A large number of authors, poets, and speakers from Pakistan and abroad will be participating in the KLF.
This was announced jointly by Ameena Saiyid OBE, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP), and Founder/Director, Karachi Literature Festival, and Asif Farrukhi, co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival, at a press conference held at the Arts Council of Pakistan.
Ameena Saiyid disclosed that 107 Pakistani and 30 international authors and speakers will grace the festival. Robert Fisk will be the keynote speaker at the inauguration whereas Kamila Shamsie and Raza Ali Abidi will be the keynote speakers at the closing ceremony of KLF.
“Many leading Urdu poets and authors have also confirmed their participation in the fifth KLF, including Amjad Islam Amjad, Intizar Husain, Zehra Nigah, Azra Abbas, Iftikhar Arif, Mustansar Hussain Tarar and Fahmida Riaz,” she added.
The renowned historian, Dr Rajmohan Gandhi, a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will launch his book Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten at the KLF. Another feature of the KLF this year will be a performance by the legendary kathak dancer, Nahid Siddiqui. The ever-popular mushaira, dramatic readings, stand-up comedy, dastangoi, readings by Zia Mohyeddin, and a photographic exhibition on Karachi will be some of the highlights of the festival.
Some of the notable sessions at the fifth KLF will include a discussion on ‘France and Germany: Historic Adversaries, Modern Partners’, ‘Karachi: Still the City of Lights?, ‘Contribution of Progressive Writers Movement to the Indo-Pak Cinema’, ‘Qawwali Music and Sufi Poetry Tradition’, ‘Shayer e Awam: Habib Jalib’, and ‘Dehshat Gardi aur Hamari Kahaniyan’. More than thirty books by leading authors are planned to be launched at the festival.
Ameena Saiyid also announced that three literary prizes will be awarded through the platform of the fifth KLF. The jury for the Prizes comprises eminent Pakistani critics, writers, and scholars.
The KLF-Coca-Cola Best Non-Fiction Book Prize, worth Rs 200,000, seeks to promote excellence in non-fiction written in English and will be awarded to the best non-fiction book of the year 2013, written by a Pakistani.
The KLF-Embassy of France Prize is being launched as part of the KLF to promote excellence in fiction written in the English language. The author of the best novel or short story collection will be awarded with an official invitation and a fully sponsored visit to the Paris Book Fair in March 2014.
The KLF Peace Prize is a joint project of the KLF and the Consulate General of Germany in Karachi and the Embassy of Germany in Islamabad. The Prize aims to recognize books that promote peace, international understanding, and tolerance. The Prize worth 3000 euros will be awarded to an outstanding author of a book contributing to the realization of these ideals through his/her literary work.
Ahmed Shah, President, The Arts Council of Pakistan, commended Oxford University Press, Ameena Saiyid, and Asif Farrukhi for making KLF an annual event which has been growing every year. “KLF is promoting the real image of Pakistan in the country and internationally,” he added. Shah said he is happy that this year OUP is organizing the Children’s Literature Festival at the Arts Council as it fits in with the objectives of the Council.
KLF is a reflection of Pakistan’s historical roots as expressed in a multiplicity of languages and various forms of writings. As always the entry to the event will be free and it will run from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. over the three-day period. HBL is the title sponsor of the fifth KLF. Further sponsorship support is being provided by Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Karachi, Goethe Institute, Embassy of France Islamabad, Consulate General of France Karachi, Alliance Francaise Karachi, British Council, Embassy of Italy Islamabad, Consulate of Italy Karachi, Embassy of Brazil, Coca-Cola and NIB Bank.