Thousands of kilometres away from its city of origin, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) began on Thursday evening (01). The festival debuted in the Spanish capital with an aim to provide a platform for the exploration of Spanish writing.
JLF Valladolid Spain, hosted in the northwestern city, is set to convene a diverse gathering of writers, thinkers, artists, and poets, fostering stimulating dialogues and conversations on a wide range of subjects, including fashion and design, history, visual art, literary fiction, and poetry.
The 10th international extension of the literary festival aspires to serve as “a bridge between the diverse and vibrant literatures of Spain and India”.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, Indian ambassador to Spain, Dinesh K Patnaik, highlighted the shared diversities between the two countries.
“A literary grouping of English, Spanish and Indian language is something we are really keen on. We are also looking at Indian diversity, Spain has the same diversity. Every 100 miles in Spain also is a different country, and yet it’s Spanish. So, we are very similar. Similar thoughts, similar family values, we love music, we love children. So, if you put it all together, we have something very unique,” the ambassador said.
Over the course of three days, the literary event will bring together a diverse group of Spanish and Indian writers, scholars, diplomats, musicians, and actors. Among the notable participants are Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, writers Vikram Chandra, Deepti Kapoor, Oscar Pujol, Agustin Paniker, and Pallavi Aiyar, as well as poets Ranjit Hoskote and Raquel Lanseros.
The lineup also includes foreign affairs expert Ana Palacio and Portuguese politician Bruno Macaes.
Sanjoy K Roy, the managing director of Teamwork Arts, expressed the significance of holding JLF in Spain, emphasising that it serves as an opportunity to explore the Spanish-speaking world and introduces Indian audiences to writers from that region.
“This is our first offering in Europe. For us, it is really an entry into a language that we in India are not necessarily familiar with. Despite the language’s incredible push to get everybody to learn Spanish, we are still ignorant about the writers from your part of the world,” he said.
The event will also see the presence of notable Indian singers Usha Uthup, Vidya Shah, actor Kabir Bedi, and the Kutle Khan Project, alongside Spanish musicians including German Diaz, Raul Olivar Flamenco Trio, Pablo Oliva, and dancer Monica de la Fuente.
The festival will come to a close on June 4.