JLF Valladolid, Spain – 13 to 16 June

Diverse literary and cultural dialogs

José María Ridao, Ambassador of Spain to India. Photo IPP

Teamwork Arts, the producer of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) and the many JLF International editions across the world, has announced the highlights of the program for the forthcoming 2024 edition of JLF Valladolid in Spain. The festival is scheduled to take place in the historic city of Valladolid from 13 to 16 June 2024 and will mark the second edition of the festival in Spain, set against the backdrop of Valladolid’s rich historical and architectural heritage. The festival will explore a diverse array of themes including literature, history, politics, the culinary arts, and technology.

Announcing the comprehensive program, José María Ridao, Ambassador of Spain to India, hosted an evening at his residence on 15 May 2024.

José María Ridao, Ambassador of Spain to India, said, “As we prepare to host the second edition of the JLF Valladolid in Spain, we are reminded of the deep cultural connections that bind Spain and India. It is an opportunity to strengthen our ties and enhance mutual understanding through the universal language of art and literature,”

Dinesh K Patnaik, Ambassador of India to Spain, said, “After the success of the first edition, I am confident that JLF Valladolid will continue to become bigger and will include authors and writers from across the world. The English and Spanish speaking worlds together have the largest concentration of literary minds and literary productions in the world and I am delighted that this Indian event, JLF Valladolid, will bring the best of these worlds together.”

Namita Gokhale, award-winning writer and festival co-director, said, “Madrid and Valladolid beckon in June as JLF Valladolid in Spain presents its second stellar edition. We celebrate Spanish synergies with conversations around books and music, culture and philosophy, food and wine and the wings of poetry. A magical long weekend immersed in literature, history, cuisine, and the richly interwoven traditions of India and Spain.”

Sanjoy K Roy, managing director, Teamwork Arts said, “JLF Valladolid represents a significant step in our mission to bring the rich tapestry of literature and cultural dialog to a global audience. Set against the historic backdrop of Valladolid, this festival offers a platform for profound exploration and exchange, bridging diverse themes from literature and politics to culinary arts and technology.”

The festival will open with a session featuring Christina Lamb, author and journalist known for her books and journalism with a focus on women in conflict. She has reported from global hotspots and has won numerous awards, including Foreign Correspondent of the Year. Also joining the discussion will be Vikas Swarup, whose debut novel Q & A was adapted into the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, and Roger Cohen, a Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award-winning journalist and author. Together, they will discuss global tensions and historical legacies in search of pathways to peace. The session will be moderated by Manuel Muñiz, former secretary of state for Global Spain in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. 

At another session, Swarup and Santiago Roncagliolo, writer in contemporary Latin American literature, as well as a screenwriter for TV and cinema, will reflect on the interplay between their personal histories and written works, and investigate how their stories influence and blur the lines of reality. The session will be moderated by Susana Torres, associate professor of humanities at IE University (Madrid) and associate research fellow at the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.

The festival will also feature a session where a panel of writers and translators will come together to evaluate the pros and cons of AI and technology that may redefine originality, and what that means for the creative community, which has thus far been largely anthropocentric. The panel will feature José Francisco Ruiz Casanova, author of thirty editions of work by Spanish writers, poetry translations and essays on translation and comparative literature; Paulo Lemos Horta, NYU professor, who has written four books about the legendary 1001 Nights; the session will be moderated by Oscar Pujol, director of the Instituto Cervantes of New Delhi, Sanskrit scholar, and translator who is exploring the boundaries of creativity and originality in the age of AI and technology.

The Mughal Emperor Akbar was a Sufi mystic who firmly believed that all existence is one, a manifestation of the underlying divine reality. Akbar’s thesis was that “the pursuit of reason” rather than “reliance on the marshy land of tradition” was the proper way to address religious disputes. A session titled The Civilisation of Mughal India will be presented by William Dalrymple, festival co-director, historian, and writer. The session will be introduced by Enrique Gavilán, professor of medieval history at the University of Valladolid.

A session titled, Shekhar Kapur: A Life in Films, will offer a close look into the storied career of filmmaker Shekhar Kapur as he discusses the nuances of creating compelling visual narratives that have garnered global acclaim.

The conversations will continue with a session examining the intersection of power and privilege, gender and equity in the context of established and emerging feminist theory and practices. This session will bring together four writers – Cristina Guirao, philosopher, cultural critic and writer; Namita Gokhale, festival co-director and writer; Christina Lamb, author of the bestselling I Am Malala; and Tishani Doshi, poet, novelist and dancer whose work centers the body as a vehicle to explore gender, sexuality and power. The panel will discuss the evolving landscapes of feminist theory and the representation of women in literature and society.

Nobel Prize-winning author Abhijit Banerjee’s interests span both the culinary and economic worlds. The festival will host a session in which Banerjee will take us on a nostalgic journey through the intersections of food, culture and economics. The session titled Cooking to Save Your Life will also feature Cheyenne Olivier, an illustrator based in France.

For additional details on the full program and to secure participation, visit the website at JLF Valladolid. JLF Valladolid 2024 is produced by Teamwork Arts in association with Casa de la India and supported by the Regional Government of Castile and León and the City Council of Valladolid, in collaboration with University of Valladolid, Embassy of India, IE University and hospitality partner Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine.

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