With an anticipated forty events over ten days, the DSC South Asian Literature Festival is to be Britain’s first major event celebrating the rich and varied cultures of the South Asian region, through the world of literature. Organisers are in discussion with over forty authors and artists so far, with many already confirmed for the Festival’s debut year. A full programme will be announced in the summer.
The Festival stream of events will be held at cutting-edge London arts venues including Kings Place (King’s Cross), Rich Mix (Shoreditch) and Free Word Centre (Clerkenwell). Well-known establishments such as the British Library will also feature in the programme, as well as local libraries, schools and literary cafes across the capital.
The DSC South Asian Literature Festival will explore the languages and literature of South Asia through music, dance, spoken word, poetry, prose, visual arts and literary performance. Author events will be based on topical South Asian themes, with lunchtime student lectures and storytelling inspired by classic subcontinent folktales.
The Festival will also look to offer new creative writing courses and writing competitions, and work with existing writer’s groups, develop educational outreach programmes, curate family activities and encourage Book clubs to debate South Asian titles on the Festival website, the forums of which will be launched in the Summer. The festival will also travel to key cities across the UK after the inaugural series of events in London.
The DSC South Asian Literature Festival is founded by publishing colleagues Jon Slack and Bhavit Mehta, who have set up a not-for-profit social enterprise (CIC) company called Amphora Arts, to administer the Festival. It will be sponsored by DSC Limited, one of India’s leading infrastructure companies, which has a global reputation and a presence across four continents. As principal sponsors of the Jaipur Literature Festival and creators of a new prize for South Asian writing, the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, worth US$50,000 to the winner, the Festival is a natural alliance for the company in the areas of literature and the arts.
Festival founders Bhavit Mehta and Jon Slack say:
“We’re amazed to see how the South Asian Literature Festival has developed from an idea into reality over the past year. From interaction with publishers, authors and our industry colleagues, we’re certain that the project has come at the right time and to the right city. It is to the surprise of many that an event of this scale dedicated to South Asian writing hasn’t yet been attempted. We hope the Festival, though highly ambitious, will prove to be exciting, creative and inspiring, and we are proud to be a part of it.”
Manhad Narula, Director, DSC Limited, says:
“We have become involved as a company because of the high value we place on what the Festival is trying to achieve. We supported the Jaipur Literature Festival at the beginning and have helped it grow into the success it is today, principally because promoting literature is something we feel has become more important than ever. This is also why we are creating the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, to give writing about this region the platform we feel it deserves. The DSC South Asian Literature Festival is a very valuable and important part of this vision, and we look forward to being title sponsor for many years to come.”
David Godwin, Literary Agent for many high profile South Asian authors including Aravind Adiga, Fatima Bhutto, William Dalrymple, Kiran Desai, Arundhati Roy and Vikram Seth, says:
“This sounds like a terrific event, and certainly from our side we will do anything we can to support it. London really needs this kind of festival, I’m sure it will be a unique and special occasion.”
A full line-up of SALF participants and events will be announced in summer 2010.