The iconic Jaipur Literature Festival – dubbed “the Grandest Literary Festival of them all by the Daily Mail, no less – is bringing all its idiosyncrasies to London’s Southbank for the third year running.
The venerable festival will be held at the Royal Festival Hall beginning 21 May as part of the Southbank’s Alchemy Fest – a celebration of South Asian Culture.
This year’s programme showcases a medley of oral and performing arts, discourses on Bollywood, gender politics, and tales of the Raj.
Add to this some of the biggest issues affecting us today, as well as insights into traditional, ancient Indian medicines and healing along with a dash of piquant eroticism and there is an insight into what lies in store.
Among the highlights, celebrated author, historian and Co-Director of the Festival, William Dalrymple will join fellow historian Nick Robins in conversation with author Ferdinand Mount to discuss Mount’s bestselling novel The Tears of the Rajas in a session by the same name.
Iconic Bollywood actor Shatrughan Sinha will discuss his recent biography, Anything But Khamosh, with Rachel Dwyer, Professor of Indian Cultures and Cinema at SOAS.
Popularly known as Shotgun Sinha, he speaks with characteristic candor of the highs and lows of a colourful career through Bollywood to the political stage, and of his personal convictions.
In Savage Harvest: Literature of the Partition, current High Commissioner to the UK, Navtej Sarna, along with fellow novelists Tahmima Anam, Rakhshanda Jalil and Salil Tripathi will delve into the many historical and human dimensions of Partition Literature from the subcontinent.
‘Agony Uncle’ James McConnachie delves into Kamasutra: The Book of Love, the ultimate guide to love and written in the 3rd century AD.
The session Reporting India sees stalwarts from the media discussing what it is like to chronicle the events going on all over India. John Elliot, Dean Nelson, Andrew Whitehead are on the frontline with Barkha Dutt.
And transgender activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi is in conversation with storyteller Vayu Naidu and and Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale about transgender rights in India.
And author Patrick French chairs a panel discussion featuring academic Mukulika Banerjee, author and columnist Sathnam Sanghera and journalist Yasmin Khan to talk about the ethnic legacies of second and third generation South Asians in the UK in British Asians: The Changing Face.
And it’s not all talk either.
The event will see music in the form of the world music collective, Lokkhi Terra; described as “probably the world’s best Afrobeat-Cuban-Bangladeshi group”. From the melas of Bangladesh to the streets of Havana via a Lagos nightclub and a bustling London club.
For a full list of events and tickets visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.