“Unmesha-Festival of Expression”, a three-day literature festival with more than 425 literati from 15 countries attending, will kick off in Shimla on Thursday.
Prominent personalities from art and literature including 2022 Man Booker Prize winner Geetanjali Shree, Gulzar, Deepti Naval, Sonal Mansingh, Prasoon Joshi, Vikram Sampath, Vishal Bhardwaj and SL Bhyrappa are said to be attending the event.
The festival, which is jointly organized by the Union Ministry of Culture, Sahitya Akademi and the Department of Language and Culture of Himachal Pradesh, is part of the series of events organized under the aegis of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
It will include discussions, paper presentations, poetry readings and story readings by prominent writers, poets and critics. There will be sessions on tribal literature and LGBTQ writings and a session on Himachali folk songs as well.
Various cultural performances, including “Krshna Kaaliya” – interpretation of Bharatanatyam by the Sonal Mansingh troupe; “Tala Vadya Kutcheri” – a set of Indian percussion instruments by P Jaya Bhaskar; “Nagara” – percussion performance by Nathulal Solanki; Mahmood Farooqui’s “Karna” Dastangoi show and Himachali folk dances will be the main attractions of the festival.
Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, K Shriniwas Rao said 32 LG BTQ writers, 40 tribal language writers, 25 North Eastern writers, nine Pravasi Indians and nine foreign writers will attend the festival.
The festival will begin with the session on Literature and Women Empowerment which will be chaired by Kiran Bedi who will speak on the theme “Mere Sathiya ki Maayane”.
He said Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal would chair the evening session while prominent writer Gulzar would participate in a session on “Literature and Film”.
On the second day, a session on tribal literature will be chaired by tribal writer Anil Bar while Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar will also discuss literature.
Mahendra Kumar Mishra will speak on literature on unaccredited languages. A session on literature and the independence movement will be chaired by SL Bhyrappa.
Gitanjali Shree will be the keynote speaker for the event on the closing day. She will talk about “Women Writing in Indian Languages”.