ABC of GLF! #gujlitfest
Gujarat Literature Festival or GLF or #gujlitfest is the first and most popular literary festival of Gujarat. The free annual festival, focused on young readers and creators is now five seasons old and includes all forms and mediums, used to express literary creativity. We believe, literature is not bound between the covers of a book, but blooms in a free environment, in myriad forms, languages and mediums. This festival has room for all of them. It aspires to celebrate book writers, poets and playwrights, film writers, lyricists, bloggers, journalists, social media writers and other genres that use literary creativity.
Though focused on Gujarati writers and literary creators, the festival is by no means either limited to, or defined by one language. In the five years, it has seen programming in English, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, Bengali, Malayali, Rajasthani and more.
#gujlitfest is an event that brings together, under one roof and on a single platform, ideas and written work. It also brings in passionate and action-based reading, philosophy, story-tellers and their imaginative worlds of characters, novelists, poets, ghazalkars, an up-close moment with folk artistes, and not-to-be-missed sessions by film writers and lyricists. You will also witness the world of blogging and social media debaters come alive in front of you. With a diversity of languages and multiplicity of mediums, #gujlitfest is a walk through the hardbound and virtual world of literary creativity.
All the seasons of #gujlitfest, which is a free festival, have been held in Ahmedabad. Free thought is the cornerstone of a sensitive society and vibrant democracy. With this overriding belief, #gujlitfest brings the best minds from across the world on a platform that provides free debates, discussions, dialogues and informal interactions, on and off stage.
We are a bunch of literary enthusiasts without any literary pretentions or pedantic affectations. This gives us the ability to see literature from perspective of the enthusiasts and interpret it better for people like us. Our love for literary activities brought us together to use our diverse abilities to build a lasting literary event. A penchant for reading and the ever-growing intriguing world of literature pushed us to ideate, conceptualise and put in action #gujlitfest. We are also aiming towards crafting this platform for young authors and readers to flourish.
Former editor, journalism educator and a political analyst, Shyam Parekh has an experience of over 25 years in mainstream news media. He was the Resident Editor of DNA, Ahmedabad, and in the past worked with many newspapers. He specialised in environment reporting and disaster chasing, in addition to extensive election coverage. A student of literature, he is deeply interested in understanding the space, science, technology, nature and environment. Shyam was nurturing a secret dream of building a literature festival and a journalism school in Gujarat, for years.
Samkit Shah is a first generation entrepreneur who draws from his personal depths of eternal curiosity to bring a refreshing outlook to #gujlitfest. He is the CEO of Linguastic, a company that offers multiple language related services in over 40 languages. When urban life gets difficult, he goes on stage as a stand-up comedian for some retribution. He is also an ardent traveller and an effervescent optimist.
Jumana Shah is a former editor who has spent 15 years in mainstream journalism in India. She has worked for newspapers, broadcast and digital medium for news and investigative stories. She has worked with India Today TV, Ahmedabad Mirror (Times of India Group) and Daily News and Analysis (DNA).
Her body of work includes prolific political analysis, reporting on environment-wildlife, Crime, and columns ‘Obtuse Angle’ and ‘Socialight’ in DNA.
Jumana is an Adjunct Faculty at AURO University, Surat and a consultant to educational institutes to adapt their curriculum to evolving technologies for newsrooms. She is an advisor for a Hungary-based international media company.
A Martial Arts exponent, fond of travelling and an adventure sports junkie, she is a certified scuba diver, and a keyboard evangelist for saving marine environment
Niharika Shah is an art curator and heritage management professional, who heads the prestigious gallery at the Kanoria Centre for Arts (KCA). She has also anchored many a TV shows in the past. With a zest to bring people closer to their mother tongue Niharika has played a pivotal role in shaping #gujlitfest.
An author, poet and a institution in himself, Rajendra Patel is a one man army who has worked single-handedly to give birth to an author and a poet out of many a literary enthusiasts in Guajrat. A pharma entrepreneur by profession, he is known for Gandhian model of running his business. He revolutionised reading and publishing in Gujarati by introducing‘Pustak Parab’, a first ever system for sharing books for free. He is also a founder of Matrubhasha Abhiyaan and a vice-president of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad.
A playwright, director and a flag-bearer of Gujarati theatre, Aditiben has directed some of the most fascinating plays that Gujarati theatre has witnessed. The list includes, ‘Kasturba’, ‘Akupar’, ‘Samudra-Manthan’ and ‘Dhaad’. She is also founder of Jashwant Thaker Memorial Foundation (JTMF) which promotes theatre.
The leading light of Gujarati Cinema, Abhishek is multi-faceted and brings in the flavor of cinema, cinema writing and approach to the festival.
R J DEVAKI
The radio diva of Gujarat, R J Devaki is one of the finest Gujarati speakers and theatre personalities. Her enthusiasm and interest in theatre has enticed many of the next generation to the theatre.