The third edition of Ananke’s Women in Literature will highlight an important discussion on inclusive publishing. Happening on the first day of the festival, April 11th, 2023 – at 5.00 PM UAE, this session will focus on the importance of inclusion in the production and dissemination of the written word, on the principles of diversity and representation. This session will also delve deep into how the publishing landscape can be made more democratic as well as accessible to aspiring, new and also marginalized voices across the publishing landscape, doing away with tokenism and gatekeeping; tapping into the opportunity that technology offers in order to reaching global audience regardless of their age, ability or disability.
The panel will feature an array of trailblazers including Arpita Das, Christina Dhanaraj, Mehr F Husain and Namrata, with Nida Usman Chaudhary helming the panel.
Arpita Das is the publisher and founder at YODA PRESS. A writing mentor, senior writing instructor, she is also part of Ashoka University’s visiting faculty.
Christina Dhanaraj (She/Her) is a writer, with more than a decade of corporate work experience in India, Singapore, China, and the Netherlands. She is the co-founder of the Dalit History Month project and has published on intersectional discourses between caste, gender, religion, race, and sexuality. She consults with corporates and non-profits, advising on caste-based diversity, equity, & inclusion, strategic communications, organizational effectiveness, and accountability frameworks. She is also the convener and founder member of the Global Campaign for Dalit Women and is currently working on her first non-fiction book on Dalit women and the fullness of life. She is based out of New York City.
Mehr Husain is a British-Pakistani journalist. Author of ‘Pakistan: A Fashionable History’, she has worked in different roles in the media industry; as an Assistant Editor at Good Times (GT) magazine and as a columnist for India’s Mail Today where her column ‘The Lahore Log’ also appeared in The Daily Mail/MailOnline. Mehr’s commentary has appeared in The Economist’s 1843, The Times of London, The Diplomat, India’s Mail Today, The Daily Mail/MailOnline, Libas, The Friday Times, Herald, Pakistan Today, The News, The Nation and Pakistan Link. She was also the Editor for ‘Multan: A Spiritual Legacy’ which was presented to HM Queen Elizabeth in 2013. In 2018 she founded ZUKA, a social enterprise and set up ZUKA BOOKS in 2020. Mehr holds a MSc. in Asian Politics from SOAS, University of London and a BSc. in Politics with Business Management (Hons.) from Queen Mary, University of London. She was also accepted into an MPhil in South Asian Studies at St. Edmunds College, Cambridge. She is currently working as a New Editor of Naya Daur and The Friday Times Pakistan.
Namrata is the editor of Kitaab, a South Asian literary magazine based in Singapore. Since 2018, she also runs a creative agency called Keemiya Creatives where she works with authors and publishing houses in different capacities. She is a published author who enjoys writing stories and think-pieces on travel, relationships, and gender. A UEA alumnus, she has studied travel writing at the University of Sydney. Her short stories have been a part of various anthologies. She has also published two short story collections of her own along with two solo titles as well. Currently, she is working on her debut novel. Namrata is also an independent editor and a book reviewer. Her writings can be found on various sites and magazines like the Asian Review of Books, Contemporary South Asia Journal of King’s College-London, Mad in Asia, The Friday Times, Daily Star, The Scroll, Feminism in India, The Brown Orient Journal, Inkspire Journal, Moonlight Journal, The Same, Chronic Pain India and Cafe Dissensus among others.
Talking about her participation, Namrata said: “I am thrilled to be a part of Ananke’s Women in Literature Festival, this year. Since it started in 2021, I have been following The Women in Literature Festival’s journey and it has been tremendous. It is a much-needed platform in today’s times, to celebrate diverse voices across the literary landscape. Such platforms not only help us in starting conversations about complex issues but also offer different perspectives in a quest to find practical solutions. Inclusion and diversity are the need of the hour. And what better way than to explore the possibilities of having inclusive publishing with cross-cultural narratives?”
Nida Usman Chaudhary is one of the founding members of Authors Alliance Pakistan. She is an alumni of the prestigious The Writing Institute in Lahore. Her short story, ‘Coming of Age’ was published in ‘The Stained-Glass Window’, an anthology on stories of the pandemic from Pakistan, published by Liberty Books. She is working for the recognition of writing as an industry in Pakistan for which she curated the ‘Rethinking Writing as an Industry’ series with Olomopolo in 2019. She believes in protecting and promoting the work of Pakistani authors and its nascent writing industry and has curated several sessions on copyrights, piracy and other legal aspects of publishing under Lahore Education and Research Network in collaboration with The Writing Institute and Pakistan Lady Bloggers.
Eminent names from across South Asia, MENA and beyond will be gracing the third edition of Ananke’s Women in Literature Festival 2023 on April 11th and 12th. Independent publishers, authors, filmmakers, artists, writers and creatives will congregate remotely to engage in dialogue focusing on a wide ranging array of topics including Arab Women in Literature vis-à-vis War, Resilience, Exile & Identity: Footprints in the Sands of Time, On Justice, Gender Equality and Islam, My life, my choice: The long road from legal rights to personal agency, Inclusive feminism: Gender equity begins with boys and men and more.
The event will be live-streamed on Ananke’s Facebook page – @anankemag with the option to participate in all live sessions via Zoom. To attend the session, email: email@example.com (please write: Zoom registration in the subject line).
Partners of the event include Seagull Books, Zuka Books, Neem Tree Press, Yoda Press and Readomania. More partners and collaborators will be announced soon.
Watch this space for more information!
Festival Topics Ideas (not limited to the below)
- Exploring New Pathways to Creativity and Literature
- The Language of Grief vis-à-vis the Dialectics of Freedom & Autonomy
- The Migratory Experience of Language
- Digital Disruption & Content
- Decentralizing the human to realize an inclusive world – Ending the era of the Vitruvian man
- Reimagining Anthropocene: A post-humanist exploration of climate resilience, urbanism, and nonhuman habitat loss in South Asian fiction
- Blurred Lines: On Science, Fiction and Fantasy
- The Age of the Graphic Novel
- Inclusive Publishing
- Publisher’s Corner
- Illustrated Resistance