On May 20th and 21st 2017, the British Library will be transformed as the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival animates its iconic spaces for the first time in celebration of a significant cultural partnership. ZEE JLF@The British Library will present a sumptuous showcase of South Asia’s literary heritage, oral and performing arts, music, cinema and illusion, books and ideas, dialogue and debate, Bollywood and politics in the context of this broader view of India and its relationship to the UK.
2017 marks the fourth London edition of the Festival, which is rooted in the Pink City of Jaipur, India. Held every January, this year commemorated the 10th anniversary of the flagship event. Festival co-directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple have programmed JLF@The British Library to provide UK audiences with a taste of what is frequently referred to as ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’ in celebration of 70 years of UK-India relations.
Programme highlights include Oscar-winning British director Stephen Frears who will be in conversation with journalist and writer Shrabani Basu to discuss Basu’s book Victoria and Abdul which is soon to be released as a major motion picture directed by Frears and starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria, You’ve Got Magic from illusionist and new-age mentalist Neel Madhav whose tricks include criminal psychology and neuro-linguistic programming. The Beatles in India: The Rishikesh Trip which will see writer, playwright & music historian Philip Norman in conversation with leading Indian journalist Ajoy Bose in a fascinating session that explores the magic and mystery of the Beatles in India nearly 50 years since their trip to Rishikesh and an evening of vibrant musical celebration with Kabir Café.
Festival co-director, writer and publisher Namita Gokhale will be in conversation with panellists; Tahmima Anam, Sarvat Hasin, Amit Chaudhuri and Kunal Basu as they share their insights on the art of the novel in The Reading Room: Reshaping the Novel. Literary exiles and migrants Amit Chaudhuri, Meera Syal, Prajwal Parajuly and Lila Azam Zanganeh compare notes on whether emigration positively affects the writing of an author in Migrant Words.
Panellists including Indian MP’s Swapan Dasgupta and Shashi Tharoor discuss the enduring mystery of India’s fascination with P.G. Wodehouse one of the most popular English language writers in India and broadcaster Anita Anand and festival co-director William Dalrymple will discuss their book Kohinoor which explores the many mysteries which shroud the world’s most famous diamond alongside many more events which make up a packed programme of literary debate and social dialogue.
ZEE JLF@The British Library is the first of five cultural strands which form part of the Year of UK-India of Culture in 2017, celebrating the deep cultural ties and exchange in what is a year of great significance for the world’s largest democracy as India marks 70 years as an independent democratic republic. The year-long programme also includes India@Edinburgh in August, The Independence Gala@Southbank Centre in October, a season of Dance & Theatre and the UK Premiere of the Bharat Symphony by Dr L. Subramaniam and the London Symphony Orchestra in November.
ZEE JLF@The British Library is part of a wider partnership between Teamwork Arts and The British Library which included the presentation of a facsimile of the 1215 Magna Carta at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur this January, and will include the presentation of the Indian Constitution at the British Library during the two day event in May. To mark the UK-India Year of Culture, The British Library is also digitising 1 million pages of its South Asian Archives. Two Centuries of Indian print is a major programme to digitise the vast wealth of Indian printed books held by the Library dating from 1713 to 1914.
ZEE JLF@The British Library, London, 20th – 21st May 2017. All events and sessions take place at the British Library, 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB. Prices range from £8-£75 with day, weekend and premium weekend passes available.
For full details and booking visit: jlfatbritishlibrary.jaipurliteraturefestival.org
About the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival
The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival is the world’s largest free event of its kind. The past decade has seen the Festival host over 1600 speakers and welcome over a million booklovers.
Celebrating writers and thinkers from across the globe, past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates and Man Booker Prize winners to debut writers including Amish Tripathi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Eleanor Catton, Ian McEwan, J.M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Mohammed Hanif, Orhan Pamuk, Paul Beatty, Salman Rushdie, Stephen Fry, Vikram Seth and Wole Soyinka along with renowned Indian language writers such as Girish Karnad, Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Uday Prakash as well as the late Mahasweta Devi and U.R. Ananthamurthy. An annual event that goes beyond literature, ZEE JLF has also hosted Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, the late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey and Thomas Piketty.
For further information visit www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org
About ZEE JLF@The British Library
The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival returns to London, presenting a stunning celebration of South Asia’s literary heritage, oral and performing arts, books and ideas, dialogue and debate in its fourth edition.
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world-class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library’s collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.
Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website – www.bl.uk – every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.