Ncell literature fest wraps up
KATHMANDU, SEP 24 -
With spirited discussions over a wide spectrum of issues attended diligently by an audience mostly composed of young students and professionals, the four-day Ncell Nepal Literature Festival came to a close on Monday.
The literary fest, which saw around 120 speakers holding 40 sessions on issues ranging from literature and journalism to economics and history, saw a turnout of over 10,000 visitors, claimed the organisers. Nine books, including new releases from essayist Khagendra Sangraula and novelist Jagdish Ghimire, were launched on the sidelines. The festival was attended by two Indian novelists, Advaita Kala and Amish Tripathi, and veteran Indian journalist Vinod Mehta, whose uproarious two sessions were the highlight of the festival and had the audience in stitches, applauding his wit and humour. A gathering of 14 poets presented live recitations to a packed house, with an enthusiastic audience celebrating Nepali poetry with vocal support.
The last day of the festival featured filmmakers Ujjwal Ghimire, Tsering Ritar and Nischal Basnet moderated by journalist Yangesh, where the panellists concluded that the weak plot and direction of Nepali films were the main reasons that audiences could not connect to the Nepali cinema.
Another session, Moffusil ma Lekhan, with poets Bhupeen Vyakul, Manu Manjil and Seema Aavaas, moderated by journalist Basanta Basnet, focussed on whether the moffusil was now an imagined concept as a majority of writers have equal access to media and publishers. Similarly, journalist Jhalak Subedi and former Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat mulled over country’s economic policy and its present state.
The final day also saw a heated discussion on Rewriting History with culture expert Ramesh Dhungel and historian Dinesh Raj Panta, moderated by Bishnu Sapkota, all of whom strongly urged the rewriting of existing histories. “Many historical facts are biased. For instance, Jung Bahadur Rana’s contribution to the nation has been largely forgotten and only his infamous deeds are remembered,” said Dhungel, adding that political power should not influence the writing of Nepali history as it had done in the past.
All in all, the four-day fest, one of the two Nepali literature festivals, saw packed crowds and lively discussions with active audience participation. Prof Abhi Subedi, a panellist and also the keynote speaker, said that a majority of the discussions were thought-provoking. In his keynote address, he commented on the festival as a social public sphere for democratic debate and the proliferation of ideas.
“The festival mediated the generation gap through interactions, both inside and outside the sessions,” said Subedi. “It was also interesting to discover young peoples’ take on various issues and incidents of the past and how they viewed them presently.”
Niraj Bhari, executive director of the festival, said next year would see more international writers, drawing an expanded pool outside of South Asia. He added that book sales at the festival amounted to around Rs 400,000.
Posted on: 2012-09-24 08:14