The Hyderabad Literary Festival 2024 with focus on Odiya language commenced on Republic Day, Friday, January 26. This edition of the lit fest has Norway as the guest country of choice. Moving away from its regular focus on literature and art alone, the 14th edition of the festival will also include talks and events focusing on science and climate.
Talks focused on the Odia canon, citizen accounts of identity and nationalism, accounts of women wildlife biologists and food cultures are part of the literary fest. Organisers of the festival had earlier stated that they weren’t keen on a single theme and hence went for a multidisciplinary approach.
The event, being held at Sattva Knowledge City in the Hi-Tech city, has a lineup of 15 different streams across subjects: Literature, Storytelling, Meet My Book, Culture, Indigenous and Endangered Languages, Kaavya Dhaara, Interlude, Moving Images, Nanha Nukkad, Youngistaan Nukkad, Climate Conversations, Science and The City, Stage Talks, Workshops, and Exhibitions.
In keeping with the UN's declaration that this decade is the "International Decade of Indigenous Languages," the festival will feature a talk by linguist Anvita Abbi on "Vanishing Voices of the Andamans." Other speakers include Adivasi poet and activist Jacinta Kerketta and journalist Nidhi Dugar Kundalia (Articulating Adivasi Voices) Santali author Damayanti Beshra and journalist Kasturi Ray (One Life in Two Languages: President Murmu in Santali and English). Apart from them there would be multilingual readings by Gond artists Durgabhai Vyam and Subhas Vyam, Santhali writer Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, and several others.