Jaipur Literature Festival this year in hybrid mode after a series of challenges


By Archana Sharma

Jaipur, March 7 (IANS): Hailed as the “world’s greatest literary spectacle”, the Jaipur Literature Festival (JFF) 2022 has kicked off in a new hybrid avatar and in a new venue.

The new avatar is a hybrid edition promising online and offline seasons and the new venue is Clarks Amer other than Diggi Palace, which has been its official venue for years.

The Covid pandemic may have given the world a slight respite from its later waves, but the Ukraine-Russia war has everyone worried. Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, speaking to IANS raised concerns about the ongoing war and confirmed that two or three speakers have already canceled their visit to India amid the current tensions.

“These are still uncertain times and there are a few speakers who have canceled their visit to India and so we have kept plan B ready,” he said.

Speaking on the Russian-Ukrainian war, he said: “These uncertain times have a huge impact and that impact is definitely there. hold the event digitally in January. We intended to wrap the event in digital edition but everyone especially people from Rajasthan kept calling to hold the program offline as well.

Therefore, we postponed it and decided to organize in March in a hybrid avatar, said Roy.

It is worth mentioning here that JLF has ensured both its magnificence on the ground and its virtual presence this year and presents eminent speakers presenting its sessions organized on its virtual platform from March 5th to 14th. The festival will also host its field show from March 10-14 at Clarks Amer.

Speaking on its continued evolution, Roy said: “JLF has faced the challenges of Covid over the past two years and now comes this war. However, over the years we have learned to evolve and keep going. After having gone digital, we now come into a hybrid avatar, which is one of the examples of evolution. In 2020, we managed to finish our edition and then Covid got stuck, but we continued with our digital edition” , he added.

Roy said: “Despite the ongoing uncertain times, the breadth of programming remains as stunning as every year with over 400 speakers in attendance. The performers represent approximately 15 Indian languages ​​and 20 international languages ​​and over 20 nationalities as well as all major literary prizes ranging from Nobel, Booker, Pulitzer, Sahitya Akademi, DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, JCB Prize for Literature, etc,” he added.

Speaking about the new venue, he said: “While some visitors talk about the big space, regular international visitors wonder why we have moved away from Diggi Palace.

“It’s true that the festival started as a built heritage and so they miss it, but the other fact is that the soul of the festival is the audience, even if no one gives them credit for it, but then it’s them making stories by plugging in with writers who are heroes to them and getting their photos clicked; now that excitement can’t be killed and as a result they are the true souls of the festival,” he adds. -he.

Roy further stated that they have expanded the spectrum of offers this season. “One of the main areas of interest is a series called ‘The Urgency of Borrowed Time’, which examines climate justice and environmental and ecological issues. There will also be music, dance, film and “, yes, our own literature, as well as theater and film. celebrities coming in large numbers. Basically, we’re representing art this time around in a big way,” he adds.

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