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 festival will showcase an important discussion on the role and impact of editors on the written word.
Ananke will be featuring a special event celebrating the Urdu language with an intimate talk with the founder of Joy of Urdu which is a platform dedicated to revitalize Urdu language and reclaim the sub-continent’s literary heritage. The bilingual literacy project is spread across Pakistan and the rest of the world. It strives to create a space for beginners and advanced readers of Urdu.
The event will be broadcast on Ananke’s Facebook page on the second day of the festival, March 31st, 2021 at 02:00 PM-02:30 PM UAE and 10:00 AM-10:30 AM GMT. It is moderated by Ananke’s Sabin Muzaffar.
Participating in the event is the Founder of Joy of Urdu, Zarminae Ansari who is an architect and Cultural Tourism Consultant, who graduated with a Masters from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has served as visiting or guest lecturer at various leading educational institutions including the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, University of Karachi, BNUSVAD, and NCA Lahore. She has served on interview panels for the Fulbright scholarship program, the MIT Educational Council, and the United World Colleges, for which she herself was a recipient and credits for her commitment to service & activism. As a writer, she has written for national and international publications, including “Mazaar, Bazaar: Design and Visual Culture in Pakistan (OUP). Zarminae has also been a producer in different media. She conceived and produced a music video with one of the sub-continent’s preeminent singers promoting tourism to the area, to encourage poverty alleviation, peace and development. This project was presented in conferences at MIT, and as a paper at NYU. Copies of the DVD were distributed to the entire UN Assembly on the day of the elections for the Security Council by ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon as a different image of Pakistan. She was Pakistan producer for “Another Pakistan“: a set of interviews of architects, writers, artists and musicians by NPR’s Christopher Lydon.
Talking about her work and participation at the #WLF2021, Zarminae said: “Organizing Joy of Urdu’s regular online sessions on Urdu literature and language, made me realize how underrepresented women are in literature in general and especially in Urdu literature, barring a handful of known names.”
She added: “Whether it is on panel discussions, or in the choice of writers and poets, or even in terms of accessibility via translations. The men on my team work hard to ensure inclusivity, but initially, even they did not realize it, so it is to their credit that they try hard to avoid manels. I applaud Sabin Muzaffar and the Ananke platform for addressing this challenge via this much-needed literature festival, and look forward to participating in what seem to be a series of carefully curated, interesting and timely topics.”
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, Aanchal Malhotra, Deepti Menon, Laaleen Sukhera, Nida Usman Chaudhary, Anupama Jain, Lakshana Palat, Ameena Saiyid, Mini Shivakumar Menon, Saba Karim Khan, Rashin Choudhry, Dina Benbrahim, Maha Tazi, Ana Serrano Telleria, Amrita Mukherjee, Sutapa Basu, Sana Munir, Kirthi Jayakumar, Mandy Sanghera, Anjum Katyal, Jenny Bhatt, Gowri Vijaykumar, Manisha Chaudhry and many more.
Partnering with leading organizations including Zuka Books, Readomania, Seagull Books, Zubaan Books, the Gender Security Project, Authors Alliance as well as companies like ContentBud – a written communications agency, 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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Social Media: #WLF2021 #WomenInLitFest
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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.
For more information, visit: https://www.anankemag.com
Ananke also publishes special editions on the ISSUU platform and can be viewed here.