JLF at the British Library: Saturday Pass


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All day Saturday at the London edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival

Jaipur Literature Festival is now sold out

Due to a small electrical fire in our Knowledge Centre Theatre we’re making a few venue changes for Jaipur Literature Festival this weekend. We’re working hard to move the festival’s events around and they’ll now take place across the Library. If you’re a ticketholder, there will be plenty of signage on site and our team will be available to help you find your events. These changes mean some of the venues will be a little smaller than planned so please bear with us as we work to ensure everyone can see the sessions they want.

At the Library JLF Saturday Passes allow in-person access to any of the sessions on Saturday 11 June subject to venue capacity. SEATING IN VENUES IS LIMITED AND YOU ARE ADVISED TO ARRIVE EARLY FOR THE SESSIONS OF YOUR CHOICE.

Many of the sessions will be simultaneously be live-streamed on the British Library platform. JLF Online Saturday Passes will allow access to all live-streamed sessions, to watch either live or within 48 hours on catch up. Viewing links for sessions will be sent out by email shortly before each one commences.

 We are delighted to announce the return of JLF – the London edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival – to the British Library. JLF animates the Library with words, books, music, food and camaraderie, as a packed programme of talks and discussions unfolds in our Piazza Pavilion, Mughal Courtyard of the Durbar Theatre venues.

Saturday's speakers include Gurinder Chadha, Shashi Tharoor, Anita Rani in conversation with Nikita Gill, Irenosen Okojie, Mukulika Banerjee Colin Thubron, Anthony Sattin, Naushad Forbes, John Elliott, John Falconer, Geetanjali Shree, Arunava Sinha, Namita Gokhale, Tripurdaman Singh, Helena Kennedy, Chintan Chandrachud, Antony Beevor, Howard Jacobson, Kris Manjapra, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Karan Thapar, Sanjoy K Roy and Farrukh Dhondy.

Programme may be subject to change. Please check back for latest updates.

Saturday Programme

10:00 Registration opens. Please pick up your wristbands for the day.

10:30 – 11:00 Piazza Pavilion


Morning Music: : Gurbani : Music Meditations

Amrit Kaur Lohia

Presented by the Kamini and Vindi Banga Family Trust


The Struggle and the Promise

Naushad Forbes in conversation with John Elliott
11.15 – 12.15 Piazza Pavilion
What is India’s future? Naushad Forbes is the co-chairman of Forbes Marshall and has written extensively on innovation in developing countries and higher education in India. In The Struggle and the Promise, Forbes examines critical questions concerning the mobilisation of India’s potential, essential innovations and practices for progress, and the promise of future balance and great leadership in the country. In conversation with author and foreign correspondent John Elliot, Forbes discusses the path to unlocking India’s true potential and claiming the reins of the world by example.


A Tale Tells Itself: Tomb of Sand

Geetanjali Shree and Arunava Sinha in conversation with Namita Gokhale
Presented by Rajasthan Tourism
11.15 – 12.15 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
Hindi writer Geetanjali Shree’s acclaimed novel, Ret Samadhi, the recent winner of the 2022 International Booker Prize, is a magnificent story of renewal, rediscovery and exploration in the face of grim odds, damning conventions and irrevocable moments in history. It brings the brilliance of contemporary Hindi literature to a wider readership in its nuanced discussion of boundaries - whether in families, between religions and countries, or in conflicting schools of thought. Daisy Rockwell’s exuberant rendering of the novel in English, Tomb of Sand, has garnered worldwide appreciation. Geetanjali Shree; academic, journalist and the award-winning translator of over seventy books, Arunava Sinha; and writer and Festival Co-Director, Namita Gokhale, discuss Ret Samadhi and the larger landscape of translation.


The Amur River

Colin Thubron in conversation with Anthony Sattin
Presented by Aga Khan Foundation
12:30 – 13:30 Piazza Pavilion
The Amur River forms the highly contested border between Russia and China. It is the most densely fortified frontier on earth and represents the histories of both countries, as well as their unique relationship. Colin Thubron, the laureate of travel writing, follows the dramatic journey of the Amur, from its secret source to an expanse of almost 3,000 miles in his acclaimed book, The Amur River: Between Russia and China. In this astonishing account of an often perilous journey, among diverse peoples, climates and terrain, Thubron reveals the metaphorical depth of the Far East Asian river and an urgent history of global geopolitics. With celebrated author Anthony Sattin, Thubron discusses his masterpiece and an incomparable career in writing.


