News & events > London | South Asian Literature Festival
23 Oct 2013 - 01 Nov 2013

London | South Asian Literature Festival



The South Asian Literature Festival, London’s premier event for writing and discussion on the Indian Sub-continent returns to the capital for the fourth consecutive year from October 23rd to November 1st 2013. Major themes this year include Indo-Caribbean literature, the ‘Other’ in Asian Britain, Partition and Mythology.

The Festival opens with a look at Asian Britain through the lens of an extraordinary photographic history, drawing on film, music, the military, business and the suffragist movement to capture the journey of Asian migrants from the subcontinent, the Caribbean and East Africa to settle in the UK. BBC Broadcaster Razia Iqbal and Editor of Wasafiri magazine, Susheila Nasta will lead the discussion.

Sixty six years after the Partition of British India, Karachi correspondent for the New York Times, Declan Walsh (who was forced to leave Pakistan earlier this year) will be joined by Rahul Kansal of The Times of India, to discuss the current tension between Pakistan and India, and the media’s role in reporting across borders.

Bengali literature, be it from Bengal or from Bangladesh, is one of oldest and richest literatures in South Asia. Acclaimed authors Kunal Basu and Kaiser Haq will exchange thoughts on how ‘Bangla Sahityo’ has influenced the South Asian literary canon, followed by a musical treat by Indo-Jazz artist Arun Ghosh.

The Festival will also co-host a symposium with South Asian Arts Group (SAAG) and the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster titled “From Floor to Ceiling” which explores varied approaches in the study of floor and wall drawings and paintings in India and how these arts are used as a way of sharing everyday stories, folklore, mythology and the epics.

Man Booker Prize-shortlisted writerJeet Thayil and author of The Immortals and Calcutta, AmitChaudhuri, will close the Festival by addressing the addictive nature of South Asian cities from Mumbai to Calcutta.

Amit Chaudhuri and Gaiutra Bahadur will also participate in one of the Festival’s UK wide events in partnership with BBC Radio 3 at Sage Gateshead. The authors will look at the India’s influence on Caribbean literature.

Festival Directors Bhavit Mehta and Jon Slack said, “This is our fourth year and we’ve explored deeper and wider to find the stories and debates that are defining the region. These can range from the thriving metropolises in prize-winning fiction to the media’s role in reporting on tensions across borders,  not to mention the continued musings on Asians in today’s Britain. What we have is a programme that draws on viewpoints from a wide-range of writings and includes important critical voices which we hope offers something for everyone.”

See full programme