The 10th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest, which took place over four days featuring a wide range of the world's top authors, filmmakers, singers, and artists, has been concluded at the Bangla Academy with a reaffirmation of its dedication to promoting Bangladeshi literature, culture, and arts.
The festival concluded on Sunday with an enthralling closing ceremony, featuring performances by Coke Studio Bangla artistes Animes Roy, Ritu Raj, Pantha Kanai, Boga Taleb, Momotaz, Rubayat Rehman and its other artistes. With ‘Nasek Nasek’, the debut track of Coke Studio in Bangladesh, the 10th edition of the literary festival bids its adieu.
The formal closing act was conducted at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad (AKSB) auditorium before that, and it started with a dynamic dance and recital performance by Jatrik named "Women Rise" about women's emancipation.
The adversity and persistence against women in the Indian subcontinent were portrayed through the performance of classical and modern dance forms, choreographed by Naila Azad Nupur with recitals by DLF director-producer Sadaf Saaz and Nupur herself.
Booker Prize-winning Indian author Gitanjalee Shree, eminent Somalian novelist Nuruddin Farah, Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan, City Bank managing director and CEO Mashrur Arefin, and Dhaka Lit Fest director and producer Sadaf Saaz spoke at the closing ceremony, sharing their remarks bidding adieus and expressing their gratitude to everyone.
Stating that the DLF has become a global celebration of literature, Geetanjali Shree said, "It has been five amazing days for me and this has been a wonderful experience. I don't feel like a foreigner here, and Dhaka Lit Fest is not just another fest mushrooming around us.”
Nuruddin Farah said, "When I'll go back to Cape Town where I live, my friends will be asking me how was it and if it is different from other festivals around the world? I have attended many festivals around the world, and I'll be telling my friends about how I felt a great deal of warmth from the organisers as well as the people here, in the Dhaka Lit Fest.”
Writer and City Bank managing director-CEO Mashrur Arefin said, “I’m a serious writer, and I admire it when foreign writers visit us and have an exchange with our writers. Many people disliked the idea of introducing tickets at this year’s DLF, saying that it has become a festival for the elite but the crowds from the first day have changed this perception.”
City Bank was the platinum sponsor of the event and Arefin said that it will be the title sponsor for the fest moving forward, and also the bank will sponsor to establish a translation centre if possible in the future.
In her closing remarks, DLF director-producer Sadaf Saaz thanked the audience and sponsors for believing in them, saying, “We are happy to see the love for literature, science, and knowledge, and we are not scared of controversy when we really believe in something. We wanted to make this festival sustainable, we wanted to put a value on wonderful artistes and writers and creative personalities - and Dhaka, you proved that we were right.”
Showcasing over 170 sessions from January 5-8, the 10th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest featured informative and engaging dialogues and cultural segments with around 500 writers, poets, performers, intellectuals, journalists, athletes, social workers and globally acclaimed-celebrated personalities including the winners of the Academy Awards, Pulitzer, International Booker, Neustadt International, and PEN/Pinter prizes, Prix Médicis, Windham-Campbell Prize, Albert Medal, Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and Aga Khan Award.