Every year, the city gets its much-needed intellectual and cultural treat in the form of the annual Karachi Literature Festival (KLF). Much awaited each year by the literati and the people of Karachi, this year’s edition is going to be a special Ten Year Celebration of the event. Happening on 1, 2, and 3 March 2019, at the Beach Luxury Hotel as usual, the event will mark KLF’s ten successful years of being the leading literary festival of the city and spawning other such festivals celebrating the written word in different cities across Pakistan.
The KLF organisers, Oxford University Press (OUP), have announced the names of the Advisory Board members who will be part of the 10th edition of the festival. The Advisory Board comprises prominent writers, poets, and literary figures including Muneeza Shamsie, Bina Shah, Iftikhar Arif, Ahmed Shah, Mujahid Barelvi, Salman Tarik Kureshi, and Michael Houlgate (Director Sindh and Balochistan, British Council).
Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director, OUP, while sharing his views about the upcoming festival said, “For the 10th edition of KLF, we have created an Advisory Board comprising personalities from different literary fields in order to embrace diversity and inclusion in the society. The members will oversee the festival programming and selection of speakers as well as curate various sessions. The 10th KLF will feature, not only literary works and poetry, but also the fine arts, culture, and the performing arts. Our society is youthful and most of those who throng this annual celebration are young. Therefore, KLF 2019 will have the overarching theme ‘The Focus is Tomorrow’. It will explore emerging trends, new concepts, and the impact of social media and technology on books, literature, publishing, reading, and our lives in general. The KLF Urdu Literature Prize for 2019 sponsored by Infaq Foundation will be awarded at the inauguration ceremony of the Festival.”
Talking about her long association with KLF, the literary critic, Muneeza Shamsie said, “I am delighted to be a part of Advisory Board for the KLF’s 10th Anniversary, which is a great milestone for our literary culture and indeed, a celebration of the written word. It is good to be with, and exchange ideas with a team, which has worked assiduously to bring this festival together. It has also been a privilege to have participated in KLF as a guest speaker, since its inception and to watch it grow and develop and inspire other literary festivals in Pakistan too.”
“Over the years, KLF has successfully provided an accessible and intellectual space to the citizens of Pakistan. Through discourse and discussions, the Festival cultivates literary values, cultural diversity, and a sense of inclusion. This year is going to be no different as KLF aims to bring together not only the stalwarts of Pakistan’s literary world and academia but also some of the most creative minds beyond Pakistan’s border. I wish to congratulate KLF on completing its ten successful years,” said the eminent Urdu poet Iftikhar Arif.
The first Karachi Literature Festival kicked off in 2010 and drew over 5,000 visitors. Continuing the heritage of the literary event, OUP expects a footfall of more than 200,000 at this year’s KLF.
Following its ten-year tradition, the festival will have free entry and will be accessible to people in an open and participatory manner. It will include vibrant literary sessions, panel discussions, talks, readings, interviews, book launches, Urdu mushaira, English poetry readings, film screenings, performing arts, and book fair. And, as usual, there will be the pleasure of Baatein Mulaqate in with leading intellectual figures and amongst all those who attend.