British Council

Thursday 07 November 2019 to Saturday 09 November 2019

Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF or Dhaka Literary Festival) - held at the historic premises of the Bangla Academy every year since 2012 - marks a resurgence of Bangladeshi literary culture, while vigorously engaging other cultures far beyond our own borders. Dhaka Lit Fest began its journey with a pilot event in 2011, under the aegis of the world-famous Hay-on-Wye festival. 

The British Council has been collaborating with Dhaka Lit Fest since its inception as part of Hay Festival International in 2011. We are pleased to watch it grow into an independent festival hosted on the historic Bangla Academy grounds, bringing together Bangladeshi and international literary influencers to an audience of 20,000 annually. As the largest international literary platform in Bangladesh, the Dhaka Lit Fest builds on 2,000 years of literary and cultural heritage. This is achieved through encouraging new writers and readers, creating a safe space for all kinds of discussion and dialogue and developing a catalyst for future literary endeavors via showcasing and connections.

The British Council continued its collaboration with Dhaka Lit Fest through fringe events and roadshow by bringing British authors for talks and workshops in Dhaka and in Chattogram. By working with Dhaka Lit Fest, 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 by bringing authors and discussions to our premises. We hope that like Dhaka Lit Fest, our sites will be taken as safe spaces for dialogue, critical thinking and freedom of expression. 

Venue:  Bangla Academy, Suharwardy Udyan Road, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

This year, we are supporting three UK authors at Dhaka Lit Fest 2019 and will be organising several workshops and talks with them. To learn more about the UK authors we are supporting, please see below.

Curtis Jobling is the designer of worldwide hit television show Bob the Builder, and international best-selling author of numerous children’s books. In addition to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Film Awards winning Bob the builder, his own animated series, Frankenstein’s Cat and Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, can both be seen on the BBC. His epic series of fantasy novels, Wereworld, was published by Penguin Random House around the globe, the first novel, Rise of the Wolfbeing shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize. A champion of reading for pleasure, Curtis visits schools around the world providing unique talks, workshops and learning experiences that cover literacy, media and art. Find him on Twitter @curtisjobling.

Workshop topic Date Time Venue
Writing workshop 7 November 2019 09.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. British Council Dhaka, 5 Fuller Road, Dhaka 1000

Jan Blake is a leading storyteller who has been performing worldwide for over 30 years. Specialising in stories from Africa and the Caribbean, she has a reputation for dynamic and generous storytelling. Her highlights include being resident storyteller at Hay Festival, curating Shakespeare’s Stories in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and touring the award-winning The Old Woman, the Buffalo, and the Lion of Manding about the Malian hero king Sundiata Keita. Besides regularly performing for children in school settings, she works with teachers to help them become better storytellers in the classroom. In the Winter Wood, inspired by winter stories from around the world was commissioned by Polka Theatre and Apples and Snakes, and premiered in 2018. Find her on Twitter @akuajan.

Workshop topic Date Time Venue
Storytelling session 10 November 2019 10.00 a.m. to 01.00 p.m. British Council Dhaka, 5 Fuller Road, Dhaka 1000

 Yara Fowler Rodriguez is a British Brazilian novelist who grew up in South London. Her first novel, Stubborn Archivist, was called “stunning” by Olivia Laing, “visceral and elegant” by Claire-Louise Bennett and “breathtakingly written” by Nikesh Shukla. Yara was named one of The Observer’s new faces of fiction in 2019 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. Yara is also a trustee of Latin American Women’s Aid, an organisation that runs the only two refuges in Europe for and by Latin American women. She is writing her second novel now, for which she has received the John C Lawrence Award from the Society of Authors. Find her on Twitter @yazzarf.

Workshop topic Date Time Venue
Writing workshop and talk 10 November 2019 01.30 p.m. to 04.00 p.m. Asian University for Women, 20/A, M.M. Ali Road, Chattogram 4000
Writing workshop 11 November 2019 11.00 a.m. to 01.00 p.m. International Islamic University Chattogram, Kumira, Chattogram 4318
Writing workshop 11 November 2019 03.00 p.m. to 04.30 p.m. British Council Chattogram, Rafique Tower, Floor 8, 92 Agrabad, Chattogram 4100