The annual iconic Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) is all set to run from the 24–26 February in the temple city of Bhubaneswar at Hotel Swosti Premium. In its ninth year, the festival will showcase an unusual lineup of writers, speakers, thinkers, and humanitarians from all walks of life. The literary fete will see a spectacular range of linguistic diversity, represented by 10 countries and over 25 languages.
In the context of India’s G20 Presidency, the latest edition of the Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) celebrates ‘India and the World’ by encouraging global and national discourses on the theme through a variety of literary subjects: lived experience, politics, art, film, business, media, and sports.
With over 500 speakers from across a vast array of nations and regions, including recipients of major awards such as the Nobel, the Booker, the International Booker, the Sahitya Akademi and many more, it will feature a range of themes, including the ongoing climate justice debate under the ‘The Urgency of Borrowed Time’ theme; innovative women writers and artists focusing on the female voice and identity, crime fiction, memoir, translation, poetry, economics, tech morality and Artificial Intelligence, the global crisis, cutting-edge science, art and photography, health and medicine, amongst others.
Every year, the festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue. Since its inception in 2013, the festival has hosted nearly 2500 speakers and performers, and has welcomed booklovers from across the world.
The KLF is back to invigorate, educate, provoke, and entertain. Celebrities from the worlds of literature, cinema, media and politics will assemble in the temple city of Odisha to deliberate on the theme of ‘India and the World’. Acclaimed writers from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Japan, UK, Italy, South Africa and Austria will join the festival as speakers. Over 100 artists will join the Kalinga Art Festival.
The KLF is well-known for its socially relevant themes and, in a way, compels all ‘creative’ people to think and articulate ‘the contemporary’. Like past editions, the KLF this year also has a hard-hitting theme for writers, poets and artists to ponder on. This year, the central theme of the festival is ‘India and the World.’
Known as Bharatvarsha, India has always had an inextricable affinity with the world. ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (‘the World is One Family’) is an ideal that has perennially inspired Indic civilization. This ideal does not believe in the supremacy of any one culture or social and political system; rather it entails the coming together of nations and cultures of the world for mutual richness and growth.
In the contemporary world, the notion of ‘global’ culture is often taken to be synonymous with the Indic view of the world. This equation is inaccurate. Colonialism, especially of the Western kind, has shown the manner in which the western Enlightenment model was used for slavery and appropriation: material, psychological and spiritual.
India writes in many languages and speaks in many voices. In order to promote deeper inclusivity across the nation, our language, folklore, the ‘Marga’ and the ‘Deshi’ traditions, will be showcased in the festival. Every region and literary tradition will have its place, along with the province and the metropolis. Over the last 75 years, India has grown exponentially across all sectors. The Mahotsav (festival) will build upon our strengths and limitations, challenges and opportunities. These will be explored through the medium of debate and dialogue, the fittest way we could pay our tribute to our motherland, a nation on the move.
The KLF has emerged as one of the leading literary platforms in India, attracting both experienced and young litterateurs. Bigger than ever before, the ninth edition of the festival will bring nationally and internationally acclaimed names on one platform to discuss, debate and explore commonalities in diverse voices in literature. The three-day festival will cover several dimensions of the interconnections between literature, freedom, republican values, cultural diversity and social equity.
The sessions will touch on the topics such democracy, cultural nationalism, Generation Z, Indian languages, the publishing industry, mythology, media, the market, the concerns of children, women and transgender people, citizen engagement, cinema, sports, ethics, discrimination, revolution, peace-building, conflict resolution and harmony. There will be several one-to-one sessions with leading experts on the subjects. There will also be story-telling sessions promising to add new flavour to the literary spirit of the festival.
Apart from this, more than 30 new books and monographs will be released during the three-day festival. The delegates and speakers of the KLF will have a unique opportunity to participate in a heritage walk called ‘Mystic Walk’ and participate in a plantation drive and ‘Mystic Mic’. In order to expand socializing opportunities for the delegates, the KLF team has partnered with local bicycle clubs to provide bicycles for speakers to roam around the smart city and experience the blend of ancient heritage and modern urban planning that characterises it.
A dedicated platform, the Kalinga Art Festival will provide a unique space for artists to showcase their talent and connect their art to the central theme of the festival.
The prestigious Kalinga Literary Award in literature will be conferred during the festival.
Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Parida, the founder director of KLF, says, “International Booker Prize winner, Geetanjali Shree will join us. We are deeply honoured to have Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi and so many other international and Sahitya Akademi awardees. Living legends and youth icons including Sitakanta Mohapatra, Pratibha Ray, Ramakanta Rath, Jayanta Mohapatra, Sanjeev Sanyal, Ranjit Hoskote, Rakhshanda Jalil, Shekhar Pathak, Daya Dissanayake, Rajesh Singh, Sachchidanand Joshi, Alka Saraogi, Vyomesh Shukla, Geet Chaturvedi, Gagan Gill, Satya Vyas, Pravin Kumar, Hindol Sengupta, Prabhat Ranjan, Asghar Wajahat, Divya Prakash Dubey, Navtej Sarna, Akshaya Mukul and others will join to contribute to the ongoing discussions in the literature. The KLF programme, as always, platforms new voices across languages and cultures and spans a wide arc from geopolitics, history, religion and spirituality, prose, poetry, climate, agriculture, education, energy, and many other contemporary issues. Acclaimed writers from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Japan, UK, Italy, South Africa and Austria will join the festival as speakers”.
Ashutosh Kumar Thakur, coordinator of the KLF, believes that “With its 9th edition, the KLF returns with the promise of hope and optimism. Our return emphasises resilience and the spirit of resolve. We have gathered talent from across the globe to present writers of genius as diverse as the county we live in. This year will see a truly spectacular line-up of literary superstars from across the world. We are delighted to bring back the joy of literary spirit to the temple city of Bhubaneswar.”
The Kalinga Art Festival, uniquely, has an exclusive art segment that has been designed to showcase the best of the creations of contemporary artists. In its fifth year, the art festival attracts young artists from Bhubaneswar, Odisha and from the national capital. Over 100 artists will join the Kalinga Art Festival.
There will be a cultural programme to showcase India’s arts, cultures and literatures on each day of the three-day programme. 26 writers will receive the KLF Book Awards 2022 in various categories on the inaugural day of the festival.
ABP Live is the digital media partner, Dainik Jagarn is the Hindi newspaper partner, Outlook Magazine is the magazine partner, RV University is the knowledge partner of the KLF.
About The Kalinga Literary Festival
The annual Kalinga Literary Festival celebrates the creative spirit of India and commemorates the incredible literary diversity it offers, bringing into conversation the best minds in the world of literature within and outside of Odisha and India. Academics, authors, political and social activists, law makers, government officials, corporate leaders, students and people from all walks of life immerse in the vibrant atmosphere of the festival and exchange opinions on their favourite authors and works. The Kalinga Festival has emerged as an annual flagship event in the cultural calendar of India and our goal is to rekindle the romance with literature and foster reading and writing habits, especially among the youth. It offers a national platform with a global appeal and bridges the gap between kinds of literature in English and other Indian languages.