JLF 2019 Will Address the Year’s Struggle for Gender Equality

Jaipur Lit Fest 2019 will be reflecting on the year’s major events such as the judgment on 377 and #MeToo. 

Art and Culture
3 min read
Hindi Female

The famous annual Jaipur Literature Festival is back and scheduled for 24-28 January. The event is well known for being a celebration of ideas, histories, art, culture, music and more. This year the programme will be focusing on addressing gender issues, scientific thinking as well as the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections in India.

“This has been a year of upheavals and changes and the struggle for gender equality – from the landmark judgment on Section 377 to the tumultuous watershed of the #MeToo movement. Our program will reflect on these issues and concerns,” says writer and co-director Namita Gokhale.


As stated by Gokhale, the line up includes a fair share of conversations centred around gender issues and dynamics. Germaine Greer, the author of The Female Eunuch will be present at the fest discussing ideas such as the repression of female sexuality from her book.

There are other sessions such as ‘Yinning the Yang : Perspectives on Gender’ with Dhrubo Jyoti (author at Hindustan Times), Madhavi Menon (the author of Infinite Variety: The History of Desire in India), Nandini Krishnan (writer, dancer and stage performer) and Urvashi Butalia (co-founder of Kali), ‘Gendering Change: The Welfare State and Women’s Rights’ with Einar Kárason, Hanne Ørstavik (a Norwegian writer), Laura Lindstedt (prominent writer in the Finnish literary scene) and Martin Gelni in conversation with Karin Pettersso.

Lastly, there are sessions called ‘Women and Work’ with Naina Lal Kidwai, Manjima Bhattacharja and Namita Waikar (author of The Long March) in conversation with Namita Bhandare as well as ‘Women and Power’ where Mary Beard will discuss her book with Germaine Greer, Katty Kay and Reni Eddo-Lodge in conversation with Bee Rowlatt (famous journalist and broadcaster).


History and Mythology

‘Finding Radha’ will be held with Alka Pande, Bulbul Sharma, Devdutt Pattanaik, Pavan K Varma, and Yudit Kornberg Greenberg. Ruby Lal will also be talking about her work on the lives of women of the Mughal empire.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s book Forest of Enchantment, where she places Sita at the centre of the Ramayana will be launched at the fest. A session on The Begum and the Countess will be held with Deepa Agarwal (author of The Begum) and Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang. Audrey Truschke, author of Aurangzeb : The Man and The Myth, known for her unconventional take on one of the most hated rulers will also be attending and talking at the fest.


Science etc

Latika Nath, the first female biologist in India to work on tigers, will be launching her book OMO : Where Time Stood Still which is her photo exhibition of the tribes of OMO Valley. There will be a session called ‘Looking at Health Through Women’s Eyes’ with Naina Lal Kidwai and Namita Waikar. Ruby Wax will be talking about her book How to be Human as well.


Leading Female Journalists

Recognised female journalists such as Anindhita Ghose, the editor of Lounge, Barkha Dutt – India’s only Emmy-nominated journalist, founder and editor of Mojo and We the Women, and Namita Bhandare – India’s first gender editor for Mint newspaper – are also a part of various panels at the event.

The line-up is an impressive one with women from around the world attending and increasing female representation in an important cultural sphere. There is a lot more than the mentioned sessions that will be happening including musical performances by Shruti Vishwanath, a classically trained musician, London-born singer and songwriter Deepa Nair Rasiya, and the legendary Usha Uthup.

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Topics:  literature   Jaipur   JLF 

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