Neev Literature Festival for children goes online


The Neev Literature Festival for children (NLF) will conduct its fourth edition online this year. Unlike previous editions, the duration of the festival is not restricted to two days. Instead, there will be activities and events conducted throughout the year on social media platforms.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Imaginary Lines’, and will primarily focus on the subject of Partition.

“This is a topic not often discussed with children who generally only know of the incident as a chapter from their textbooks. It is important to understand the impact of Partition in a time like this when there is a lot of divisiveness in society,” said Kavita Gupta Sabharwal, co-founder and curator of the festival. “Lines divide, but they also connect. We thought it fitting that on Independence Day we start a dialogue on the significance of these lines. A random line drawn by Sir Cyril Radcliffe has had lasting ramifications on thousands of families and until about three years ago, there was no book which dwelt on the topic in a way children would relate to, with perhaps the exception of ‘Chachaji’s Cup’ by Uma Krishnaswami,” she said.

Sessions

NLF 2020 will comprise two sessions on August 15. The first will deal with ‘Partition: Memory and Memorialisation’ with authors Kamla Bhasin and Mallika Ahluwalia and film-maker Santosh Sivan as panellists. Ms. Ahluwalia is also the co-founder of the Partition Museum in Amritsar.

The second session, ‘Peripheries: Boundaries on the Edge, Boundaries Within,’ will have children’s author and social activist Rinchin, film-maker and author Kenny Basumatary, and storyteller and film-maker Aijaz Khan as the panellists.

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Author Siddhartha Sarma, who will be moderating both the sessions, explained why it is necessary to have a dialogue on Partition, “especially in the current times with young readers, so they know how things began and why they concern them today.”

The event will be held from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. on August 15. Interested participants can register on the Neev Literature Festival Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

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Sagar Biswas

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