Mother's Boy: A Writer's Beginnings

Howard Jacobson in conversation with Alexandra Pringle
12:30 – 13:30 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
Booker Prize-winning writer, Howard Jacobson, illuminates the course of his life, the beginnings “as well as the twists and turns” that led to his becoming a writer, in the candid and poignant memoir, Mother’s Boy: A Writer’s Beginnings. In an exploration of the idea of belonging, being both English and Jewish, through the growing pains of childhood, bittersweet memories and experiences as an adult, Jacobson allows a precious window into the mind, motivations and craft of a writer. Jacobson discusses the journey of understanding oneself and becoming “the writer you were meant to be” with publisher Alexandra Pringle.


Hampi through the lens of British Library collections

George Michell in conversation with John Falconer and Malini Roy
12:30 – 13:30 Mughal Courtyard
The kingdom of Vijayanagara established their capital city at Hampi, located along the banks of the Tungabhadra river in southern India in the mid-14th century. Nestled amongst the rugged topography of granite boulders and hills, the extensive palace and religious complex was built over 250 square miles. Although Vijayanagara was abandoned in 1565, many of civic and residential buildings, alongside the Hindu temples and Islamic tombs, are still extant and the site is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The British Library’s Archaeological Survey of India Photographic Collections and other archives provide a rich insight into this incredible place. An exhibition looking at Hampi will be on display at the British Library’s Front Entrance Hall from September 2022.


Russia: Revolution and Civil War 1917-1921

Antony Beevor in conversation with Simon Sebag Montefiore
13:45 – 14:45 Piazza Pavilion
Between 1917 and 1921 a devastating struggle took place in Russia following the collapse of the Tsarist empire. Many regard this savage civil war as the most influential event of the modern era. Using the most up to date scholarship and archival research, Antony Beevor, author of the acclaimed international bestseller Stalingrad, assembles the complete picture in a gripping narrative that conveys the conflict through the eyes of everyone from the worker on the streets of Petrograd to the cavalry officer on the battlefield and the woman doctor in an improvised hospital.


Eastminster, Westminster : Constitutions and their Faultlines

Tripurdaman Singh and Helena Kennedyin conversation with Chintan Chandrachud
13:45 – 15:45 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
Despite shared constitutional heritage and political forms, India’s ‘Eastminster’ democracy has diverged widely from Westminster over the last 75 years. However, recent events such as Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and questions of free speech, dissent and civil liberties in both India and the U.K. have revealed a different picture.


Roots: All Our Stories

Irenosen Okojie and Tessa McWatt in conversation with Elaine Canning
A session that examines the conflicting notions of self and hybridity.
13:45 – 14:45 Mughal Courtyard
Nigerian-British writer, Irenosen Okojie, and Guyanese-born Canadian writer, Tessa McWatt, come together to discuss the many dimensions of identity in their work. Elusive histories, memory, migration and kaleidoscopic ancestries inform their literary explorations of self and society. Okojie is the author of Butterfly Fish and the AKO Caine prize-winning short-story Grace Jones. McWatt is the author of The Snow Line and memoir Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging. Together with writer and editor Elaine Canning, they explore the conflicts of displacement, belonging, and the roots of their writing.


Sustaining the Creative Economy

Piali Ray, Gayatri Rathore, Skinder Hundal and Roly Keating in conversation with Sanjoy Roy
15:00 – 16:00 Piazza Pavilion
The creative economy is an evolving concept which is based on the interplay between human creativity, knowledge, skills and technology. Creative industries are among the most dynamic sectors in the world and are critical to the sustainable development agenda. They stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship, cultural diversity, and provide opportunities for developing countries to leapfrog into emerging, high-growth areas of the global economy. A distinguished panel explores the trade of creative goods and services, effective practices and unique experiences, and the power of ideas and imagination in efforts towards a sustainable, inclusive future.


Pride, Prejudice & Punditry: The Essential Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Pallavi Aiyar
15.00 – 16:00 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
Award-winning writer and politician Shashi Tharoor is the author of 22 books of fiction and non-fiction. His unerring sense of humour lightens the substance of his work, which includes a powerful indictment of colonialism, a philosophical appreciation of the Hindu religion, and hard-hitting political critiques. The recent Pride, Prejudice & Punditry is a collection of essays and pieces that range from the political to personal. In conversation with author and journalist Pallavi Aiyar, Tharoor discusses his ideas, insights, convictions and the many levels at which he engages with the world.


