Karachi Literature Festival 2012

Launched in 2010, the annual Karachi Literature Festival is open to all and free. The first of its kind in Pakistan, it brings together and celebrates Pakistani and international authors writing in languages such as Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Seraiki, English, German and French. It features creative writing workshops, debates/discussions, lectures, Mushairah (Urdu poetry jam), a book fair, book launches, readings, signings, interactive story-telling for children, music/theatre performances, and more.

Author Samina Quraishi at the Karachi Literature Festival

The Karachi Literature Festival also celebrates music, dance and theater arts, which are often connected to literature.  The 2011 Festival began with a homage to Amir Khusro by Sheema Kermani’s group, featured Ajoka Theatre's performances of sections of Shahid Nadeem’s Bulha (Punjabi play) and Dara, (Urdu play) and culminated with a tribute to Faiz Ahmed Faiz in the year of his 100th birth anniversary. The Faiz tribute featured literary and music favourites like Zehra Nigah, Tina Sani, Laal (band), Raza Rumi and Ali Sethi.

Writer/blogger Raza Rumi with Naz Ikramullah

Puppet Show

In 2012  film screenings were added to the Festival's already diverse line-up of events. The screenings included a discussion/Q &A with the films directors.  To celebrate the birth bicentennial of Charles Dickens this year, Owen Calvert-Lyons of the Arcola Theatre and Peter Higgin of Punchdrunk Enrichment from the UK, presented a theatrical session inspired by "The Uncommercial Traveller," Dickens' "account of (among other things) his wanderings around London."  To celebrate the birth centennial of Saadat Hasan Manto we organized a talk by his niece and renowned historian, Ayesha Jalal.

Director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy doing a Q&A with the audience after showing her recent film "Saving Face"