Literature Festival creates memorable dialogues

Media Person Samriddhi Rai and Singer Prayatna Shrestha. All pictures: BWF—Pokhara: Nepal Literature Festival 2017 celebrated the third day of its sixth edition by creating a plethora of dialogues and ideas on society, culture, gender, and literature. The festival hosted 12 sessions today, spread out in its two venues in the premises of Nepal Tourism Board, Pardi. The festival is being organized by Bookworm Foundation.

Opening the sessions today, journalists Shiva Gaunle and Haribahadur Thapa along with Advocate Omprakash Aryal discussed the need of the government to be responsible and answerable to its citizens. In the session moderated by Heart Surgeon, Writer and Activist Raamesh Koirala, they put forth powerful thoughts on state acountability. A parallel session in the hall was ‘Ke Bhancha Pokhara’ (What does Pokhara say?) with poet Saraswati Shrestha ‘Saru’, singer Binod Baniya, theatre activist Kapil Sharma and poet Ishwar Mani Adhikari representing voices of Pokhara’s creative hearts and minds. The session was moderated by Upendra Poudel, President of Random Readers’ Society.

In the session that followed at the lawns, Journalist Basanta Basnet talked to Litterateur Bairagi Kainla and Poet Bhupal Rai on the beauty of the Mudhum in literature. The parallel session in the lawns was a special one – with internationally acclaimed artist and creator of the ‘Miss Moti’ comics, Kripa Joshi, being held in conversation with Activist Shubha Kayastha. They talked on body politics, body positivity, and the need to create a safer space and be non-judgmental about bodies.

The third session at the lawns was a keen discussion on the representation of female characters in Nepali Literature. Moderated by Activist and Founding Member of Chaukath, Pranika Koyu, the three speakers – writers Ramlal Joshi, Sabitri Gautam and Shivani Singh Tharu – shared their thoughts on the development of the female protagonist through the ages. This was followed by a session on whether politics is inching towards mere populism and garnering immediate support.

Moderated by Editor Kiran Nepal, Social Scientist Hari Sharma and Popular UML Leader Ghanashyam Bhushal debated on the pros and cons of such a political trend. A parallel session in the hall had Journalist Dipendra Shrestha talk to Entrepreneur Laxmi Sharma about the journey from turning button making into a flourishing empire.

The fifth session at the lawns delved on unravelling Nepal’s economic history. In the session moderated by Economist Swarnim Wagle, Economist Bishwa Poudel shared its mesmerizing rise and falls. The parallel session in the hall had Indian Writer Uday Prakash’s sole presentation on ‘Sahitya Aur Pratirodh’ – whether or not literature can also be a tool for resistance and change.

At the lawns, a huge crowd gathered for ‘Wah! Gazal’, one of the most popular sessions. In a session moderated by Journalist and Poet Amrit Subedi, around a dozen poets enraptured the audience with somber, romantic and impassioned gazals and had them clamoring for more. The final session was a music-woven talk between Media Person Samriddhi Rai and Singer Prayatna Shrestha. His soothing vocals left a lasting impression on the audience, as the events ended on a musical note.

Published on: January 29, 2017 6:59 pm

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