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Two-Day Literature Festival To Be Held This Weekend in Bengaluru


The Neev Literature Festival 2023 is scheduled to take place on October 7th and 8th, 2023, at the Neev Academy in Yemalur, Bengaluru. This year, the theme of the event is ‘What is childhood without stories?’. In the aftermath of the pandemic, children’s lives have undergone a significant transformation. They now grapple with issues such as artificial intelligence, globalization, mental health challenges, shifting values, and numerous other factors. Consequently, the festival endeavors to address and respond to these changes.

A History of Thought-Provoking Themes

The Neev Literature Festival was initiated in 2017, followed by the introduction of the Neev Book Award in 2018. The goal was to discover and present exceptional children’s books that center around Indian experiences and stories. Over the years, the festival has delved into thought-provoking themes such as ‘Partition: Memory and Memorialization’, ‘Peripheries: Boundaries on the Edge, Boundaries Within’, and ‘Embracing Diversity’.

Expanding Beyond Literature

In this edition, the festival aims to broaden its horizons by highlighting other forms of media. Kavita Gupta Sabharwal, co-founder of the festival mentions, “This is important because the exposure that kids get today is not restricted to the ‘read’ word, but also to the ‘viewed’ word and the ‘listened’ word. So, in addition to conversations with authors, we’ve included performances and discussions with people from other forms of media.

Diverse Lineup of Speakers

Over two days, the festival will host 76 speakers, including notable figures like actor Naseeruddin Shah, film director and screenwriter Ashim Ahluwalia, animation filmmaker and artist Suresh Eriyat, storyteller Geeta Ramanujam, and authors Muthoni Muchemi, Linda Sue Park, and Nandita da Cunha. The event will feature masterclasses, book readings, signings, performances, and interactive sessions.

Not Just for Kids

While the festival primarily targets children over the age of 5, it also offers panel discussions and interactions for parents and educators. Sessions like ‘Post-pandemic parenting’, ‘Ecological mindspace’, ‘Books as connectors’, and ‘The future of talk’ are among the offerings for adults.

Focusing on Solutions

Kavita emphasizes the importance of actively seeking solutions to the challenges in children’s day-to-day lives. She states, “Children are not reading because they’re constantly overstimulated with content from all ends. They aren’t reading Indian literature because most of the books don’t relate to what’s happening in their world today. This time, with the sessions for adults, we’re focusing on what parents, educators, and writers should really be thinking about.

The NLF Reading Challenge

The festival will also host the finals of the 2023 NLF Reading Challenge, a national reading event that saw participation from over 600 teams from across the country. Additionally, the festival will feature over 30 masterclasses with industry experts and insiders, providing valuable insights and knowledge to attendees.

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