DSC South Asian Literature Festival 2011

DSC South Asian Literature Festival 2011

PRESS RELEASE: 4th August 2011
2nd ANNUAL DSC South Asian Literature Festival
7 – 24 October 2011

Sir Christopher Ondaatje, Amit Chaudhuri and Romesh Gunesekera line up alongside some of the most exciting voices of South Asian literature – Mohammed Hanif, Soumik Datta, Mirza Waheed, Gautam Malkani, HM Naqvi and Sonia Faleiro – as the second annual DSC South Asian Literature Festival is announced.

DSC Limited to continue support as title sponsor for the festival Festival to open with packed weekend of events in Shoreditch New production to celebrate the Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore.

With events at leading cultural venues in London, including the Free Word Centre, British
Library, the Nehru Centre, and an opening weekend at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, the DSC South
Asian Literature Festival [SALF] returns to deliver a full programme of events in October,
bringing together the written word with rich imagery, film, music, performance and art.
Renowned authors, actors, poets and musicians – home-grown, international and from the
subcontinent – and leading voices from the worlds of politics, academia and broadcasting,
assemble in London and across the UK in this unique cross-disciplinary festival.

In its second year SALF is set to host top names such as Sri-Lankan-Canadian adventurer Sir
Christopher Ondaatje, discussing his works and travels in a new collection of writings with
Booker-Prize shortlisted author Romesh Gunesekera; celebrated Kashmiri writer Mirza
Waheed pays tribute to renowned Kashmiri poet Aga Shahid Ali; Mohammed Hanif launches
his hugely anticipated follow-up to the Commonwealth prize-winning A Case of Exploding
Mangoes, appearing at the festival in his only major London event; a bevvy of Britain’s
critically acclaimed new writers including Nikesh Shukla, Niven Govinden, Kavita Bhanot,
Suhayl Saadi and Gautam Malkani gather to launch the defiant anthology ‘Too Asian, Not
Asian Enough’; a gala-dinner to announce the shortlist of the second DSC Prize for South
Asian Literature with last year’s winner H M Naqvi appearing at an exclusive event in the UK
for the first time since taking home the $50,000 prize; award-winning Indian reporter and
author Sonia Faleiro launches Beautiful Thing, her eye-opening account of Bombay’s dance
bar underworld; a revealing look for the first time at the story behind the making of Granta
magazine’s latest issue commemorating 9/11, Ten Years Later; Independent Foreign Fiction
Prize shortlisted-translator Arunava Sinha arrives from India to take part in events and a
workshop emphasising the importance of translating literature; and a performance by
Seema Anand on the stories from the ‘Hamzanama’ – a collection of Persian tales dated from
more than a millennia ago.

Organisers are in discussion with more than 80 authors and artists, with the final programme
to be announced early September.

The eclectic mix of events, programmed in association with a range of notable partners
including the British Centre for Literary Translation, Writer’s Centre Norwich, Vayu Naidu
Company, Baithak Records, The Literary Consultancy and the Reading Agency, will also
welcome Chelsea Theatre and The Women’s Library as new venue partners, as well as
bookshops and libraries across the capital. The festival will travel to key cities including
Edinburgh, Portsmouth, Leicester and Norwich during the series of events in London.

The festival is also thrilled to announce a pilot programme for a South Asian Reading
Campaign, due to take place during the first week of the festival [10-14 October]. The
campaign is a book industry-wide initiative with events and promotions in schools, libraries
and bookshops, and puts reading and education right at the heart of SALF’s vision for South
Asian literature in the UK. Full details will be announced early September.

The DSC South Asian Literature Festival was founded by publishing colleagues Jon Slack and
Bhavit Mehta, who have set up the not-for-profit organisation Amphora Arts to produce the
Festival. It is sponsored by DSC Limited, one of India’s leading infrastructure companies, with
a global reputation and presence across four continents. As principal sponsors of the DSC
Jaipur Literature Festival and creators of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, SALF is a
natural alliance for the company’s interests in literature and the arts.

