The seventh edition of Dhaka Literary Festival, known as Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF), kicked off on Bangla Academy premises in the capital on Thursday.
Paris-based Syrian poet Adonis, considered one of the most influential Arabic poets of modern times, opened the festival at 11:00am.
Bangla Academy director general (DG) Shamsuzzaman Khan and Dhaka Lit Fest directors Sadaf Saaz, Kazi Anis Ahmed and Ahsan Akbar also joined hands during its inaugural ceremony.
Earlier, the Bangla Academy DG read out a written speech of Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor.
In his written speech, Noor said, “The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman believed that country’s development will not be possible without enriching literature and culture”. Shamsuzzaman said, “There is a glorious history of our Bangla language.
Such international event of Literature will further enrich our Bangla literature.”
DLF director Sadaf Saaz said, “Dhaka Lit Fest is being held for seventh time and this reflects continuous success of all us. We are getting wide response from writers, visitors and publishing houses from both home and abroad.”
At the inaugural session at Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad auditorium, Adonis, whose real name is Ali Ahmad Saeed, said, “The identity is not something that you inherited, rather identity is something that you produced by your own work.”
The session was conducted by litterateur and translator Kaiser Haque while Professor Ashraful Huq Chowdhury was present as the translator of Adonis’s speech from French.
A large number of Bangladeshi writers and artistes along with over 200 writers, poets, performers, publishers and journalists, representing 24 countries are taking part in the three-day literary extravaganza.
The Bangladeshi writers and artistes include Imdadul Haq Milon, Syed Manzoorul Islam, Helal Hafiz, Selina Hossain, Aly Zaker, Anisul Hoque and Firdous Azim. Along with the foreign writers, they will take part in numerous panels.
This year, the festival will focus on free speech, plights of Rohingya community, women’s rights issues and a number of important debates surrounding overarching historical issues, according to the DLF directors.