The fifth edition of the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF) will be held from January 16 to 19, 2020, in Kozhikode. A curtain-raiser for the event was held in the Capital on Tuesday evening at the residence of author and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor, who said: “the state had taken a lead in setting high standards for the written word”.
The focus theme for KLF 2020 is environment and climate change. Festival Director K Satchidanandan said, “Gandhi and environment, the Gadgil Report in the context of Kerala’s floods, organic agriculture and the impact of rock mining, deforestation and sand mining on our environment are some of the themes that will be taken up for analysis and debate.”
To take place by the beaches of Kozhikode, this year’s edition of the festival has Spain as the guest country, to be represented by a team of 20 artists, writers and journalists. The Indian language in focus is Tamil. “We have five participants from China, and others from the UK, Slovenia, Egypt, Ireland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and India,” said Ravi Deecee, Chief Facilitator of KLF.
The fifth edition will introduce two new initiatives: the KLF Literature Awards in the categories of Fiction, Non Fiction, Popular Science, Travel and a grand prize for the Best Book in Malayalam; and the Vagamon Residency, a fully supported residency for writers and artists, which begins in April.
Besides topics related to the environment, other important sessions comprise debates and discussions on Islam and Women, the entry of women in Sabarimala, the Ayodhya Verdict, the emergence of community dialects and tribal tongues as literary languages, said Satchidanandan.
The list of speakers include experimental musicians Francisco Lopez and Angel Lopez from Spain, artiste TM Krishna, authors Krishna Ramanujan, Perumal Murugan and Manu Pillai, and historians William Dalrymple and Tony Joseph. Environmentalists Madhav Gadgil and Vandana Shiva, sculptor Subodh Kerkar, poets Cheran, S Patmanathan (Sri Lanka) and Chris Agee (Ireland) will also be present. The evening gigs include Carnatic concerts, rock performances and a Flamenco performance by Spanish artistes.