The third annual edition of the Lahore Literary Festival, LLF 2015, took place at the Alhamra Arts Center, Feb. 20, 21 and 22.
With over 75 sessions, almost two dozen book launches, three exhibitions, four evening performances, five halls, and 130-plus speakers, the free and open-to-public event was attended by an estimated 75,000 people. (Last year’s festival was attended by 50,000.)
LLF 2015 featured thought-provoking panel discussions with some of the most insightful voices in the arts and literature. With tantalizing thinkers from home and abroad—from 12 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Palestine, the U.S., the U.K., Colombia, Australia—LLF, which celebrates the best of Lahore’s rich and storied cultural traditions, provided audiences with a stunning and stimulating array of ideas and intellectual inquiry.
The keynote address by historian Romila Thapar and sessions on Empress of Song Noor Jehan, the Jazz Age in Bombay and Karachi, Cosmopolitan Quetta, Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography, cricket with Peter Oborne and Osman Samiuddin, Mohsin Hamid’s Discontents and Its Civilizations, artist-educator Salima Hashmi’s The Eye Still Seeks were among the most popular.
While the majority of sessions were conducted in English, audiences also had the choice of attending discussions in Urdu and Punjabi. The session with writers and poets from Bahawalpur and neighboring cities was conducted in Seraiki..
LLF is an independent, not-for-profit organization registered under Pakistan’s Societies Registration Act, 1860.
The International Advisory Committee for LLF 2015 comprises Maina Bhagat of the Apeejay Kolkata Literature Fest, Libby Owen Edmunds of the Galle Literary Festival, Yasmin El-Rifae of the Palestine Festival of Literature, Namita Gokhale of the Jaipur Literature Festival, and Sadaf Saaz Siddiqi of the Dhaka Hay Festival. The Advisory Board and Patrons for LLF 2015 are listed here.