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Gandhi’s granddaughter to open JLF Belfast’s celebratory weekend of literature and creativity

Friday 21st June 2019 at 10am 0 Comments Literature

Pictured are Damian Smyth, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director Teamwork Art, Reba Som, historian and author, David Torrens, No Alibis Bookstore Image: Pictured are Damian Smyth, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director Teamwork Art, Reba Som, historian and author, David Torrens, No Alibis Bookstore

Distinguished granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, who has devoted her life to working for public welfare, will open the two-day literature festival, JLF Belfast, at a launch event on Friday 21st June at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office.

Key JLF Belfast highlights

  • JLF Belfast 2019 takes place on Saturday 22 June 2019 at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and Sunday 23 June 2019 at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy
  • This inaugural edition of JLF Belfast includes 16 sessions across 2 days featuring themes of Borders, Food, Gender, Peace and Non-violence, Women and Freedom, Mythology and Looking into the Future: Artificial Intelligence
  • Distinguished speakers include William Dalrymple, Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee, Brian Keenan, star chef and writer, Asma Khan and Patrick Gale, among others

BELFAST, Friday 21 June 2019 – The spirit of the magnificent Jaipur Literature Festival in India comes to Northern Ireland for the first time this weekend, 21-23 June, with a packed programme of events at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast and Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy.  Hosted in partnership with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Council Northern Ireland and the Festival’s producer, Teamwork Arts, JLF Belfast will embody the true spirit of the original festival, hailed as one of the greatest literary shows on Earth.

JLF Belfast will welcome eminent authors and thinkers from India, Northern Ireland and across the globe to showcase India and South Asia’s literary heritage, multilingualism, oral traditions, performing arts, books, food and ideas in a packed weekend of readings, panel discussions and debates. Themes under discussion throughout the weekend will include Borders, Food, Gender, Peace and Non-violence, Women and Freedom, Mythology and Looking into the Future: Artificial Intelligence.  There will also be a pop-up shop hosted by No Alibis Bookstore where people can get their books signed by the authors in attendance. 

Namita Gokhale, Writer and Co-Director of the festival, commented:

“The newest edition of JLF Belfast takes our festival into the heart of an intense and passionate literary culture. In the last several years, the Jaipur Literature Festival in India has had the pleasure of welcoming writers of the stature of Anne Enright, Colm Toibin, David McWilliams, David Park, Glenn Patterson, Jan Carson, Jon Halliday, Joseph O’Neill, Patricia Forde, Paul McVeigh, Roddy Doyle and Roy Foster among others. We have been inspired by the literature, drama, and songs of Irish culture, as indeed the art of conversation and orality. Our international editions, now including JLF Belfast, are all rooted and local and yet deeply cosmopolitan. The long connections between Irish and Indian literature have helped us appreciate the resonances between them.”

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added,

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome JLF Belfast to the Lyric Theatre in Belfast and Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, this weekend. This new, two-day arts event will celebrate our links with India and our shared love of conversation, literature and debate.”

“This tremendous festival will be a platform for creating, sharing and promoting the creative arts and will deepen our partnership with key Indian cultural institutions. We are delighted to welcome international writers and audiences to the festival this weekend and share our famous Northern Ireland hospitality.”

Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, commented:

“British Council is honoured to be working with our colleagues at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Teamwork Arts, the producer of the  Jaipur Literature Festival to deepen the existing literature connections that we have with India, to welcome authors from India to Northern Ireland and share Indian writing and publishing with our audiences at the inaugural JLF Belfast.”

“Building inbound and outbound exchanges and opportunities between Northern Ireland and other countries including India is a key focus of the British Council’s work and the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in India is already a key platform for Northern Ireland writers working internationally.” 

Maeve Walls, Director of Culture, Department for Communities, said,

“I am delighted to see JLF come to Northern Ireland. It presents a wonderful opportunity to further strengthen international relations whilst celebrating the richness and diversity of our literature and the wider creative arts sector. Congratulations to all involved in bringing this special event to Belfast.”

Among those taking part this weekend are:

Asma Khan: Celebrity chef, restauranteur, epicure, author, founder of the charity, Second Daughter’s Fund, and star of Netflix’s ‘Chef’s Table’.

Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee: Distinguished granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi who has devoted her life to working for public welfare.

Namita Gokhale: Award-winning author, publisher, columnist and Jaipur Literature Festival Co-Director.

Marcus Du Sautoy: Author, renowned mathematician and the Oxford Simonyi Professor for Public Understanding of Science.

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi: Fierce activist, dancer, actress and leader of the movement which got India’s Supreme Court to recognise the third gender.

The above join a list of distinguished speakers including:  Patrick Gale, Brian Keenan, Ruth Padel and William Dalrymple, alongside a wealth of immense writing talent from Northern Ireland, David Park, Shannon Yee, Glenn Patterson, Jan Carson, Garrett Carr, Paul McVeigh, Malachi O’Doherty and Lucy Caldwell. 

View the full programme of events http://artscouncil-ni.org/images/uploads/news-documents/JLFBelfast2019-FullProgramme.pdf

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