Following the successful conclusion of its 10th annual festival at the Alhamra Art Center, the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) will this weekend host an all-digital supplementary edition on its YouTube channel, with 10 new book discussions spread over two days.
After an all-digital festival in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LLF returned to its roots in March 2022 with a three-day event that attracted thousands for sessions on politics, art, literature and performances featuring artists from Pakistan and abroad. The digital-only festival commencing from Friday (April 29) hopes to supplement this by offering people a chance to discover new books and authors from the comfort of their homes.
The first day of the digital-only festival would feature 5 new book discussions, all available simultaneously on the LLF’s YouTube channel at 1 p.m. According to a schedule shared by the LLF, Friday’s sessions would include Sikander Bizenjo and author Nilofer Afridi Qazi’s discussing her latest book, Culinary Tales from Balochistan. The book details Qazi’s travels through Pakistan’s largest province, with each journey examining the local cuisines available in its north, south and coastal regions.
Also featured on the first day of the digital festival are panels on The Blind Matriarch with author Namita Gokhale; The Promise with 2021 Man Booker Prize-winning author Damon Galgut; Keeping the House with London-based author Tice Cin; and a discussion on the India of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, and the symbolism of the Hiran Minar, with Vienna-based historian Ebba Koch, who also serves as the architectural adviser to the Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative.
Similar to the schedule for the first day, the five panel discussions for the second day of the LLF’s all-digital festival will simultaneously be available on its YouTube channel at 1 p.m. on Saturday (April 30). Among the sessions available for viewers would be a discussion on Daughters of the Sun; Emperors, Queens and Begums of the Mughal Empire with author Ira Mukhoty; an illustrated talk with author Judith Herrin on her book Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe; a discussion on novel Nightbitch with author Rachel Yoder; You Don’t Know Me author Imran Mahmood in conversation with Ayisha Malik; and a panel featuring author Rafia Zakaria and her latest book, Against White Feminism.
In March, the LLF hosted a three-day event featuring former diplomat Maleeha Lodhi; London-based artist Osman Yousefzada; British novelist Roopa Farooki; historian Ayesha Jalal; columnist Nadeem Farooq Paracha; among others. The annual festival features artists, writers, and opinion leaders from around the world in thoughtful discussions on a variety of topics, both current and historical. Founded by Razi Ahmed in 2012, LLF aims to reclaim Lahore’s cultural significance and influence, and was a key factor in the Punjab capital being declared a ‘City of Literature’ by UNESCO in 2019.