In a single multilingual event, we plan to bring together writers in many languages, as well as their pluralistic audiences, over a three-day period of readings, discussions and small performances,” says C.K. Meena, chairperson of Toto Funds the Arts (TFA), describing Lekhana, a festival of literature in Bangalore this weekend. Much more intimate than the Jaipur Literature Festival, Lekhana will tap into the city’s literary talent in an organized way for the first time, and bring together regional and English-language writers for public dialogue and conversation.
Four independent literary organizations, the TFA, Sangam House (an international writers’ residency programme), Desha Kaala (a journal for arts and letters in Kannada) and Reading Hour (a print magazine dedicated to Indian creative writing), along with the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), have jointly organized the festival. “We deliberately stayed away from trying to create yet another festival with big international names who write in English. We thought they get their share of attention, so why not bring together writers in the city and have a multilingual bash,” says Meena.
Venue: The NGMA, Bangalore.
The festival will be held at the NGMA and will include readings, short performances and panel discussions. Readings by a host of writers will also take place at the Smriti Nandan auditorium across the street from the NGMA. The panel discussions will include “Translations As Conversations”, on the art of translation, and on whether translated works can be a bridge between different linguistic backgrounds, with writers Lakshmi Holmstrom, Rahul Soni, Arshia Sattar, Vanamala and Giriraj Kiradoo. “It’s one way of getting regional literatures out into the world but it’s also about bringing the world to us,” says Sattar, director, Sangam House. On another panel, Vivek Shanbhag and Jayant Kaikini will discuss new Kannada writing.
There will be outreach activity for students through a creative writing and photography contest. The weekend will close with a session by playwright Girish Karnad, who will read from his memoir Aadaadtha Ayushya.
Lekhana, till 12 February, 10am-6pm, National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore. Entry is free. For details, visit http://www.sangamhouse.org/lekhana-a-literary-gathering