After the success of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in India this January, its producerTeamwork Arts presents ZEE JLF at the British Library which returns to the British capital for its sixth edition from Friday 14 – Sunday 16 June 2019. This annual celebration of books, creativity, dialogue, and diversity brings South Asia’s unique multilingual literary heritage to life in the heart of London.
This year’s London edition, which runs between 14 and 16 June 2019, brings 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 Venki Ramakrishnan; acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer; award-winning author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue and acclaimed Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala whose latest memoir recounts her battle with cancer.
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Festival producer Teamwork Arts, said: “We’re back for our sixth edition in London with a colourful bandwagon of books, ideas, and dialogue that capture our imaginations and explore the dynamic and challenging times we live in. ZEE JLF at the British Library will look at history as well as current affairs, explore scientific works and the creative worlds of cinema, literature, and poetry. This year we’ve also partnered with the British Museum for an evening of conversations and are headed for the first time to Belfast for our second outing in the UK.”
The grand feast of ideas will travel for the first time to Belfast as its second stop in the UK. This new Festival takes place on Friday 21 – Sunday 23 June 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.
Among those already confirmed for the two-day line-up is Pico Iyer, acclaimed travel writer, and author of more than a dozen books; esteemed writers Brian Keenan and Patrick Gale and award-winning poet Ruth Padel. Hosted in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the British Council and the Festival’s producer Teamwork Arts, the Festival will take place on Saturday, June 22nd and Sunday, June 23rd, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Seamus Heaney Homeplace, Bellaghy.
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 on Friday 27-Sunday 29 September 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.
While programming for the US, Canada, and Australia is still in the works and will be announced soon, the core idea behind each of the international Festivals is a celebration of diversity, sharing South Asia’s unique literary heritage while fusing it with narratives that matter locally, and being, most importantly, platforms to share each other’s stories.