14th December 2023 – Anticipation is building for the 17th edition of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, scheduled to take place from 1st to 5th of February 2024 at Hotel Clarks Amer in the vibrant Pink City of Jaipur. Teamwork Arts, the producer of the iconic Festival, hosted a celebratory evening at The Quorum, Mumbai yesterday and brought together the city’s dignitaries, Festival speakers and audiences. The Festival also announced the official bookstore for the 2024 edition – Crossword Bookstores.
Apart from talking about the much-awaited Festival programme and offerings, the evening featured a dialogue between Amish, bestselling author, diplomat and Director of the Nehru Centre in London, and Sanjoy K. Roy, Festival Producer and Managing Director at Teamwork Arts. They delved into the significant role that myth plays as a mediator of memory. There was also an exciting jazz performance by percussionist Vladimir Taravos and saxophonist Liudas Mockuinas at the event.
William Dalrymple, writer, historian, and Festival Co-director, said, “Every year we try and raise the bar at the Jaipur Literature Festival, but 2024 will be our finest festival yet. It is going to be utterly extraordinary and should on no account be missed!”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, producer of the Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “At the Jaipur Literature Festival, we inspire people through the power of stories. It is an opportunity to be engage with a cross section of the arts, knowledge and innovation An experience you definitely do not want to miss – a celebration of the joy of literature.”
Aakash Gupta, CEO, Crossword Bookstores, said, “Crossword is very proud to be the bookstore partner at JLF. We are on a mission to grow the readership in India. The Festival is at a pinnacle of celebrating the joy and importance of good books. This partnership between the Festival & Crossword is a perfect match and aligns with our shared visions. Watch out for an exciting bookstore experience at JLF 2024!”
Saloni Puri, Director of Programming at The Quorum, “I am a Jaipur Literature Festival patron from 2006 – since it was founded. Their highly versatile programming has been instrumental in adding to the cultural conversation in the country. Quorum and the Jaipur Literature Festival share a DNA – curiosity and passion for ideas and imagination, thought leadership and conversation. It gives us great pleasure to partner with them for the Mumbai Preview of the 2024 edition.”
The evening also revealed some of the key themes for the 17th edition of the ‘Kumbh’ of literature. Art & culture are key themes and will have interesting sessions such as one exploring the artistic genius of our country’s foremost modern artist, Raja Ravi Varma with Ganesh V. Shivaswamy, two of whose six-volume series, Raja Ravi Varma: An Everlasting Imprint, navigates the life, artistic style, and everlasting impact of Raja Ravi Varma’s creative journey. In another session, museum curator, art historian and Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge, Luke Syson, will talk of Leonardo da Vinci’s reputation as an inventor and scientist, and the complexity of his creativity and personality that have sometimes almost overshadowed the importance of his aims and techniques as a painter. Syson’s highly acclaimed Leonardo da Vinci – Painter at the Court of Milan exhibit attempts to understand the complex nature of one of the most sought-after artists of the Renaissance period.
The biographies theme includes a session on the book Irrfan: A Life in Movies by film critic and writer Shubhra Gupta. The book is a collection of conversations with the late actor’s contemporaries and their memories of their time with the legend. In conversation with Irrfan Khan’s beloved wife and theatre actor Sutapa Sikdar and filmmaker Vishal Bhardwaj, the session will dive into the art, craft, and life of Irrfan.
Pulitzer Prize winning writer Kai Bird will speak at another session on his writing life and literary journey. Famously co-authored with the late Martin J. Sherwin, Bird wrote, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, which acted as the inspiration for the Chirstopher Nolan film, Oppenheimer.
Sharmistha Mukherjee’s remarkable biography Pranab My Father: A Daughter Remembers offers a fascinating glimpse into the illustrious life of Pranab Mukherjee, former politician and the thirteenth President of India. In this session, Sharmistha will talk about her workaholic and devoutly religious Baba who narrated events in the spirit of adda at the dinner-table and who never tried to impose his faith or beliefs on her.
The poet who wins every heart – Gulzar Saab – continues to create magic with each new poetry collection, interweaving the allure of old favourites through verse. Translated by award-winning translator and writer, Rakhshanda Jalil, Baal O-Par is a definitive collection of Gulzar Saab’s poetry comprising the complete text of six volumes of poems. Together they will take us through this masterpiece, offering a kaleidoscopic view of history, human experience, and poetic expression.
The Festival will also feature Fashion Designer Tarun Tahiliani. His creations navigate sartorial histories, from the lens of the impact of globalisation and colonisation on attire to the revival of long-forgotten techniques. His book, Journey to India Modern, written with investigative journalist Alia Allana, reveals the paths he takes for his craft, and the significance of his luxury design studio in today’s world. In conversation with television anchor and fashion consultant Ambika Anand, Tahiliani will share insights into his explorations in fashion around the globe, his efforts to merge stories across time and space, and the questions he seeks to pose through his designs.
The Festival will also delve into spiritual histories. The sacred terrain of the high Himalaya has a timeless tradition of spiritual and mystic quests. How do enlightened masters become an enduring and living presence for religious and spiritual communities? Celebrated academic and writer Andrew Quintman has written extensively on the Tibetan master and spiritual poet, Milarepa. Actor and writer Kelly Dorji is a practising Buddhist. His book, The Hidden Rainbow, makes an attempt to take us on a spiritual journey through Buddhist symbolism in the quest for inner peace and acceptance. Together, they will discuss the literary representations of Milarepa’s life and consider the manifold ways in which these life stories move beyond the written page into artistic, ritual and lived dimensions. This session will also include the launch of the Hindi edition of Mystics and Sceptics: In Search of Himalayan Masters.
Leading classicist and cultural commentator Mary Beard’s recent book, Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern, explores how Roman art has shaped the Western world’s understanding of power for over two millennia. Examining the relationship between ancient imperial imagery and the modern visual imagination, Beard will take us through the images of Roman emperors, especially the ‘Twelve Caesars’, from the ruthless Julius Caesar to the fly-torturing Domitian, to understand their modern significance. In conversation with historian, writer and podcaster Tom Holland, she will discuss changing identities, deliberate misidentifications and the often-uncertain representations of authority.
This year too, the Festival offers an exclusive Friend of the Festival (FOF) package which promises an unparalleled experience. FOFs gain access to a private Festival Lounge, where they can unwind and network, occasionally mingling with Festival speakers. The package includes lunches and dinners on Festival days, priority access at select sessions, and entry to the live music performances at the Jaipur Music Stage. In addition, FOFs will be invited to a cultural evening at the majestic Amer Fort as well as an evening of cocktails at the Festival Lounge. They will also get access to the coveted Writers’ Ball that concludes the spectacular literary show.
‘Friend of the Festival’ packages can be booked using this link: https://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/friendsofthefestival-registration.
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