JLF Soneva Fushi begins with a unique bespoke experience

The festival will run from 13-22 May in Maldives

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JLF Soneva Fushi has started today in which people can celebrate world literature and commonality till 22 May in Maldives Photo: Soneva
JLF Soneva Fushi has started today in which people can celebrate world literature and commonality till 22 May in Maldives Photo: Soneva

JLF Soneva Fushi, the region’s first international literature festival, starts today, bringing the spirit and splendour of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival. Soneva is partnering with Teamwork Arts, producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, to bring JLF to the Maldives.

Spread over ten days and two weekends, the festival will run from 13-22 May at stunning locations across the island, with themes as varied as travel, fiction, food, art, wellness, climate change, and the environment. In addition, the Festival will bring a line-up of world-renowned authors, fascinating workshops, music, art, and culture.

A truly bespoke experience, JLF Soneva Fushi will be a study in Slow Life, with morning yoga sessions, stimulating workshops, delectable international cuisine, and jaw-dropping sunsets against a languorous blue sea. JLF Soneva Fushi is an opportunity to reconnect with the joys of live performances of art, music, and literature on the idyllic island of Kunfunadhoo.

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 JLF SonevaFushi celebrates world literature and commonality

Sanjoy Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts, the producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival and the international extensions of JLF, said, “We are excited to bring a version of the world’s biggest literary event to the Maldives with JLF Soneva Fushi, which explores diversity and creates a platform to celebrate world literature and commonality.”

Sonu Shivdasani, chief executive officer and co-founder of Soneva, said, “We are delighted to be hosting part of JLF in Male and hope that people living in the capital can enjoy participating in this exciting festival of culture, music and literature.”

The festival will feature over 30 celebrated thinkers and writers in this year’s program. The list includes Academy-Award nominated film director Mira Nair. In conversation with the managing director of Teamwork Arts, Sanjoy K Roy, Nair will discuss her riveting work and the world in relation to art. Roy will also speak to New York Times bestselling author of Call Me by Your Name and Find Me, André Aciman. Call Me By Your Name, the story that began as a ‘diversion’ for Aciman, inspired by a dream of an Italian villa overlooking the sade since its publicationea, has grown ‘from an object of niche devotion to one of aminstream interest’ in the dec. Now a major motion picture directed by Luca Guadagnino, it is a torchbearer in the depictions of love in fiction and film.

Challenges, promises, and urgent questions comprise the reality of today. How do we make sense of the dimensions of the world order that are shifting at a rapid, mercurial pace? Writer and investigative journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, American political staffer and writer Huma Abdein, and writer, historian and hotelier Peter Frankopan discuss present times, history’s burden, and an enigmatic future. Are we reverting to tribalism or approaching a new state of being entire? How do changing politics, technologies, and the inescapable climate crisis govern the context of the present and times to come?

Award-winning author, poet and translator Arundhathi Subramaniam’s remarkable book, Women Who Wear Only Themselves – Conversations with Four Travellers on Sacred Journeys, depicts the spiritual journeys of four extraordinary women as the writer assumes the role of ‘seeker’ of the path to intimacy with the universe. In conversation with Puneeta Roy, Founder and Trustee of the Yuva Ekta Foundation, Subramaniam will take the audience along an evocative journey through her engagement with the yogic sciences, including the yoga of Bhakti and her deepening fascination and exploration of the voices of women in spiritual literature.

Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer Namita Gokhale’s recent novel, The Blind Matriarch, written in real-time through the pandemic, chronicles various facets of the history of an Indian joint family that holds within itself the traces of larger public histories. With the renowned poet, critic and translator Ranjit Hoskote, Gokhale will discuss the context of this, her twentieth book, and some of those that came before. Gokhale is the founder and festival co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Award-winning author, historian and Jaipur Literature Festival founder and co-director William Dalrymple’s new book, The Golden Road, discusses the diffusion of Indian art, architecture, religion, culture, science and civilization across Asia in the early medieval period. Dalrymple will give an exciting preview of his latest project at a session. The panel will be graced by celebrated writers Pavan K Varma, Shobhaa De, Marcus du Sautoy and Shashi Tharoor.

Dalrymple will also introduce a session with acclaimed journalist and author David Wallace-Wells whose powerful essay on the climate crisis and the reality of a tumultuous, not-too-distant future turned into a comprehensive and urgent book, The Uninhabitable Earth – Life after Warming

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

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