Image Source: Pexels
Image Source: Pexels

The ninth edition of Mumbai International Literary Festival begins on November 15 and concludes on November 18. The festival will be held across 4 venues – NCPA, Prithvi Theatre, Title Waves and St. Pauls. There will be over 100 Indian and international writers, poets, authors, journalists, historians and performers and will comprise of panel discussions, book launches, live performances, workshops and award functions. Tata Literature Live! has conferred the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on acclaimed author and veteran journalist Sir William Mark Tully with Jayanta Mahapatra being named the Poet Laureate at the literary festival.

And if you are among the ‘just-woken-up’ souls then here’s a complete guide to the Tata Literature Festival to help you sail easily through it.

Here we go:

November 15 (Day One)

Hindu, Hinduism, Hindutva
‘Hindu’ religion is inclusion and tolerance to some people, while for others it is a robust exclusive identity. From community belief to the politicisation of its meaning, the Hindu religion lives among us in all forms that can be in harmony and/or in conflict.
When: 3 pm to 4 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

Fabulous Fables
Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi will launch his novel, a fable for our times. The reading of the novel will be accompanied by violinist Mika Nishimura and Stina Wirsen’s illustrations. There will also be a session where the author will be I conversation with Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan.
When: 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

Foreign Body
The play is about hope, healing, and forgiveness after a sexual assault, narrated from the perspective of the survivor and perpetrator of the same assault. Foreign Body is a combination of verbatim, theatre, and soundtrack. The 90-minute show will be followed by a Q&A session.
When:
6 pm to 7:30 pm
Where: NCPA – Experimental Theatre

Debate: India Needs A Presidential System
During India’s Independence, India opted for the parliamentary form of government where the Prime Minister and the cabinet are appointed by the winning party. On the other hand, in the Presidential system, the President is elected directly by the people. In the session, the participants will discuss whether India needs a presidential system.
For the motion: Bhanu Dhamija and Rajesh Jain
Against the motion: Teesta Setalvad and Pavan K. Varma
Chair: Mini Menon
When: 7:30 pm to 9 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

November 16 (Day Two)

Nervous States
In the 21st century, politicians and interest groups have shifted their mindset and have started using technology and social media to create mass hysteria. This can be experienced almost every day through fake videos, WhatsApp forwards and Facebook posts.
Participants: Carlo Pizzati, Jahnavi Phalkey, Pavan K Varma
Chair: George Jose
When: 12 noon to 1 pm
Where: NCPA – Little Theatre

Harishchandra Kavyam: A story in song, art, and activism
‘The Life of Harishchandra’ is an English of a 13th century Kannada poetic text. The session will have a narration of the text through excerpts in Kannada and English and will be accompanied by a musical recitation. The translated version was published in 2017 by the Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press.
When: 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

Framed!
The ISRO spy who wasn’t.
Eminent scientist S Nambi Narayanan found himself in the murky world of conspiracy, lies and casual destruction. The journey had seen everything from false charges to full vindication. He and senior journalist Arun Ram who doggedly covered his story, talk about the traumatic journey from sudden darkness to eventual light.
Participants: Arun Ram, S Nambi Narayanan
Chair: Shaji Vikraman
When: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: NCPA – Godrej Theatre

Poetry Generators: Using machines to build poetry with Eran Hadas
Eran Hadas is an Israeli poet, software developer and media artist, and the author of seven books. He creates hypermedia poetry and develops software-based poetry generators. He will conduct a workshop where he will introduce the audience to artificial intelligence and digital culture. The workshop will also comprise of practice writing in a computational fashion, how to apply textual constraints to create poetic texts, how to write poetry using AI features of mobile phones and a lot more.
When:
2 pm to 4 pm
Where: NCPA – Sea View Room

The RTI Story
The session will see Aruna Roy in conversation with Anuradha SenGupta. The session is will narrate the story of the RTI campaign that evolved into a people’s movement. A story of protest and commitment to the cause of being a voice for the voiceless.
When: 3 pm to 4 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

Words Of Inspiration
The one-hour session will see Alan Hollinghurst, Alberto Ruy-Sánchez, and Tishani Doshi. The authors will talk about books that shaped them and ‘that’ moment that helped them discover the writer within.
When: 3 pm to 4 pm
Where: NCPA – Little Theatre