Festival directors Bhavit Mehta and Jon Slack:

“We’re very pleased to bring back the festival for its second year, particularly within such a
challenging climate for the arts. Many of our partners are back with us and it’s terrific to
have the renewed commitment from DSC Ltd, and for the festival to be continuing its
association with the DSC Prize. Programming the festival is what we relish the most and
we’re incredibly excited at what is being lined up. There’s more emphasis on translation, a
strand of the festival we intend to develop into a major component. And we’re thrilled to be
commissioning an original production for the festival with the talented Soumik Datta, easily
one of the most exciting performers in Britain today.”

Manhad Narula, Director, DSC Limited:

“We came on board as the title sponsor of the festival last year and are happy with the
impact the DSC South Asian Literature Festival made in its inaugural year. It was well
received in literary circles because of its specific focus on South Asian literature and we are
confident it will be able to reach out to wider audiences this year and engage with new
issues and themes. As a company we are committed to supporting South Asian literature
which is why we created the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2010 and whose first
winner we announced in January this year. The DSC South Asian Literature Festival is a very
valuable and important part of this vision, and we look forward to being the title sponsor for
many years to come.”


Notes to Editors

•DSC South Asian Literature Festival is sponsored by DSC Ltd and organised in partnership
with The London Book Fair, DIPNET, The Nehru Centre, the Reading Agency, Independent
Publishers Guild, Booksellers Association, British Library, Foyles, The Publishers Association,
Arts Council England, British Council, Society of Young Publishers, Rich Mix Cultural
Foundation, the British Centre for Literary Translation, Writer’s Centre Norwich, Vayu Naidu
Company, Baithak Records, The Women’s Library, Chelsea Theatre, The Literary Consultancy
and the Reading Agency.

•Bhavit Mehta is the founder of ‘Saadhak Books’, a publishing house specialising in South
Asian folktales for children. He has significant experience of major event management
within the Indian community, having worked in planning with the GLA for ‘Diwali at Trafalgar
Square’ events. He is an advisor to the ‘British Centre for Literary Translation’ and works with
the ‘International Board on Books for Young People.’

•Jon Slack has nine years of experience in book publishing, event and project management,
working with print and online media, and is currently Development Manager for the Book
Marketing Society. He co-founded Canon Tales – a series of unique visual events featuring
innovators in publishing – and co-created the 2010 Author Blog Awards. Between 2007-2009
he played a key role in growth of the Society of Young Publishers. He has previously worked
in sales, marketing and publicity roles at Taschen publishers, Transworld and Aurum Press,
and prior to that Borders Adelaide, in 2001.

•DSC Limited is one of the fastest growing infrastructure developers in India with presence in
Roads & Expressways, Railways, Urban Infrastructure, Power & Real Estate. It has achieved
this position of leadership in a short span of 9 years. DSC Limited is not only a builder of
projects in the chosen sectors but also planners, designers, financiers and constructors who
operate and maintain large scale world class infrastructure projects. DSC Limited is a part of
the DSC Group, a transnational business present across four continents. With a successful
track record since its inception over six decades ago, the group has interests around the
world ranging from Developing and Constructing Infrastructure to Hospitality, Trading, Real
Estate & Retailing. For more details, please visit www.dsclimited.com

•The organisers of DSC South Asian Literature Festival are available for interview

•For bookings and further information visit www.dscsouthasianlitfest.com

For further information and any requests please contact Annabel Robinson or Kate Cooper at
FMcM on 020 7405 7422 / annabelr@fmcm.co.uk / katec@fmcm.co.uk

Region: All
Start Date: 07/10/2011
End Date: 24/10/2011
Start Time: 6.30pm
Venue: Rich Mix Cultural Foundation
Venue Address: 35-47 Bethnal Green, London
Website: http://southasianlitfest.com
Press Tickets: Available
Sponsorship: Not Available
Press Tickets:
Name: Sunil Chauhan