5th Kalinga Literary Festival to focus on building a Just Society


Bhubaneswar: Like its past editions Kalinga Literary Festival this year has a hard hitting theme for writers, poets and artists to ponder about. The central theme focuses on how to build a Just Society and in doing this the 5th edition of KLF will explore how equality, equity and humanity have been presented, portrayed and picturised in our contemporary forms of literature and art. Several sessions on different themes will connect to the central theme on Building a Just Society. 5th  Kalinga Literary Festival will be held in Bhubaneswar on June 8,9,10.

Ambassador Pavan Verma (IFS retd), popular novelist Mr. Amish Tripathy, and former foreign secretary Ambassador Nirupama Rao (IFS retd), eminent media personality Mr. Vinod Dua, popular editor and news anchor Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai famous poet and Bollywood lyricist Mr. Rahat Indori, famous poet Mr. Rajendra Kishore Panda, new age film maker Mr. Nilamadhav Panda, Bollywood actor Mr. KC Shankar, popular poet Mr. Amaresh Patnaik, leading policy adviser Mr. Sanjeeb Sanyal, eminent Odia poet Mr. Soubhagya Kumar Mishra, popular voice over artist Mr. Harish Bhimani and Professor Sachidananda Mohanty et al are some of the great and well-known names joining the festival.

Leading women writers, activists like Sahitya Akademi Awardee Ms. Mridula Garg, Jnanpith Awardee Dr. Pratibha Ray, eminent journalist and writer Ms. Nirupama Subramanian, Sahitya Akademi Awardee Ms. Paramita Satapathy, popular writer Ms. Sobha De,  police woman and writer Ms. Nitu D. Bhattacharya, writer and journalist Ms. Amrita Tripathi, writer and educator Ms. Saira Shah Halim, children book writer Ms. Deepa Agarwal, writer Ms. Jaishree Misra Tripathy, novelist and short story writer Ms. Alka Saraogi, novelist Ms. Geetanjali Shree, popular radio jockey Sayema and wildlife enthusiast Ms. Panchami Ukil et all will represent the women side of the story(ies) and will also provide a gender perspective on the topics of discussion. Among others many young and dynamic authors are joining the largest ‘summer past-monsoon start’ literary festival to direct the discussions on justice in order to uphold the Ds in democracy; debate, diversity, dissent, deliberation, and decision making.

Four prestigious awards in literature will be conferred in the following categories

  1. Kalinga Sahitya Sanman (for a distinguished writer in Odia),
  2. Kalinga International Literary Award (for a writer in any global language),
  3. Kalinga Karubaki Literary Award (for Odia women writers) and
  4. Kalinga Literary Youth Award (30 Districts of Odisha).

There will be dedicated sessions on the youth, indigenous communities, mythology, history, governance, foreign relations, women, transgender, climate change, cinema, media and the radio. There will be several One to One sessions with leading experts on the subjects. There will be a Story telling sessions promise to add new flavor to the literary spirit of the festival.

Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Parida, the founder director of KLF believes that literary festivals need to have a contemporary focus which would expand and strengthen the democratic space for dialogue and dissent to help facilitate inclusive policy making. Mr. Kamala Kanta Dash, one of the festival directors, tasked with conceptualization of themes, argues in favor of expanding the definition of literature by freeing it from the narrow scope and that includes lived and shared experiences.  Mr. Debashish Samantaray, convener of the 2018 KLF is happy that KLF has created a historic platform to recognize 30 writers and poets from 30 districts.

For the first time there will be a dedicated session on transgender community. This session will have Apsara Reddy, Kalki Subramaniam, Rudrani Chettri and Anwesa Brahma to discuss the recent socio-economic and policy developments regarding the transgender community and how weigh the utility of the government initiatives on the basis of their lived experience of exclusion, discrimination, community, trans-community engagement.

Artists, performers and writers from The Philippines will join to add the Southeast Asian colour to the function. A Filipino troupe of performers had joined in last year’s Mystic Kalinga as well. Hon’ble Ambassador of the Philippines to India is likely to join. Kalinga Art Festival, an exclusive art segment has been designed to showcase best of the creations of contemporary artists. In its second year the Art Festival attracts young male and female artists from Bhubaneswar, Odisha and from the national capital.

There will be cultural program to showcase Odisha’s art, culture and literature on each day of the three-day program. Among others Mushaira by Mr. Rahat Indori and team will be a star attraction. Delegates and speakers will join the famous Ekamra Walk and the Khandagiri Walk. In order to expand the opportunity for the delegates KLF team has partnered with local cycle clubs to provide cycles for speakers to roam around the smart city and experience the blend of ancient heritage and modern urban planning.

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