I, Malvolio
The play is about Shakespeare’s one of the most notoriously abused characters. Malvolio re-imagines Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night from the point of view of its most notoriously abused steward. It’s a charged, hilarious and sometimes unsettling rant from a man adrift in front of a cruel audience. Part abject clown, part theatre-hating disciplinarian, Malvolio asks his audience to explore the pleasure we take in other people’s suffering.
When: 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: NCPA – Godrej Theatre

November 17 (Day Three)

Building Character: Scripting for theatre with Tim Crouch (Children’s Workshop)
Tim Crouch introduces the audiences to one of Shakespeare’s most famous comic character – Malvolio in this fun and interactive workshop.
When: 11 am to 1 pm
Where: NCPA – Sea View Room

Tees Saal Baad
Agastya Sen’s coming of age story, sardonic and scatological, was a watershed moment in modern Indian literature. How much has changed – or not – since then, in India and Indian writing in English? Author Upamanyu Chatterjee in conversation with Shobhaa De.
When: 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

Theatre: Art, Entertainment, or Community Tool?
The changing role of theatre in an increasingly impersonal world.
Theatre has been caught between two stools for many a year. Is it an art or entertainment? Is it created for itself, or to win the crowd? However, recently the effectiveness of theatre is being measured against its ability to engage with local communities and make a difference. As we move into an increasingly digital world, what is the role of the oldest of art forms that require one human being to talk to another, in person?
When: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Where: NCPA – Little Theatre

Tracking India in the Modi Era
Rajdeep Sardesai in conversation with Govindraj Ethiraj.
A chronicle of chasing the Modi effect, deconstructing the division of a troubled society and analyzing the crisis of the media.
When: 3 pm to 4 pm
Where: St. Pauls

It’s Complicated
Love, longing, and ambition in New India.
Millennials and twenty-somethings want it all – and get it too. Or do they? Is it getting easier? And is there a price to pay? How is the current socio-economic climate affecting the choices of people, including what writers are writing about?
When: 6 pm to 7 pm
Where: Title Waves

November 18 (Day Four)

11 Gods Inside And Outside The Temple
Why is cricket a religion? On the panel will be Boria Majumdar, Michael Brearley, Rajdeep Sardesai, and Sebastian Faulks.
When: 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

How The Smartphone is Transforming The World’s Largest Democracy
A Straight Talk by Ravi Agrawal.
A talk which captures how the latest digital revolution in India is being changed by the internet. Exploring the impact brought about by smartphones and providing insights into India’s growing role in the global sphere as accessibility becomes more widespread.
When: 10:30 am to 11:30 am
Where: St. Pauls

CTRL, ALT, DELETE
Erasing women from everyday life! Most Indian women are brought up to speak softly, make no demands, not draw attention to themselves, stay under the radar, be invisible in a manner of speaking. On the panel will be Deepa Narayan, Janice Pariat, and Faezeh Jalali.
When: 12 noon to 1 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

Graphic Journalism
Going where words cannot! Molly Crabapple will be in conversation with Peter Griffin. How does graphic journalism compare with text-based reportage in conveying the complexity of political issues?
When:
12 noon to 1 pm
Where: St. Pauls

Cash Counter
How safe is the average Indian’s money today, wherever it may be parked? On the panel are Arun Kumar, Karan Bhagat, and Vivek Kaul.
When: 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm
Where: NCPA – Tata Theatre

Rethinking Tradition
Islam and modernity.
Against the backdrop of rising Islamophobia, many leading Muslim liberal thinkers are going back to Islam’s earliest texts and history to interpret them for the modern age and thereby promote reform. Nazia Erum, Deborah Moggach, Neyaz Farooquee, and Javed Anand discuss this sensitive and topical issue.
When: 3 pm to 4 pm
Where: Title Waves

Offending Everyone?
What are the challenges an artist faces in this age of exacting political correctness? Does the artist’s personal history give a work validity or does it spring from the work itself?
When:
6 pm to 7 pm
Where: St. Pauls

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