ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 at British Library

The annual ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival returns to London for 2019. The festival will take place at the prestigious British Library from June 14 to June 16, 2019.

Producer Teamwork Arts will present the sixth edition of the iconic festival, celebrating books, imagination, discourse and diversity.

The unique multilingual literary heritage from South Asia will come to life at JLF 2019. After concluding in the heart of London, JLF will also travel to Belfast for the very first time.

The 2019 festival has a wonderful programme, featuring almost forty sessions. Reflecting various disciplines, genres and cultures, more than ninety speakers will be in attendance.

These include former Pakistan star cricketer Shahid Afridi, former Labour MP Tristram Hunt, Nobel prize winner Venki Ramakrishnan, travel writer Pico Iyer, award-winning author and journalist Christopher de Bellaigue and critically acclaimed Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala.

Besides the grand feast of ideas and discussions over the weekend, the festival will showcase the soul-stirring Morning Music.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the Jaipur Literature Festival programming, including an exacting array of performances, discussions and conversations.

Morning Music

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Morning Music

Morning Music will be taking place ahead of the sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Acts include classical singer Dr Reba Som and sophisticated singer-songwriter Amrit Kaur Lohia

Dr Reba, a historian born in Darjeeling is a skilled advocate of ‘Rabindra Sangeet’ (tracks written and produced by musician Rabindranath Tagore).

She will perform to Anando Gaanor (Songs of Joy). This consists of some poems from Tagore’s devotional Gitanjali (1910), which won Nobel Prize for Literature.

Dr Reba will be performing at the Piazza Pavilion between 10:30-11:00 am on June 15, 2019.

Audiences will also enjoy the Anhad Nad (Sounds from the Sikhs) performance by musician Amrit Kaur Lohia.

Historian Amrit will be on show at the Piazza Pavillion on June 16, 2019, between 10:30 -11:00 am.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Jalianwala Bagh Massacre

India’s Ambassador to the United States, Naveed Suri and former BBC South Asian Correspondent Justin Rowlatt will be in conversation with Team Work Arts Managing Director Sanjoy K. Roy for the event titled: Spring of Blood: Remembering Jallianwala Bagh.

Navdeep will discuss the 2019 translation of the book Khoon Vaisakhi: A Poem from the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (1919) by his grandfather Nanak Singh.

With the book being critical of the British Raj, speakers will look back at the epic poem, which got banned following publication

This event takes place at the Pizza Pavillion between 1:45-2:45 pm on June 16, 2019, a century after the shocking Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Historian Dr Kim A. Wagner and broadcaster Anita Anand will be in conversation with author Navtej Serna.

Kim will mark a hundred years with his book Jallianwala Bagh: An Empire of Fear and the Making of the Amritsar Massacre (2019)

The dramatic book tells the story of the massacre and the repercussions of it.

Anita will shed light on The Patients Assassin: A True Tale of Massacre, Revenge and the Raj (2019), a fascinating tale about one Indian man’s quest for justice.

The Amritsar and the Patient Assassin event takes at Piazza Pavillion between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm on June 15, 2019.

Historical Figures

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Historical Figures

The Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 will be exploring several symbolic historical figures.

Post-colonial scholar Bashabi Fraser and Dr Reba Som will have an in conversation with author Somnath Batbayal.

The Tagore and the Bengal Renaissance event will be held at the Mughal Courtyard on June 16, 2019, between 11:15 am and 12:15 pm

Fraser will speak about her forthcoming biography on the famous Bengali poet and thinker Rabindranath Tagore.

Author Deepa Agarwal will be joining writer Tahmina Aziz Ayub, festival co-ordinator Namita Gokhale and literary journalist Muneeza Shamsie for a conversation with author Maha Khan Phillips.

The panellists will discuss Deepa’s groundbreaking book The Begum: A Portrait of Ra’ana Liaqat Ali Khan (2019).

The book focuses on the wife of Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of an independent Pakistan.

The Begum session takes place at the Piazza Pavillion between 1:45 pm and 2:45 pm on June 15, 2019.

Other historical subjects will be discussed by speakers Tristram Hunt and Christopher de Hamel.

Current Affairs

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Current Affairs

Authors Navin Chawla and Dr Mukulika Banerjee will explore democracy in a conversation with foreign correspondent John Elliot.

