Karachi Literature Festival Returns with Dastangoi

“Any creative work from the past, be it sculpture, painting, music, theatre, poetry or architecture, that stimulates the depth of our imagination is classic. And so, I find the Pantheon and the Stupa at Sanchi and Milton’s Paradise Lost and the poetry of Ghalib and many other words of prose and poetry to be classic.”

Zia Mohyeddin as he expressed his views on culture during his keynote speech at the inaugural session of the 13th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) 2022 on Friday. This year’s theme is “Separation, Belonging and Beyond: 75 Years of Pakistan”.

More than 60 sessions including around twenty book launches are scheduled. Speakers from Pakistan, UK, USA, New Zealand and France will share their insights with feature film screenings, English poetry readings and qawwali.

The pandemic has not allowed public gatherings to be held for most of 2021. As a result, this year’s festival is the first in-person event held after a year-long hiatus. It will highlight insights, insights, thoughts, views, recommendations and suggestions from industry experts, thought leaders, academics, social activists and literary personalities. There is something awe-inspiring about KLF that must be experienced to be understood. We need to soak up the words of speakers and panelists and understand their perspectives to fully understand how our culture and society works.

In a keynote address, Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director of Oxford University Press (OUP), Pakistan, said, “This annual event brings together intellectuals from around the world and emerging writers from various fields. This is a rare opportunity for literature enthusiasts to meet their favorite writers. He added that the event bridges the gaps between cultures and languages.

The three-day KLF-2022 will be an emotional ride as it explores Pakistan’s journey over its 75-year history through various panel discussions and book launches. More than 60 sessions including around twenty book launches are scheduled. Speakers from Pakistan, UK, USA, New Zealand and France will share their insights with feature film screenings, English poetry readings and qawwali.

During the first day, dastangoi returned when Fawad Khan, Meesam Naqvi and Nazrul Hasan read passages from Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi’s Haweli. A session celebrating 75 years of Urdu poetry also took place. Iftikhar Arif, Zehra Nigah, Kishwar Naheed, Nasir Abbas Nayyar shared their views during a session moderated by Najeeba Arif. The distinguished panelists explored the progress of Urdu in Pakistan over the past seventy-five years.

An interesting session titled “Realizing Jinnah’s Vision” discussed Pakistan’s history, present and future. Javed Jabbar, Ian Talbot, Nasira Iqbal and Arfa Sayeda Zehra were the panelists while Syed Jaffar Ahmed moderated. This session explored Quaid-e-Azam’s vision for Pakistan and how it was continued after his passing. The first day ended with a traditional English poetry session where poets like Alyana Khan, Fatima Ijaz, Harris Khalique, Jeeva Haroun, Minaa Shahzad, Moeen Faruqi, Peerzada Salman, Salena Godden, Sateah Afreedi, Shireen Haroun and Zarmina Raza read their plays. . The moderator was Salman Tarik Kureshi. According to tradition, prizes in prose and poetry were also awarded. This year’s winners were Zain Saeed’s “Little America” (English fiction), Asim Bakhshi (Urdu prose), Saleem Kausar (Urdu poetry).

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