Popular globally as an IT hub, the city of Bangalore is using technology to its advantage in a brand new literature festival, which is being simultaneously streamed live over the Internet and broadcast over radio.
"We have used technology to our advantage and it is a first of a kind event in India where various sessions at the festival can be seen from anywhere in the world through live streaming online as well being broadcast over the radio," Vikram Sampath, organiser of the Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF) told PTI.
BLF Radio is being powered by Radiowalla.in, an Internet radio platform, whose app can be downloaded onto mobile phones. Beginning on Friday the inaugural edition of BLF continues till December 9 and is being advertised as a national platform with a "glocal" appeal one which attempts to bridge the gap between literature in English and Indian regional languages.
The festival, which is hosting over 50 writers from India and abroad and all panels and discussions would be focused only on literature, says the organiser. "Each session is a discussion on a particular genre of literature like poetry, biography, drama, fiction, non fiction, graphic novels, writing on India, writing for theatre, sports, children's literature etc," says Sampath. Alaham Anil Kumar, Srikrishna Ramamoorthy and Shinie Antony are the co-organisers of the event.
"Every city has its own theme, local issues, cultures and traditions. Bangalore has always been known to be a city of intellectuals, a lot of Jnanpith awardees are from here. We have woken up late to a literary festival but hope to make this into an annual feature," says Sampath. Organisers say they have given equal emphasis to Urdu, Kannanda and Hindi and hope to expand it to more languages, especially from South India.
"The city has a lot of people from outside the state staying and working here so we have tried to keep the discussion bilingual with English," he says. 'Have you seen the Soul?: The Craft Of Poetry' a session between Gulzar and Pavan K Varma kickstarts the festival that is being held at the Jayamahal Palace in Bangalore.
The event also hosts the "Bookwallah Tour", which is making a stopover here to present a mini-writers-festival. The tour is about Indian writers Chandrahas Choudhury, Annie Zaidi and Sudeep Sen joining forces with Australian authors Benjamin Law and Kirsty Murray to form a roving writer's festival, traversing southern India by train.
Shoba De's "Sethiji" as well as "Durbar" by Tavleen Singh are among the new book launches expected at the festival.the event is also schedule to pays tribute to Kannade singer actor Rajkumar with a short screening "Dr Rajkumar - An Analysis of the Phenomenon".