Karachi Literature Festival 2017

New Year brings with it a number of festivals that provoke and make us think about issues that matter. Music, literature and film festivals have the power to not only bring people together but also develop a sense of community that is so important in this increasingly polarizing age.

In that sense, there are plenty of such festivals coming up in the next couple of weeks that one can look forward to. One such affair is the Karachi Literature Festival that will return with its eighth edition later this week. Beginning on February 10, the three-day event will feature interactive panel discussions on a wide range of subjects plus some fabulous performances, interviews, awards and book launches before it concludes on Sunday night. A total of  136 Pakistani and 40 international speakers from 10 countries will participate in this year’s edition.

Scheduled to take place at the Beach Luxury Hotel in Karachi, here are some highlights from the festival that will begin later this week.

Day one will feature not only the award ceremony and keynote speeches but will also include a performance by Asif Sinan and another by Shayma Saiyid. Furthermore, the inaugural day will also feature a panel discussion called ‘Pakistani Music: From Raagas to Rock’ which will be moderated by Arshad Mahmud and will feature an eclectic list of music industry insiders such as Zoe Viccaji, Taimur Rahman, Tina Sani, Saif Samejo and Yousuf Kerai. This session will take place between 7.45 – 8.45 pm.

The second day will feature veteran actress Shabnam – who is coming from Bangladesh – in conversation with another acting giant, namely Bushra Ansari. The session, titled ‘Phool aur Shabnam’ will be held between 2.15 – 3.15 pm.

Day two will also feature a session called ‘Cultural Heritage and Preservation in Pakistan and South Asia’  with Sheema Kermani and later on a screening of the documentary Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist which will be followed by a discussion that will feature Arif Hasan, Faisal Siddiqi, Anwar Rashid and Mahera Omar. It will be moderated by Aquila Ismail.

Day three, Sunday, February 12, will feature, among other things, a session related to the movies called ‘Cinema across the Borders’. Moderated by Umber Khairi, it will feature in its panel names like Shabnam, Nadeem Baig, Mustafa Qureshi and Asif Raza Mir.

The third day will feature performances by Shayma Saiyid and Suhaee Abro plus a concert by Saif Samejo featuring a performance by Suhaee Abro. In addition, a performance of dhamaal by Sufi group is also scheduled to take place.

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