The Dance of Democracy session will be held between 11:15 am and 12:15 pm on June 16, 2019, at the Durbar Theatre.

Navin who has written the book Every Book Counts (2019) will be discussing the 2019 Indian general election results. He will also touch upon the strength and weaknesses of India’s ‘democratic convictions.’

British novelist Rana Dasgupta and former London mayor Kevin Livingstone will be in conversation with Dr Mukulika Banerjee.

The three will participate in The City and the Nation State event that takes place at the Durbar Theatre on June 16, 201,9 between 1:45 pm and 2:45 pm.

They will be discussing several key topics including urban hubs, migration, ethnic diversity and nationalism.

In another session, This is London: Life and Death in the World City (2016), author and British-French Journalist Ben Judah will be discussing the capitals complex social makeup.

World Cinema

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - World Cinema

Cancer-Survivor and acclaimed Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala and film critic Nasreen Munni Kabir will join Sanjoy K. Roy to discuss the autobiographical book Healed: How cancer gave me a new life (2019).

The Healing: Of Bollywood and Beyond conversation aims to inspire readers suffering from the illness.

The Healing: Of Bollywood and Beyond presented by DESIblitz will take place at the Durbar Theatre on June 16, 2019, between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm.

Scholar and actor-director Jonathon Gil Harris, professor Rachel Dwyer and Dr Varsha Panjwani come together for an in conversation with famous Indian cinema curator Cary Rajinder Sawhney.

This event will explore Masala Shakespeare: How a Firangi Write Became Indian (2018), a book, which takes a look at inspiration from Bard on Indian films.

The Masala Shakespeare event takes place at the Mughal Courtyard between 1:45 pm and 2:45 pm on June 15, 2019.


ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Intersectionality

A panel of experts on race, class, gender and social justice will discuss the subject of intersectionality.

Award-winning journalist Angela Saini, queer theorist Madhavi Menon, novelist Meena Kanadasamy and author Kenan Malik are the expert panellists who will be in conversation with Somnath Batabyal.

The Intersectionalities: Class, Caste, Race and the Mysteries of Desire session will be held on June 16, 2019, at the Mughal Courtyard form 11:15 am to 12:15 pm.

Best-selling author Christina Lamb and eminent barrister Helena Kennedy QC will also explore gender in their respective sessions.

Visual Arts

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Visual Arts

Experts from the field of visual arts will be part of the 2019 Programme. Leading Indian art collector Davinder Toor and curator Paramjit Singh will have an in conversation with famous author William Dalrymple.

Davinder will showcase his book, In Pursuit of Empire: Treasures From the Toor Collection of Sikh Art (2018).

In his book, Toor details an array of artwork, which was commissioned two centuries ago reflecting the Sikh empire in Punjab.

The Mughal Courtyard will host this event on June 16, 2019, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

Elsewhere, the session of Award winning-critic Marina Warner will explore the East Indian Company commissioned masterpieces.


ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Science

Science will be another theme as part of the Jaipur Festival 2019. Nobel prize winner and author Venki Ramakrishnan will be in conversation with Professor Roger Highfield about his book Gene Machine: The Race to Decipher the Secrets of the Ribosome (2018).

The book will reveal one of the greatest puzzles of humanity, the ‘gene reading molecule.’

Ramakrishnan will take audiences on a scientific voyage with Gene Machine on June 15, 2019, at the Durbar Theatre between 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm.

Author Prerna Bindra, award-winning poet Ruth Padel and author Raghu Chundawat will get together for a discussion with John Elliott.

Taking into account Bindra’s The Vanishing: India’s Wildlife Crisis (2017), the panellists will discuss the connection between humans and the natural environment.

The Vanishing event will be held at the Mughal Courtyard between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm on June 15, 2019.

Elsewhere, Marcus Du Sautoy will speak about his book The Creativity Code (2019).

Whereas author Roger Highfield will discuss his upcoming book The Dance of Life: The New Science of How a Single Cell Becomes a Human Being (2019).


ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Sport

The cricket genre will also be part of the 2019 Jaipur Literature Festival mix. Game Changers: Cricket Country will be a very interesting session to attend.

Four high profile panellists will explore how South Asian cricket has become a representation of national identity. Surrogacy for contesting nationalisms will also be explored.

Durbar Theatre will set the stage for this discussion. This takes place between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm on June 15, 2019.

