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Thursday, January 27, 2022

After the pandemic break, Jaipur Literature Festival set to return on-ground next month

JLF 2022 will be hybrid; on-ground experience won’t be free

Written by Aditya Vaddepalli | New Delhi |
Updated: December 23, 2021 3:09:44 pm
Jaipur Lit fetsThe Jaipur Literary festival sees a roaring footfall every year. (Express photo by Oinam Anand)

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 15th edition of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival is set to go hybrid. The Jaipur Literary Festival (JLF) 2022 will run on-ground from January 28 to February 1, while it will be broadcast online from January 28 to February 6.

This edition of the JLF will be a series of firsts. Unlike previous years, this time, attendees will have to pay Rs 200 to attend the on-ground festival. The online festival will be free of cost. Also, in a significant departure, JLF 2022 will be hosted at Hotel Clarks Amer in Jaipur and not the iconic Diggi Palace, which housed the event for the last 12 years.

At a curtain raiser event on Monday that was hosted at the Leela Palace in Delhi, the organisers of JLF 2022 revealed the speakers of this edition. JLF 2022 will host over 250 speakers, writers, thinkers, politicians, journalists and popular cultural icons from across a vast array of nationalities, representing 21 Indian and international languages.

“This year’s Nobel Prize Winner, Abdurazak Gurnah, will join this year’s Booker Prize winner, Damon Galgut, and this year Baillie Gifford non-fiction awardee, Patrick Radden Keefe, along with Dolman winner, Taran Khan. Colm Toibin, Jonathan Franzen, Shehan Karunatilaka, Lisa Taddeo, Nadifa Mohammad, Tahmima Anam, Elif Shafak, DBC Pierre and Monica Ali will complete our First XI of global greats of fiction,” said writer, historian and co-director of JLF William Dalrymple.

Other notable speakers at JLF 2020 include Arundhathi Subramaniam, Ambarish Satwik, BN Goswamy, Bruno Maçães, Cat Jarman, Damon Galgut, DBC Pierre, Farrukh Dhondy, Jonathan Franzen, Kunal Basu, Shashi Tharoor and Tripurdaman Singh. The full list of the speakers is available on the official website http://www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org/speakers

'We have a Plan B and Plan C'

Sanjoy Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts and producer of JLF on returning to an on-ground festival next month, moving to a new venue and keeping a digital platform for those unable to travel for pandemic restrictions

What prompted the shift of venue from Diggi Palace to Clarks?

A: COVID-19 protocols and the need for larger spaces. The Rajasthan government requested us to consider moving to a less congested area. Clarks is situated near the airport and doesn’t lead to traffic congestions. It was the first five-star hotel to be built in Jaipur and is a legacy property.

Will the on-ground event be scaled down, given the pandemic regulations?

A: We will follow all COVID regulations that will be released from time to time. As of now, the festival has an online and on-ground version with adequate capacity, space and we will contain the number of attendees. Those wishing to attend the on-ground event have to register and pay a token amount to ensure their entrance, plus they need to either show their double vaccination certificate or a valid RT-PCR test. Masks will also be mandatory. We will do random RT-PCR testing during the course of the festival.

Do you have a contingency plan in place now that the new COVID-19 variant Omicron is on the rise?

We have a Plan B and Plan C and so on. More importantly, the festival has been planned as a hybrid digital-plus-on-ground programme.

How do you plan to distribute the event between the on-ground and digital formats?

We have a slew of sessions for the online programme which will be exclusive to it. Given the continued travel disruption, this has given us the opportunity to programme our international speakers both on the ground and online.

How many speakers do you have on board for the on-ground festival and how many for the digital version?

We will have over 300 speakers for the 2022 edition. There will be a degree of overlapping and we haven’t distinguished between the two formats.

 

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