JLF Soneva Fushi To Begin With A Unique Bespoke Experience

JLF Soneva Fushi, the region’s first international literature festival, starts tomorrow bringing the spirit and splendour of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival. Soneva is partnering with Teamwork Arts, producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, to bring JLF to Maldives.

Spread over 10 days and two weekends, the festival will run from 13-22 May at stunning locations across the island, with themes as varied as travel, fiction, food, art, wellness, climate change, and the environment. The Festival will bring a line-up of world-renowned authors, fascinating workshops, music, art, and culture.

A truly bespoke experience, JLF Soneva Fushi will be a study in Slow Life, with morning yoga sessions, stimulating workshops, delectable international cuisine, and jaw-dropping sunsets against a languorous blue sea. JLF Soneva Fushi is an opportunity to reconnect with the joys of live performances of art, music, and literature on the idyllic island of Kunfunadhoo.

Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, the producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival and the international extensions of JLF said, ‘’We are excited to bring a version of the world’s biggest literary event to the Maldives with JLF Soneva Fushi, which explores diversity and creates a platform to celebrate world literature and commonality.”

Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and co-founder of Soneva, said, “We are delighted to be hosting part of JLF in Male, and hope that people living in the capital can enjoy participating in this exciting festival of culture, music and literature.”

The festival will feature over 30 celebrated thinkers and writers on this year’s programme. The list includes Academy-Award nominated film director Mira Nair. In conversation with Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, Sanjoy K Roy, Nair will discuss her riveting work and the world in relation to art. Roy will also speak to New York Times bestselling author of Call Me by Your Name and Find Me, André Aciman. Call Me By Your Name, the story that began as a “diversion” for Aciman, inspired by a dream of an Italian villa overlooking the sea, has grown “from an object of niche devotion to one of mainstream interest” in the decade since its publication. Now a major motion picture directed by Luca Guadagnino, it is a torchbearer in the depictions of love in fiction and film.

Challenges, promises, and urgent questions comprise the reality of today. How do we make sense of the dimensions of the world order that are shifting at a rapid, mercurial pace? Writer and investigative journalist, Patrick Radden Keefe; American political staffer and writer, Huma Abdein; and writer, historian and hotelier, Peter Frankopan discuss present times, the burden of history and an enigmatic future. Are we reverting to tribalism or approaching a new state of being entirely? How do changing politics, technologies, and the inescapable climate crisis govern the context of the present and times to come?

Award-winning author, poet and translator Arundhathi Subramaniam’s remarkable book, Women Who Wear Only Themselves: Conversations with Four Travellers on Sacred Journeys, depicts the spiritual journeys of four extraordinary women as the writer assumes the role of ‘seeker’ of the path to intimacy with the universe. In conversation with Puneeta Roy, Founder and Trustee of the Yuva Ekta Foundation, Subramaniam will take the audience along an evocative journey through her engagement with the yogic sciences, including the yoga of Bhakti and her deepening fascination and exploration of the voices of women in spiritual literature.

Sahitya Akademi Award-winning writer Namita Gokhale’s recent novel, The Blind Matriarch, written in real-time through the days of the pandemic, chronicles various facets of the history of an Indian joint family that holds within itself the traces of larger public histories. With renowned poet, critic and translator, Ranjit Hoskote, Gokhale will discuss the context of this, her twentieth book, as well as some of those that came before. Gokhale is the Founder and Festival Co-Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Award-winning author, historian and Jaipur Literature Festival Founder and Co-Director William Dalrymple’s new book, The Golden Road, is about the diffusion of Indian art, architecture, religion, culture, science & civilisation across Asia in the early medieval period. At a session, Dalrymple will give an exciting preview of his latest project. The panel will be graced by celebrated writers Pavan K. Varma, Shobhaa De, Marcus du Sautoy and Shashi Tharoor.

Dalrymple will also introduce a session with acclaimed journalist and author David Wallace-Wells whose powerful essay on the climate crisis and the reality of a tumultuous, not-too-distant future, turned into the comprehensive and urgent book, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming.

We live in a moment of unprecedented change and chaos. When the planet is on the brink of multiple disasters including climate change and the threat of nuclear war, a session will look at stark realities as well as the promise, resilience, hope and belief in our blue planet as it spins through space. David Wallace-Wells will discuss the humanitarian and environmental effects of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. With the devastating human cost of war, and the dimming transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, what is to become of the Earth’s future? Wallace-Wells will be in conversation with writer and historian, Peter Frankopan.

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