The Rainbow Lit Fest – Queer & Inclusive: A first-of-its-kind literature festival

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The Rainbow Lit Fest

The Rainbow Lit Fest will take place on December 7& 8: Book Lovers, are you ready?


Going beyond binaries and bringing together different identities and sections of society, The Rainbow Lit Fest – Queer & Inclusive will be held on December 7 and 8, 2019, at the Gulmohar Park Club in New Delhi.

Sitting at the intersection of the alternative and mainstream, The Rainbow Lit Fest will witness the amalgamation of different forms of expression where over 75 exponents of prose, poetry, art, music, dance, and cinema will come together over two days.

The fest is backed by an eight-member advisory committee who are Anjali Gopalan(Founder, Naz Foundation), Apurva Asrani (National Award-winning filmmaker, film editor and screenwriter), Maya Sharma (author and activist), Parmesh Shahani (Founder, Godrej India Culture Lab), Saleem Kidwai (historian and queer activist), Dr. Saif Mahmood (author, activist and lawyer), Vivek Mansukhani (educationist and theatre personality), and Zainab Patel (Manager, D&I, KPMG). The festival has been conceptualized by Sharif D. Rangnekar(Festival Director), the author of Straight To Normal – My Life As A Gay Man, a book released earlier this year, the first memoir since the reading down of Section 377 last September. It is co-presented by a platform Rangnekar curates – Embrace: Music Justice Arts and the Creative Director, Pankaj Malhotra’s event firm – Epic India.

The Fest will be addressed by notable authors, filmmakers and activists, other than those on the advisory committee, such as Devdutt Pattanaik, Nandita Das, Nemat Sadat, and Onir, among several other distinguished personalities, sharing stories and ideas that will seek to stitch together a more informed narrative of diversity, existence and co-existence.

Everything from the fest’s location – Gulmohar Park, which saw the early risings of the gay movement at the residence-cum-office of the Naz Foundation back in 2001 – to its belief system – that literature and art should speak for as many as possible, particularly those who aren’t usually heard – sets The Rainbow Fest apart. Talking about the ethos of the fest, Rangnekar says, “The lit fest essentially aims to engage with the truths of identity and diversity, and while drawing on the distinctions, we wish to address the common ground of humanity. There is no better way than literature, art, poetry, music and talk to bring such topics to life!”

Read more: National Journalism Day 2019: Let’s celebrate the ‘Power of Pen’

Panel discussions and talks will be interspersed with screenings of iconic films like U for Usha by Rohan Kanwade,Konkona Sen-starrer – Monsoon Date by Tanuja Chandra, I Am Sanjo by Jijo Kuriakose and the most-awarded silent LGBT a silent film, Sisak by Faraz Ansari. In addition, there will bedance performances,a puppet  show, a drag act and three music performances by the Traditional Nizami Brothers, the 12-member Manzil Mystics and arguably the most diverse rock band in the country – ‘The Original Knock-Offs’.

Ultimately, over the two days of the Fest, attendees will get to interact with not just diverse views and those who go beyond the binaries but also, people coming from as many as 18 different cities and towns from across the world – Washington DC at one end to Moirang in Manipur, at another!

For more information and to register, visit
rainbowliteraturefestival.com

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