On the Himalayan Trail: Recipes and Stories from Kashmir to Ladakh

Romy Gill in conversation with Shrabani Basu
15:00 – 16:00 Mughal Courtyard
Writer and chef Romy Gill's recent cookbook, On the Himalayan Trail: Recipes and Stories from Kashmir to Ladakh, tells the story of Kashmir and Ladakh's distinctive cuisine, sharing over 80 extraordinary recipes that can be recreated in your own home kitchen. In conversation with author Shrabani Basu, Gill unfurls the heart and soul of Kashmiri and Ladhaki food and cuisine.


Voices of Faith: Poetry to Lure the Divine

Guillermo Rodríguez in conversation with Arunava Sinha and Vayu Naidu
Presented by the Kamini and Vindi Banga Family Trust
16:15 – 17:15 Piazza Pavilion
A session that examines the expression of the personal and the universal in Indian bhakti poetry and by the Spanish mystic, Saint John of the Cross. The dialogue between Indian devotional bhakti poets and the sixteenth century Spanish mystic reveals the universality of poetry as a means for devotees, on culturally diverse spiritual journeys, to ‘partake’ with the Absolute. A recitation of poems by Akkamahadevi (12th century), Ksetrayya (17th century), and St. John of the Cross (16th century), will illuminate the mysterious ties between the physical and the incommensurable, the word and silence, and the universal expressions of faith and longing.


Devil's Advocate

Karan Thapar in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy
In the revealing memoir, Devil’s Advocate, Karan Thapar dives deep into his early life, the worlds of famous friends and foes, and defining encounters in the course of his career. An acclaimed journalist, television presenter and commentator, Thapar shares unique anecdotes, insights, and stunning facts about some of the most influential people in the world. In conversation with Managing Director at Teamwork Arts, Sanjoy K. Roy, Thapar discusses his life and work, no holds barred.


Russia: the Regalia of History

Simon Sebag Montefiore in conversation with Tripurdaman Singh
16:15 – 17:15 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
Bestselling writer and historian, Simon Sebag Montefiore is among the world’s leading experts in Russian history. His books, The Romanovs, Catherine the Great & Potemkin, Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar and Young Stalin have captured its epic proportions - the rise and revolutionary fall of the Romanovs, the intimate lives of tsars and tsarinas, their ideas of empire, and changing political figures and systems of government. Montefiore has argued that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is “a gamble motivated by a desire to restore Russian glory”, a vision embedded in its sweeping past. In conversation with author and academic, Tripurdaman Singh, Montefiore examines Russia’s present ambitions through the lens of a layered history.


Voices of Faith: Poetry to Lure the Divine

Mukulika Banerjee in conversation
16:15 – 17:15 Mughal Courtyard
An illuminating session that ties agrarian values of citizenship and active engagement to the making of a democracy and its formal institutions. Social anthropologist Mukulika Banerjee’s book, Cultivating Democracy: Politics and Citizenship in Agrarian India, presents a remarkable ethnographic study of Indian democracy. Drawing on her long engagement with the micro-politics and day-to-day of two villages in West Bengal, she reveals their impact on the macro-politics of state and nation. Banerjee discusses the roots of cooperation, civility, solidarity and vigilance in agrarian life.


They: What Muslims and Non-Muslims Get Wrong About Each Other

Sarfraz Manzoor in conversation with George Alagiah
17:30 – 18:30 Piazza Pavilion
Sarfraz Manzoor examines the roots of the social and cultural divisions that plague Britain today - at a session based on his crucial work, They: What Muslims and Non-Muslims Get Wrong About Each Other. An acclaimed writer, journalist and broadcaster, Manzoor presents a multidisciplinary and profoundly personal study of the relationship between Muslims and Non-Muslims in modern Britain. In conversation with journalist and television news presenter George Alagiah, Manzoor reveals the cause of “the chasm of mutual distrust” and offers hopeful visions of a time when it will be overcome.


Right Sort of Girl: Anita Rani on Finding her Voice

Anita Rani in conversation with Nikita Gill
17:30 – 18:30 Durbar Theatre (and live online)
Award-winning broadcaster, Anita Rani, is one of the most recognisable faces on British television. She shares priceless lessons on life, positivity, and ambition in her book, The Right Sort of Girl. Humorous, honest and inspiring, it is the coming-of-age story of a woman “trying to navigate her Indian world at home and the British world outside her front door”. In conversation with writer Nikita Gill, Rani reveals the process of chronicling her remarkable experiences, how they helped her find her voice and become a true powerhouse.


DJ Nerm

18:30 – 20:00 Piazza


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Name: JLF at the British Library: Saturday Pass
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546