Leaf through the pages of literature from all over the world at the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF 2020). By Shrimayee Thakur

The fifth edition of the Kerala Literature Festival (KLF 2020) will be held from January 16 to 19 in Calicut. KLF 2020 is expected to be the largest cultural gathering in South India, with over four lakh attendees. KLF is also one of the fastest-growing literature festivals in Asia.

The theme for this year’s festival is environment and climate change, a burning topic of discussion across the globe right now. The Guest Country for the fifth edition is Spain, which will be represented by a team of 20 artists, writers and journalists. The Indian language to take the centre stage this time with 10 writers, is Tamil. Five participants will be from China, along with many from the UK, Slovenia, Egypt, Ireland, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Independent publishing consultant, Hemali Sodhi will be joining the organisers as a Festival Advisor.

KLF has grown tremendously amongst literature festivals in the continent, and the 2020 edition of the festival is set to be the grandest. Two new initiatives are being introduced: the KLF Literature Awards in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Popular Science, Travel and a grand prize for the Best Book in Malayalam and the announcement of the Vagamon Residency, a fully supported residency for writers and artists.

New formats are being introduced in KLF 2020, such as debates, straight talk, book discussions and reader’s sessions, along with 10 minutes slots for the audience to talk about an original idea. Discussions will be held on a number of topics, from literature, history, science and journalism to cinema and environment. Up for analysis and debates will be topics such as the emergence of community dialects and tribal tongues as literary languages, new versions of Don Quixote, the novels of Miguel Delibes, cartography, new discoveries about the early Indians, Robotics and the future of mankind, the role of social media in an opinion formation, current trends in art, music, and caste, and literature in the time of trauma, among many others. As the theme of the event is climate change, topics like Gandhi and environment, the Gadgil Report in the context of Kerala’s floods, organic agriculture, and the impact of rock mining, deforestation and sand mining on the environment will also be discussed.

The event will have distinguished speakers from all fields, such as Literary Luminaries, Booker Prize Winners, Oscar Winners, Jnanpith Laureates, Environmentalists, Head of States, Film & Theatre Personalities, Performers & Artists, Poets, Historians, Media Personalities, Diplomats and celebrities from various professional backgrounds. Indian speakers at the event include Rajdeep Sardesai, BRP Bhaskar, Karan Thapar, T M Krishna, Shashi Tharoor, Krishna Ramanujan, Chandan Gowda, and actress Padmapriya.

The event will also have performing artists from across the globe for cultural nights. Carnatic concerts, rock bands, sessions of Spanish Flamenco dance, puppet shows, theatres and many other cultural events will ensure that people attending the festival are always occupied with something interesting and worth remembering.

The festival will be held along the shores of the Arabian sea, on Calicut’s beaches, and will bring writers from around the world together with readers to create a truly rich and enlightening cultural experience.

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