Karachi, 23 January: The sixth Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) will be held on6, 7, and 8, February 2015 at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. KLF brings together and celebrates Pakistani and international authors writing in diverse languages. This year’s KLF is dedicated to the civil society’s campaign “I am Karachi” that aims to strive for a peaceful city.
“An event like the Karachi Literature Festival, the sixth in this city, is like a beacon whose light spreads out far beyond the grounds of the Beach Luxury Hotel—indeed, far beyond this city itself,” said Ameena Saiyid OBE, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP), and Founder/Director, Karachi Literature Festival, and Co-founder, Children’s Literature Festival,at a press conference held at the Arts Council of Pakistan. “The Festival has grown rapidly. Attendance rose from roughly 5,000 in 2010 to 70,000 in 2014,” she added.
“KLF is not merely a local affair. With participants and visitors from all over the country, from all four provinces and all of our major cities, this is truly an all-Pakistan event. More so, with participants from India, UK, USA, Germany, France, Canada, Russia, and Bangladesh, it is truly an international event,” said Asif Farrukhi, Co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival.
Ameena Saiyid disclosed that 124 Pakistani and 31 international authors and speakers will attend the festival this year. Nayantara Sahgal and Zehra Nigah will be the keynote speakers at the inauguration. There will be 26 book launches and more than 70 sessions.
Among the many literary luminaries, academics, and journalists participating, both from Pakistan and abroad, there will be Aamer Hussein, Alex Preston, Ali Akbar Natiq, Ali Sethi, Amjad Islam Amjad, Aamina Sheikh, Aitzaz Ahsan, Ali Saleem, AmarJaleel, Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Asma Jahangir, Azra Abbas,Benyamin, Bina Shah, Bushra Ansari, Fahmida Riaz, H.M. Naqvi, Hamida Khuhro, Haseena Moin, Hina Khwaja Bayat, Hussain Haroon,John Keay, I. A. Rehman, Imdad Hussaini, Intizar Husain, Ishrat Husain, Javed Jabbar, Jugnu Mohsin,Kamila Shamsie, Kishwar Naheed, Khaled Anam, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Maniza Naqvi, Meenu Gaur, Mira Sethi, Mohammed Hanif, Mohib Mirza, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Navid Shahzad, Neelofer Abbasi, Nimra Bucha, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Rahat Kazmi, Sahira Kazmi, Samina Ahmed, Sania Saeed, Shandana Minhas, Sheema Kermani, Sherry Rehman, Syeda Abida Hussain, Talat Hussain,Tisca Chopra, Victoria Schofield, Zafar Hilaly, Zia Mohyeddin, and Zobaida Jalal.
The festival is being arranged in support of ‘I am Karachi’ peace campaign. Jameel Yusuf, I am Karachi consortium member and CPLC founder said, “This campaign is a social and cultural response to the issue of violence that plagues our city. I am Karachi is a common platform that brings together concerned citizens to inculcate hope, pride, unity and ownership and strive for a peaceful city.”
Ameena Saiyid also announced that KLF Coca-Cola Best Non-Fiction Book Prize, KLF Embassy of France Best Fiction Book Prize, and KLF Peace Prize (Consulate General and Embassy of Germany) will be awarded through the platform of the sixth KLF. The panel of judges for the prizes, including some of Pakistan’s most eminent critics, writers, and scholars, have shortlisted three books for each prize category.
The books shortlisted for the KLF Peace Prize includeThe Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan by Ali Usman Qasmi, Mecca: The Sacred City by Ziauddin Sardar, and Conflict Management and Vision for a Secular Pakistan: A Comparative Study by Moonis Ahmar.
The shortlisted books for the Best Non-Fiction Book Prize include Ottoman Turkey, Ataturk, and Muslim South Asia: Perspectives, Perceptions, and Responses by M. NaeemQureshi, The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan by Aqil Shah,andLanguage, Gender, and Power: The Politics of Representation and Hegemony in South Asia by ShahidSiddiqui.
The annual Karachi Literature Festival is about the promotion of reading, writing, and authors, and of bringing enrichment to people’s minds. As always the entry to the event will be free and the timings will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m on 6 February and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on 7 and 8 February. Sponsorship support is being provided by Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Karachi; Goethe Institute; US Consulate General, Karachi; Embassy of France, Islamabad; Consulate General of France, Karachi; Alliance Francaise, Karachi; British Council; American Institute of Pakistan Studies; South Asian Institute, University of Texas at Austin; Embassy of Italy, Islamabad; Consulate of Italy, Karachi; Coca-Cola, and Tehzeeb Foundation.