as its second stop in the UK. from June 21-23 2019, exploring themes that bind India and Northern Ireland and have deeply affected both nations such as border and partition, and the concepts of identity and migration, among others, while celebrating a joint love for books, creativity, music and sharing each other’s stories.

In the fall, JLF will head across the Atlantic with the second edition of JLF Houston on September 13–14, 2019 at the Asia Society Texas Center; the second edition of JLF New York on September 18, 2019 at the Asia Society New York and finally the fifth edition of ZEE JLF Colorado on September 20-22, 2019 at the Boulder Public Library.

This will be followed by the first ever edition of JLF Toronto from September 27-29, 2019, set to take place at Toronto’s Distillery Historic District — one of Canada’s premier arts, culture and entertainment destinations with charming cobbled streets, artists’ studios, cafes, galleries, and the dynamic Young Centre for the Performing Arts. JLF Toronto will feature a dynamic programme encompassing readings, discussions, outdoor performances, art installations, culinary offerings, and an exciting and colourful street festival.

The final leg of the international festivals in 2019 will be JLF Adelaide in collaboration for a second year with the OzAsia Festival for a three-day event set to take place in November.

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