HAY FESTIVAL 2014:WHERE THE WORLD AND YOUR IMAGINATION MEET

0
21

 The history of literature in Bangladesh is a rich one dating back centuries. Both pre and post-independent Bangladesh has seen the creation of many forms of literature, from exquisite poetries to thought-provoking novels. It is fitting then that there be a festival to celebrate and push forward arts and

literature within the country, while providing crucial international exposure to broaden minds and explore new possibilities, and take it to new heights – with each generation giving rise to several geniuses whose works will inspire aspiring writers and thinkers into creating the next masterpiece.

The Hay Festival of Literature and Arts is an annual festival that was devised by Norman and Peter Florence in 1988. Former US president Bill Clinton described it as the “Woodstock of the mind” back in 2001. The festival has since expanded to include musical performances and film previews and it now has sister festivals around the world, from the Americas to Asia.

Since it was founded, the Hay Festival has established itself as one of the world’s top literally festivals and has emerged as a significant literally platform in Bangladesh for our local writers, especially those who are writing in English.

With the slogan “Imagine the World”, the Hay Festival concluded successfully in Dhaka after being held from the 20th to the 22nd of November 2014. The Festival is held annually in the country and this was its 4th year since the pilot festival was held in 2011. Back then it brought together writers and thinkers from Bangladesh and Britain in order to celebrate the life and spirit of Rabindranath Tagore on the occasion of his 150th anniversary.

The historic ground of the Bangla Academy played host to 2014. The Bangla Academy, established in 1955, is the academy for promoting the Bangla (Bengali) language in Bangladesh. The festival was free to all, there was no need to register or obtain tickets. This provided a wonderful opportunity for everyone to visit and participate.

Hay 2014 brought together writers, poets, artists, philosophers and scientists from the region and many countries. Some of the highlights were appearances by Shashi Tharoor, Syed Shamsul Haq, Jung Chang, Joy Goswami, William Dalrymple, John Ralston Saul, Javed Jahangir, Marcus du Sautoy, Zia Haider Rahman, Rana Dasgupta, Mirza Waheed, Lucy Hawking, Shaheen Akhter, and Gideon Haigh.

“The Festival received an amazing response when it was first held back in 2011 and since then has only grown both in the scope and scale. Having the opportunity to interact and engage with the vibrant, energetic and politically savvy audience is one of the key ingredients that make this such an exciting festival for many.”

 The themes in 2014 were: telling stories in different ways and pushing the boundaries of the mind. It included multiple ways of storytelling, the intersection between the personal and the political, and pushing the limits of the mind to discover possibilities.

There were panel discussions at the festival and it covered urban metamorphosis with all its inherent tensions. Speakers celebrated the pursuit of knowledge and the constant search for the truth via both scientific thinking and ancient wisdom. Interactive panel discussions, poetry performances, book launches, medleys of Shakespearean plays in translation, and much more were highlights at Hay 2014.

Apart from the serious themed events for grownups, the Hay Festival Dhaka also had exciting events for kids, which ranged from adventures in folk myths and different galaxies.

The focus was on the diversity of imagination expression and the power of writing. The Festival has also received a positive response from sponsors, with Kazi and Kazi Tea and The British Council acting as key sponsor. Be sure not to miss the festival next year!

Apart from the serious themed events for grownups, the Hay Festival Dhaka also had exciting events for kids, which ranged from adventures in folk myths and different galaxies.

The focus was on the diversity of imagination expression and the power of writing. The Festival has also received a positive response from sponsors, with Kazi and Kazi Tea and The British Council acting as key sponsor. Be sure not to miss the festival next year!

“Since it was founded, the Hay Festival has established itself as one of the world’s top literally festivals and has emerged as a significant literally platform in Bangladesh for our local writers, especially those who are writing in English.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here