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Dhaka Tribune

10th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest on January 5-8

For the first time, two Nobel Prize-winning writers will be present together

Update : 14 Oct 2022, 10:40 PM

After being cancelled for three consecutive years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 10th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF), the biggest international literary festival in Bangladesh, is set to take place on January 5-8, 2023.

The event will be held on the historic grounds of the Bangla Academy in Dhaka.

The three directors of Dhaka Lit Fest, Sadaf Saaz, Ahsan Akbar and Kazi Anis Ahmed, confirmed the matter in a press release on Friday.

Dhaka Lit Fest has been a popular annual event in the winter calendar of Bangladesh. About 30,000 people participated in the ninth Dhaka Lit Fest last held in 2019.

Sadaf Saaz, writer, producer and co-director of the Dhaka Lit Fest, said: “The upcoming Dhaka Lit Fest will be celebrating its 10 th edition with a stellar line-up of speakers, including two Nobel Prize winning-authors together in Dhaka for the first time. We will have four magical days sharing our love of reading and literature, discussing wide-ranging topics and ideas from different perspectives, as well as film screenings, live music and performances.”

Ahsan Akbar, writer, and co-director of the Dhaka Lit Fest, said: “For the past two years we have been working hard to gather some of the best minds from around the globe. With the diverse mix of speakers from home and abroad, we are excited to host an unforgettable festival of scintillating conversations. The long-awaited 10th edition of DLF will be very special!”

Meanwhile, Kazi Anis Ahmed, writer, and co-director of the Dhaka Lit Fest, said: “We are committed to our core values as ever, and with our 10th edition we will continue to celebrate pluralism of both identities and ideas and champion the freedom to express.”

As well as a diverse mix of conversations and dialogues, there will be film screenings, art exhibitions, music, and cultural shows over the four-day period.

The directors of DLF announced its first list of 25 speakers out of over 200 speakers expected to attend the 2023 edition. 

The first list includes Orhan Pamuk, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Nuruddin Farah, Amitav Ghosh, Hanif Kureishi, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Pankaj Mishra, Tilda Swinton, Jon Lee Anderson, Onjali Rauf, Sarah Churchwell, Gitanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell, Esther Freud, Matthieu Aikins, Alexandra Pringle, Andrey Kurkov, Asma Khan, Dame Sarah Gilbert, Anisul Hoque, Mashrur Arefin, Jaya Ahsan, Kamal Naser Chowdhury, Zafar Iqbal and Marina Tabassum.

The 10th edition will feature two Nobel Prize-winning authors and internationally acclaimed prize-winning speakers; winners of the Pulitzer, International Booker, Neustadt International, PEN/Pinter, Prix Médicis, Academy Award, Windham-Campbell Prize, Albert Medal, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Aga Khan Award, et al, will participate at the 2023 edition.

About Dhaka Lit Fest

Sadaf Saaz, Ahsan Akbar and Kazi Anis Ahmed are the directors of the Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF), which began in 2011 with the commitment to promoting Dhaka, and Bangladeshi literature and culture to the world.

The festival is focused primarily on literature, but embraces culture and ideas more broadly, generating discussions on a wide array of topics: fiction and literary non-fiction to history, politics and society; poetry and translations; science and mathematics; philosophy and religion. 

About 400 participants representing over 50 countries have been part of DLF, including VS Naipaul, Adonis, Vikram Seth, Tariq Ali, Ahdaf Soueif, William Dalrymple, Nayantara Sahgal, Tilda Swinton, Shashi Tharoor, Shobha De, Nandita Das, Vijay Seshadri and Mohammed Hanif. Stalwarts of Bangla literature, Syed Shamsul Huq, Hasan Azizul Huq, Selina Hossain, Debesh Roy, Nirmalendu Goon, Joy Goswami, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay and others, have also of course graced the stage.

DLF has inspired new publications and journals, including the wonderful Library of Bangladesh which showcases the best of Bangladeshi writing in translation. DLF is not just about bringing the world and our audience closer but enriching that world through fierce debates and fresh expressions.

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