The British Council has been collaborating with the partner with the Dhaka Literary Festival (DLF) since its inception as part of Hay-on-Wye Festival International in 2011.
This year the British Council continued its collaboration with Dhaka Lit Festival for the 7th time through an outreach programme and roadshow by bringing British writer, journalist and broadcaster Bee Rowlatt in Dhaka, Andrey Naffis Sahely (poet, critic and translator) and Ameer Hussein (author) for talks and workshops for university students at Chittagong. There were over 250 participants from 18 different countries. To promote and introduce the main program and the three guest authors to the local writers and audiences we arranged the road show “Glimpse of Dhaka Lit Fest 2017” before the actual festival. Furthermore, the British Council organised a session called “A Talk and Discussion on Creative Writing by Andre Naffis-Sahely” at Faujdarhat Cadet College under the ‘Cadet College English Improvement Project’. Andre Naffis-Sahely, one of the renowned contemporary poets and translators, conducted this session and closely engaged with the students and faculty members of the institution. One of authors Bee Rowlatt conducted a workshop on creative writing with the EDGE (English and Digital for Girls’ Education) girls on 15 November at the British Council office in Dhaka University campus. Participants came in from Narsingdi, Tangail and Manikganj. EDGE is a project that has been providing marginalised girls access to English language development and other skills essential to thrive in the 21st century. During the workshop, they learned the vital components of creative writing and how to develop creative writing skills. It was a one-step progression for them.
The strategic partnership that we have with Dhaka Lit Festival over the next three years will enable us to build on the success of this year’s event – broadening our engagement over the year rather than just at the festival. Our programme with the Dhaka Lit Festival will continue throughout the year in collaborations with the British Council libraries and cultural events. By bringing international authors and discussion panels into our premises, we intend to promote our sites as safe spaces for dialogue, critical thinking and freedom of expression. Through our work with DLF committee, we aim to enrich the next generation of Bangladeshi leaders and strengthen their link with the UK, while also making Bangladeshi literature accessible in the UK.