What's been described as a “travelling circus”, the showcasing of several Indian literary gems takes place this year at the prestigious and culturally vibrant OzAsia festival in Australia. The event brings star authors from the nation to take part in lively and significant debates with Australians, plus giving everyone a chance to introduce themselves properly to the work and its creators. It's not just books either, philosophers and intelligentsia also make their way to this festival of thought. Journalists, writers, commentators, and scholars from both India and Australia merge their talent pool into a far reaching ocean of ideas.
An astonishing 54 panellists will speak and anchor the sessions over a period of three days. The author Devdutt Pattanaik plus writer and comedian Sami Shah make an appearance, authors William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale Dalrymple, whose award-winning titles include The Last Mughal, White Mughals, and Nine Lives, will also be there. They founded the Jaipur Literature Festival and the resultant linked events with Gokhale and producer Sanjoy Roy.
The event this year is being hosted by Adelaide, something which artistic director Joseph Mitchell has worked hard to achieve. Finding a place for this iconic Aussie city in this international festival was important to him, and so was finding a way of promoting the written word without sitting on the back of other great events such as Writer's Week. Encouraging cross cultural debate and conversation will really help to widen Australia's influence on the cultural scene. Choosing Indian writers too has been a wise decision, with both cultures having traditions and stories that stretch back independently for millennia.
The special thing about this event is it's not just a handful of authors talking about their latest book. That sort of thing happens all of the time, and people always love to hear their favourite writers speak. What this event does is take the experience to the next dimension where fans and the intrigued alike can truly uncover the soul of the work each writer does. Maybe the joining of Australian and Indian philosophy can breed some really useful ways of seeing the world today?
You can find out more about the OzAsia festival on their website.
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