March 2nd, 2021, Dubai (UAE): Ananke’s Women in Literature Festival 2021, the first of its kind event across the Middle East, Africa and the Sub-continent regions, features some of the most noteworthy names in the literary world. Notable journalists and distinguished authors including Sheela Reddy and Moni Mohsin.
Appearing as fireside chat guest on day one of the festival – March 30th, 2021; Sheela Reddy has written extensively for leading Indian newspapers and journals during her 35 years in journalism. A former books editor of Outlook, her writing has appeared in literary magazines and in several anthologies as well as an edited volume of essays by Khushwant Singh titled Why I Supported the Emergency. Mr. and Mrs. Jinnah is her first book which will be the focus of the conversation. The fireside chat will be helmed by another notable name in the literary arena, Moni Mohsin; who started her writing career at The Friday Times, Pakistan’s first independent weekly, where she served as Features Editor. She is now a freelance journalist and author of three novels, the prize winning The End of Innocence, Tender Hooks and The Impeccable Integrity of Ruby R. Her best-selling collection of satirical columns, The Dairy of a Social Butterfly and The Return of the Butterfly, are based on her long running column for The Friday Times.
The discussion will closely look at silence as a social construct. The session will examine how societies and socio-political dynamics of communities perpetuate systematic silencing of women – empowered as well as those considered weak and its impact on mental health.
The Women in Literature Festival 2021 is a celebration of the literary genius, creative journeys and lived artistic experiences of the female gender. Marking Women’s History Month and Women’s Day, the 3-day event will take place on (March 30-April 1) to also observe World Book and Copyright Day.
The event aims to look at literature from a gender perspective, the impact and role of translations that expand the scope and audience reach. From Dostoevsky to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, readers have enjoyed many adventures. And while they are able to relish the sublime through immense efforts in translations that preserve authors’ authenticity, the role of translators, particularly female translators remain largely unacknowledged, long forgotten and even unrecognized.
Through this festival, Ananke strives to not just celebrate creativity of female fiction and non-fiction writers, but to highlight female literary history and showcase – many a times – invisibilized women writers in cultural festival line-ups. The Women in Literature Festival plans to highlight how literature produced by women needs to be showcased, promoted and celebrated globally via translations, digital documentation and more.
Confirmed speakers also include notable names such as pioneer of second wave feminism, Phyllis Chesler, Resident Director Aurat Foundation Pakistan Mahnaz Rehman, inspirational academicians writers and award winning authors: Leonora Miano, Baela Raza Jamil, Angela Joy, Naima Rashid, Dr. Amina Yaqin, Faiqa Mansab, Aekta Kapoor, Radhika Tabrez, Piyusha Vir, Karen Osman, Mehr F Husain, Anchal Malhotra, Deepti Menon, Laaleen Sukhera, Nida Usman Chaudhary, Anupama Jain, Lakshana Palat, Mini Shivakumar Menon, Saba Karim Khan, Rashin Choudhry, Dina BenBrahim, Maha Tazi, Ana Serrano Telleria, Amrita Mukherjee, Sutapa Basu, Sana Munir, Kirthi Jayaumar, Mandy Sanghera, and many more.
Partnering with leading authors, literary & feminist entities and publishers including Zuka Books, Readomania, Seagull Books, Zubaan Books, the Gender Security Project, Authors Alliance, Ananke hopes to set a new standard in literary festivals where there is greater visibility of female literati as well as diversified conversation on inclusion.
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Ananke is a non-profit, digital platform empowering through awareness, advocacy and education. Launched in 2014 in Dubai UAE, the organization strives to trigger conversations on inclusion, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the digital realm. Breaking barriers to empower women, the organization is a World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) nominee for 2019 and 2020. Recently, Ananke hosted the first ever digital Girl Summit across the MENA and Subcontinent regions with attendees from all over the world.
Ananke also publishes special editions on the ISSUU platform and can be viewed here.