Jaipur Literature Festival 2022 to celebrate art

Plethora of art-centric sessions

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Jaipur Literature Festival
Eminent writer, publisher and Festival co-director Namita Gokhale and Sanjoy K Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts, the producer of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival at the Delhi Curtain Raiser of the upcoming 15th edition of the Festival rescheduled to run between 5 and 14 March 2022. Photo JLF

Set to take place between 5 – 14 March 2022, the Jaipur Literature Festival will return to its home city, Jaipur, for its 15th edition. Each year, Teamwork Arts, the producer of the iconic Festival, promotes art and world heritage with numerous innovative initiatives at the Festival. This year too, the Festival will feature various sessions highlighting many aspects of art and culture.

Performing arts legend Sohini Roychowdhury, an exponent of Bharatanatyam, and Sharon Lowen, a renowned dancer of Indian classical dance forms – Odissi, Manipuri, Mayurbhanj and Seraikella Chhau – will join Manjari Sinha, acclaimed music and dance critic, for a fascinating conversation on Sringara, exploring the evocative and evolutionary form. The session will examine the vast history and many interpretations of Sringara, an aesthetic peak, often considered the mother of all nine rasas in Indian dance.  

Intriguing and spirited theatre personality Dolly Thakore, whose autobiography breaks all barriers, has described her life with searing honesty. Co-written with Arghya Lahiri, who carries twenty years of theatre experience, Regrets, None is humorous, witty, and candid as it discusses the glitz and glamour of Dolly’s eventful life. Feminist, publisher, and author Ritu Menon’s biography of the remarkable actor and dancer Zohra Sehgal, who lived a full life until the age of 90, is uniquely structured in theatrical style. Menon puts into context how the creativity of dancer Uday Shankar and actor Prithviraj Kapoor impacted Sehgal. In conversation with Festival producer and managing director of Teamwork Arts, Sanjoy K Roy, Thakore, Menon, and Lahiri will discuss the essence of theatre, its genius, its magic, and its pervading misogyny. Roy will also be in conversation with much-loved Indian singer and musician Remo Fernandes at a session exploring his pursuit of his greatest loves: music, art, writing, and his homeland, Goa.  

BN Goswamy, one of the most eminent art historians of our times, opens a window to a wide range of subjects: all on or around the arts, which have immense potential to form aesthetic sensibility. From Ananda Coomaraswamy to the Art of Calligraphy, The Meaning of Silence to Farid-ud-din Attar’s great Sufi parable of the Conference of the Birds, among others, Goswamy invites readers to enter into the field of the arts and savor its pleasures. In an engaging and comprehensive session with Jaipur Literature Festival co-director William Dalrymple, Goswamy will discuss his book Conversations which promises to be a truly accessible primer on art in India and South Asia.

At another session titled Mughal Portraiture: Presence and Absence, independent art historian Ursula Weekes will be in conversation with author and art historian Yashaswini Chandra. Weekes’ upcoming book, Mughal Court Painting in India, follows more than a decade of her writing and teaching on Mughal art and culture. She will discuss her latest project on how portraits were important agents in projecting the religious, social, and political identities of the members of the Mughal court. 

The Festival will feature a session that evokes the sensual lure of the human body as well as the essential ambiguities of its representation. Writer, commentator, and vascular surgeon Ambarish Satwik introspects upon the distance between the naked and the nude in the anatomy of our race, even as modern imaging technologies render us asexual and transparent. Celebrated writer, curator, and historian Alka Pande has looked at the erotic through diverse perspectives in her work. Her recent book Pha(bu)llus studies the power of phallic symbolism as a key and recurring motif in religion, culture, and art. In conversation, they will discuss art and the nature of the erotic, as well as the anti-nude, in the context of the sensuous, the mortal, the philosophical, and the spiritual. 

Writer, screenwriter, and activist Farrukh Dhondy boasts of as many scintillating life experiences as professional accolades. From bearing witness to pre-Independent India, the Partition and many a social movement to meeting a roster of eclectic and even murderous celebrities, Dhondy’s life is a cinematic rollercoaster. In conversation with film and theatre director Arghya Lahiri, Dhondy will discuss his life as a writer. 

The Festival will offer a spectacular Heritage Event and the Jaipur Music Stage will run parallel to the main Festival as always.  Like every year, the winner of the annual Ojas Art Award will also be announced.  

Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas. The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted over 2,000 speakers and welcoming over a million book lovers from across India and the globe. Its core values remain unchanged – to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform offering free and fair access.

Every year, the Festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue. 

Writers and Festival directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producer Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day program set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage and the Diggi Palace in the state capital Jaipur. 

Past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates J M Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Malala Yousafzai, Muhammad Yunus and Joseph Stiglitz; Man Booker Prize winners Ben Okri, Douglas Stuart, Margaret Atwood, and Paul Beatty; Sahitya Akademi winners Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, M T Vasudevan Nair, as well as the late Girish Karnad, Mahasweta Devi and U R Ananthamurthy; along with literary superstars including Amish Tripathi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Vikram Seth. An annual event that goes beyond literature, the Festival has also hosted Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, the late A P J Abdul Kalam, Bill Gates, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Stephen Fry, Thomas Piketty, and former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. 

The Jaipur Literature Festival is a flagship event of Teamwork Arts, which produces it along with over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts, and literary festivals across more than 40 cities globally. 

For over 30 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India, presenting the finest of Indian performers, writers, and visual artists in the cultural and art space in India and abroad. 

Every year, it produces over 25 performing, visual arts, and literary festivals in several countries including Australia, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK, and USA, as well as many eclectic festivals across India. It produces the world’s largest literary gathering – the annual Jaipur Literature Festival; JLF international now travels to the US, UK, Canada, Qatar, and Australia.  

Even amidst the upheaval and unsettling times of 2020, Teamwork Arts successfully launched the digital series, JLF Brave New World and Words Are Bridges, which were viewed by over 4.8 million people in their first season. Through its digital avatar, the Jaipur Literature Festival reached over 19 million viewers in January 2021 and brought together the world’s leading commentators and writers. The musical extravaganza, Bollywood Love Story – A Musical, continues to tour the world with sold-out shows everywhere it is held.

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