Jaipur Literature Festival – 21 to 23 June

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland, in partnership with the British Council and the producers of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival in India, have unveiled plans for a landmark event in June, set to bring in the magnificent energy and atmosphere of one of the world’s biggest and most spectacular literary festivals to Belfast.

For the first time ever, the Jaipur Literature Festival comes to Belfast from 21-23 June 2019 at select iconic venues in the city to celebrate literature and the rich diversity in thought that it inspires.

Since 2014, Teamwork Arts, the producers of the Festival, have expanded its global reach with editions in London, New York, Boulder, Houston, Adelaide, Toronto and now Belfast, recreating the spirit and magic of the original festival across the world.

The Festival in Northern Ireland follows close on the heels of the sixth edition of ZEE JLF The British Library, which runs 14-16 June 2019.

JLF Belfast will feature readings, panel discussions and debates with acclaimed writers and cultural thinkers from India, Ireland, the UK and more for a unique literature festival celebrating a joint love of books, creativity, music, and of sharing each other’s stories. Themes under discussion will include Borders, Gender, Poetry and Migration.

The Festival will host events at at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast on Saturday June 22nd and at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace on Sunday June 23rd 2019.

The event was announced on Tuesday at a special event in Belfast.

Noirin McKinney, Director of Arts Development at the Arts Council, commented:

“It is with great pleasure that we can announce today that the prestigious Jaipur Literature Festival is coming to Belfast. This is a new arts event for Northern Ireland which will celebrate our links with India and our shared love of conversation, literature and debate. Already confirmed for the programme are writers Pico Iyer, Navtej Sarna, David Park, Paul McVeigh, Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple.”

“Working with our partners at the Lyric Theatre and Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, this fantastic new three-day festival will be a platform for creating, sharing and promoting the creative arts and will deepen our partnership with key Indian cultural institutions. We very much look forward to welcoming international writers and audiences to the Festival here this summer and sharing our famous Northern Ireland hospitality.”

Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director Teamwork Arts, Producers of the Festival, said,

“JLF at Belfast will explore our common legacy of post-conflict literature, cultural and political impact.  The Festival will showcase ideas and voices outside of the ‘Anglo-centric’ cultural expectations and will be a celebration of poetry, music and the written word.”

Jonathan Stewart, British Council, Director Northern Ireland, commented:

“British Council is honoured to be working with our colleagues at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival to deepen the existing literature connections that we have with India, to welcome authors from India to Northern Ireland and share Indian writing and publishing with our audiences at the inaugural JLF at Belfast in June 2019.”

“Building inbound and outbound exchanges and opportunities between Northern Ireland and other countries including India is a key focus of the British Council’s work and the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival is already a key platform for Northern Ireland writers working internationally.”

The ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival takes place in India annually and has been described as ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’. Over the last twelve years, its size and reputation have grown exponentially and it is now considered one of the most important events of its kind across the globe, bringing together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders, sports-persons and entertainers on one stage to engage in thoughtful dialogue and debate.

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