As Meghalaya celebrates 50 years of statehood this year, this second edition of the Literary Festival – celebrates, commemorates and reflects on cultural heritage, health and wellness, and ways in which we can support and inspire our children and youth. As we did in the first edition, we will continue to converse, dialogue, share, listen and engage through stories, language, literature, poetry, and the many intersections with living cultures and the environment.
The programme will begin with a tribute to Temsula Ao (1945 – 2022) “In telling her stories, she told our stories too. She is the guardian of a people’s history, a knowledge-keeper, a trove of stories.” – Avinuo Kire on Temsula Ao.
With over eighty authors and speakers this year; we have authors, academics, researchers, institutional heads, subject experts, journalists, storytellers, creative practitioners, publishers, literary agents, editors, translators and booklovers from the city, as part of the three day programme. The festival includes a book section that will host book shops and publications from across the state with Ri Khasi Bookshop and the Tura Book Room, an interactive kiosk by Amar Chitra Katha, literary fiction and non-fiction and a range of
children’s books by several book shops, and publications by the Martin Luther Christian University and NESFAS (North East Slow Food & Agrobiodiversity Society). There will also be a range of cafés, traditional food and beverage kiosks, as well as a Maker’s Market section.
At the heart of the programme are our authors from across the state, country and elsewhere, writing on a range of subjects and genres including fiction and non-fiction, health, history, archaeology, politics,relationships, architecture, heritage, food, environment, biographies, sports and more. The authors include Anurag Basnet, Aparna Piramal Raje, Ashutosh Salil, Badaplin War, Barkha Mathur, Bhogtoram
Mawroh, Canato Jimo, Christopher Kloeble, Chuden Kabimo, Daisy Hasan, Easterine Kire, Esther Syiem,Glenn C Kharkongor, Ian Lyngdoh, Iffat Nawaz, Jerry Pinto, Kanishka Gupta, Karishma Upadhyay, Mamang Dai, Marco B Mitri, Mayumi Murayama, Nathaniel D N Majaw, Nilanjana Roy, Parimal Bhattacharya,
Patricia Mukhim, Preeti Gill, Sanjoy Hazarika, Saskya Jain, Sayoni Basu, Shrayana Bhattacharya, Theyiesinuo Keditsu, Uddipana Goswami, Vidya Krishnan, and Vikram Sampath.
With each book we’ve expanded into further inclusions with conversations around how researchers, academics, artists, chefs, thespians, musicians and so on translate their research into the ways they tell and show. Joining us are Institutional heads from International Cultural and Contemporary Art and Academic Centres to explore ways in which we could collaborate and work together. There’s a panel that examines how culture is reported, another on how research translates into books for the general public, a
session on how we tell stories to children, and much more…
On day one we will close with Rahul Bose who will talk to us on the films he’s worked on based on books!
He will also join us on the second day of the programme to speak on Sports – on being a sportsperson and on leadership and policy. The second day will end with a screening of Dominic Sangma’s award winning short film Rong’Kuchak (Echoes). We hope what the film portrays will resonate; in the filmmaker’s father’s words “echoes in the forest are the voice of our forefathers responding to us”. On the final day, our very own ‘little mama Tips’ Tipriti Kharbangar will close the festival on a very special line up titled “TIP
RITI” (to know your customs and tradition) songs derived from the Khasi Culture that she will sing accompanied by musicians both traditional and contemporary.
The speakers will include Abhishek Choudhur, Adelia Nongbri, Adity Choudhury, Anja Riedeberger, Annalisa Mansukhani, Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar, Anurag Banerjee, Anurag Basnet, Baiarphang Syiem, Cheryl Rynjah , Chitra Ahanthem, Daiarisa Rumnong, Daisy Hasan, Dominic Sangma, Dominic Savio Deingdoh, Elyon Blah, Hasina Kharbhih, Ibankyntiew Mawrie, Isawanda Laloo, Jasmine Lyngdoh, Jemimah Marak, Julie Sun Wahlang , Junisha Khongwir, Kanishka Gupta, Keshav Pariat, Krithika Nair, Lapdiang
Syiem, Longnam Kharpuri, Mandakini Gahlot, Mary Therese Kurkalang, Michelle Syiemlieh, Nandini Oberoi, Premanka Goswami, Priyadarshini Gauri, Ram Kumar S, Ritoparna Hazra, Rohit Dwivedi, Samantha Syiem, Sayoni Basu, Shannon Massar, Suranjana Choudhury, Tengnang D Sangma, Victoria Dobritz, and Vidya Shivadas.
“The Government is making every effort to open up opportunities to the youth of the State in the fields of art, sport, craft and entrepreneurship. This literary festival is a platform to connect the creative individuals of the State to national and international authors and publishing houses.” Dr. Vijay Kumar D, IAS. Commissioner and Secretary, Government of Meghalaya.
In different ways, the programme is supported by a range of people and organisations, including: Amar Chitra Katha, Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art, French Institute in India, Goethe-Institut, Harper Collins India, HalfandOne, IIM Shillong, Martin Luther Christian University, Penguin Random House India, Rachna Books, The Hills People Collective and many more individuals and collectives… Khublei/Thank you
“The Word of Man still had its worth,
They let the Phreit feed on their fields;
Morning and night they laboured hard;
In the Belly they stuffed their Paperback;
Then they bred their Fairytales,
Then out they came the Fables.”
from ‘The Golden Grains’ by U Soso Tham
Translated by Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih
The programme is curated by Mary Therese Kurkalang, Creative Director, Shillong Literary Festival
Produced by Rockski