Former Pakistan cricket star ‘Boom Boom’ Shahid Afridi will make his presence felt.

He will be discussing his riveting and controversial memoir Game Changer (2019).

Afridi will be joined by Emmy nominated journalist and co-author Wajahat Hussain.

Autor Prashant Kidambi will speak about his book, Cricket Country: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire (2019).

The book is about how the idea of India came about on the cricket field. This is following the first Indian cricket tour of Britain and Ireland.

Indian politician Shashi Tharoor and author Romesh Gunsekera from Sri Lanka complete the line-up.

Other Themes and Official Festival Bloggers

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Other Themes. jpg

Some authors on the 2019 Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) programme will discover the themes of Travel and Cultural Identity.

Travel writers Pico Iyer, Christina Lamb, Carlo Pizzati and Monisha Rajesh will discuss with William Dalrymple about this genre.

Addressing the theme of spirituality, authors Christopher de Bellaigue and Navtej Sarna will also be speaking at JLF 2019.

Earlier, the organisers ran a blogging competition for literature enthusiasts and bloggers via the online writing community Wattpad.

The winners will have the chance to participate in JLF 2019 as Official Festival Bloggers.

Partners and RA Award

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Partners

Zee Entertainment is the title partner for the 2019 Jaipur Literature Festival.

Agha Khan Foundation and Bagri Foundation are the series partners. The Institute of Ismaili Studies, RA Foundation and Taj Hotels are session partners.

The RA award was introduced, following a collaboration between Teamwork Arts and the RA Foundation.

The RA award is a fantastic imitative to promote debut writing, linking themes around India and South Asia.

This is a great platform for first-time writers of poetry and fiction to increase their visibility.

Tasha Suri was the first recipient of the RA award for her book Empire of Sand (2018). Tasha will be congratulated during a private function at the British Museum on June 15, 2019.

On June 16, she will also be speaking at the festival.

Festival Team

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - Festival Team

The festival team look ahead to the Jaipur Literature Festival 2019.

Festival Co-Director and author of Finding Radha: The Quest for Love (2018), Namita Gokhale, said:

“As ZEE JLF at the British Library returns to London for its sixth edition, we look forward to the creative learnings and sharing what we have encountered in our treasured collaboration with the British Library.

“We examine books and ideas and the crucial intersectionalities of our changing times, the politics of culture, the joys of music and the consolations of poetry and philosophy in a series of mind-stretching sessions, panels and re-imaginings.”

Festival Co-Director and author of the book The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company (2019), William Dalrymple, expressed:

“In just over a decade, the Jaipur Literature Festival has grown from 14 lost tourists to a third of a million people and it’s now the biggest festival of literature in the world.

“With our strongest London line-up yet, we can’t wait to bring its energy and colour to the British Library: our Jaipur-on-Thames.”

Teamwork Arts Managing Director, Sanjoy K. Roy, stated:

“We’re back for our sixth edition in London with a colourful bandwagon of books, ideas and dialogue that capture our imaginations and explore the dynamic and challenging times we live in.

“ZEE JLF at the British Library will look at history as well as current affairs, explore scientific works and the creative worlds of cinema, literature and poetry.

“This year we’ve also partnered with the British Museum for an evening of conversations and are headed for the first time to Belfast for our second outing in the UK.”

JLF Belfast

ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2019: Great Feast of Ideas - JLF Belfast

Following the conclusion of the Jaipur Literature Festival in London, the festival will for the first time travel to Belfast. This will be the second UK stop for the festival.

Making its debut in Belfast, JLF will take place in Northern Ireland from June 21 to June 23, 2019.

JLF Belfast will explore themes that tie India and Northern Ireland together like border, partition, identity and migration.

Having hosted more than 2000 speakers and welcoming over one million book-fans from across the world, the Jaipur Literature Festival in India has become a global literary experience during the past decade.

The Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2019 at the Britsh Library in London will present similar universal, democratic and inclusive core values as the Jaipur Festival in India.

For further information on the 2019 Jaipur Literature Festival programme and to book tickets, please visit here.

Sessions and conversations with speakers at the Festival will be available via the Jaipur Bytes podcast. This is across leading platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts

You can follow the festival on all social media channels such as Facebook JLFLitfest, Twitter @JLFLitfest and Instagram @JLFLitfest.

DESIblitz is the Community Partner for the UK Jaipur Literature Festival 2019.

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