The seventh edition of Dhaka Literary Festival kicked off on Thursday at Bangla Academy with attendance of local and foreign authors, intellectuals, experts and literature enthusiasts.
A few hundreds, braving the traffic and embracing the cold November rain, joined the inauguration of the three-day festival at Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad Auditorium where octogenarian Syrian poet Adonis inaugurated the festival.
The popular Arab poet was accompanied by Bangla Academy director general Shamsuzzaman Khan, the festival directors Sadaf Saaz, Ahsan Akbar and Kazi Anis.
At the inauguration session, a graphic novel named ‘Mujib’ on the life and works of the founding president of the country Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was launched.
‘I am excited to join you here at the beginning of a big literary festival’, said Adonis in French.
In a welcome speech, festival director Kazi Anis said, ‘Dhaka Lit Fest has become a new dialogic space for local and foreign authors, experts and literature enthusiasts. In the festival, we will celebrate our root, language and culture, along with pluralism and diversity’.
The three-day festival will feature over 90 sessions on literature, history, contemporary issues, media and translation, added the director.
Besides, the festival is offering book and food stalls for visitors.
Following the inauguration, the first session of the festival featured a talk with Adonis, moderated by poet-professor Kaiser Haq. In the session, Adonis, born as Ali Ahmad Sayid Isbar, spoke his journey as a poet.
The opening day also featured English and Bangla sessions on multiple topics including history, media, and performance art along with diverse aspects of literature.
Renowned writers and experts David Hare, Ben Okri, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Lawrence Osborne, Eleanor Chandler, Ashok Ferrey, David Szalay, Kelly Falconer, Selina Hossain, Masuda Bhatti, Garga Chatterjee, Salimullah Khan, Ali Riaz and many others joined the sessions.
The second day of the festival will begin at 9am and will run till 8pm.
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