The moun­tain’s call to lit­er­a­ture lovers

Bhutan Times - - Editorial - Staff Re­porter

What bet­ter lo­ca­tion than Bhutan, a coun­try renowned for its en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion, to strike up a con­ver­sa­tion about the im­pact of cli­mate change?

The sev­enth edi­tion of the “Moun­tain Echoes Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val,” an ini­tia­tive of the In­dia-Bhutan Foun­da­tion to be held in Thim­phu from Au­gust 26 to Au­gust 28, will open with a con­ver­sa­tion on the im­pact of cli­mate change. It will pre­sented by Ami­tav Ghosh, the au­thor of The Great Derange­ment: Cli­mate Change and the Un­think­able , a non-fic­tion book that sum­mons us to con­front the most ur­gent task of our times. Talks The fes­ti­val plans to cre­ate a plat­form for con­flu­ence of art, mu­sic, lit­er­a­ture and new me­dia of both coun­tries to serve as plat­form for de­bate, dis­cus­sion, and cul­tural ex­change in an idyl­lic lo­ca­tion. The three-day event will in­clude talks fea­tur­ing a range of themes, in­clud­ing women’s voices, travel writ­ing, and love and re­la­tion­ships.

The Women’s Voices event will have writ­ers An­jum Hasan and Ira Trivedi in con­ver­sa­tion with Namita Gokhale. They will dis­cuss an an­thol­ogy, Walk­ing To­wards Our­selves: In­dian Women Tell Their Sto­ries , to look at what it means to be a woman in In­dia at a time of in­tense change.

The seg­ment will also fea­ture ac­tor Tabu, in con­ver­sa­tion with ac­tor­model Kelly Dorji, about as­sert­ing her po­si­tion in the cut-throat film in­dus­try in light of her re­cent films Fi­toor and Haider . Seg­ments The Travel Writ­ing event will have writ­ers shar­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences of climb­ing, trekking and ex­plor­ing the less-trod­den routes of Bhutan’s most an­cient path­ways. In the Love and Re­la­tion­ships sec­tion, Graeme Sim­sion will open the topic of love and re­la­tion­ships with his two books, New York Times best­seller The Rosie Project and se­quel The Rosie Ef­fect , and the quest for the per­fect part­ner and the DNA that works be­hind it.

Ms. Trivedi and Monu Ta­mang will also map the re­la­tion­ship land­scape of In­dia and Bhutan, where young peo­ple strug­gle with tra­di­tion and moder­nity as they fall in and out of love in the face of chang­ing so­ci­etal norms. Work­shops A host of work­shops — “How to tell a Good Story: Cre­ative Writ­ing Work­shop” by Sonam Wangmo Jha­lani; “Cam­paign Strat­egy: A Guide to Ad­ver­tis­ing and Brand Build­ing” by Piyush Pandey; “In Fo­cus: The World of Fash­ion Pho­tog­ra­phy” by Ma­neesh Man­danna and “Sculpt­ing the Spirit: Yoga Work­shop” by Ms. Trivedi; “A Guide to Dzongkha: The Na­tional Lan­guage of Bhutan” by Yeshi Lhendup — will be part of the fes­ti­val.

Com­ment­ing on the sev­enth edi­tion of the fes­ti­val, Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck of Bhutan said the fes­ti­val has been a great cat­a­lyst for ap­pre­ci­a­tion of lit­er­a­ture in Bhutan.

“To dis­cuss and de­bate key is­sues fac­ing Bhutan to­day, ed­u­ca­tion, cli­mate change, ru­ral-ur­ban mi­gra­tion, and to con­sider our his­tory through the medium of lit­er­a­ture, art and cul­ture is a won­der­ful prospect,” she added.

Sev­enth edi­tion of “Moun­tain Echoes Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val” will be held in Thim­phu from Au­gust 26-28

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