George Town Literary Festival 2021 to explore the spirit of cosmopolitanism and interconnectedness through literature

By TIN Media | Penang News Published 11 months ago on 29 October 2021
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Penang:

George Town Literary Festival’s theme for 2021, Mikro-cosmos, explores the spirit of cosmopolitanism and interconnectedness that endures through literature, language and ideas. From the mundane realm to the cosmological imagination, GTLF 2021: Mikro-cosmos will explore how the wilderness and freedom of  shared creativity is encapsulated and expressed in the diverse literatures of region and beyond. It also consider darker avenues of internationalism and power such as colonialism, imperialism, and extremism. 

GTLF’s latest edition will take place on 25 - 28 November 2021. The festival is directed by Pauline Fan and curated by Izzuddin Ramli, both respected figures in Malaysia’s trove of writers and translators. GTLF is supported by the State Government of Penang and 2021 marks the sixth year GTLF and will be produced by Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB). As with last year’s Festival, GTLF will once again feature mostly online conversations. GTLF 2021 will offer a vast and engaging programme which includes a series of specially curated podcasts and videos in English and Bahasa Malaysia. 
 
The line-up of speakers will feature many Malaysian writers and translators, as well as Southeast Asian and international authors. Notable Malaysian guests for this edition include writer and social activist Marina Mahathir, Sabahan writer Ruhaini Matdarin, Malaysian-Tamil writer M. Navin, and iconic actor Wan Hanafi Su. The regional and international headliners include Indonesian novelist Eka Kurniawan, Japanese writer Minae Mizumura, German poet Jan Wagner, Canadian writer Souvankham Thammavongsa, New Zealand novelist Tina Makereti, Indian writer Meena Kandasamy, and Kenyan-US writer Mukoma Wa Ngugi. 
 
The final line-up at GTLF2021 is expected to comprise at least 70 writers and thinkers. One of GTLF’s main objectives is to reflect on Penang, the home of GTLF, as a vibrant cosmopolitan microcosm of this untamed archipelago — a place where memory takes root, imagination flourishes, and stories come to life. GTLF 2021 also pays tribute to the great Italian poet Dante Alighieri, marking the 700th anniversary of his passing by celebrating his life and work. In collaboration with the Embassy of Italy, they  are also featuring a discussion on Dante with scholar of Italian literature Prof. Giuliana Nuvoli and Italy-based Malaysian writer Masturah Alatas, as well as a conversation with acclaimed British-Italian author and translator, Tim Parks.
 
To celebrate the decade of GTLF that has passed, GTLF is collaborating with Svara journal to produce a special publication called Muara. Taking its name from the Malay word for estuary, Muara is a passage of fluidity and connection, where the river meets the open sea. In these pages, writers engage in ideas and imaginings, interpreting the shifting shoreline of our realities. Featuring essays, lectures, short stories, poetry, book reviews, and translations, Muara gathers established and emerging writers from Malaysia, the region, and the world. The book will be launched in conjunction with GTLF 2021. 
 
The festival is grateful for the continued support from the Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, High Commission of Canada, Goethe-Institut Malaysia, Embassy of France, Embassy of Italy, New Zealand High Commission, EPIGRAM, Nusantara Audiobooks, Tidal61 and other cultural organisations who identify with the festival’s objectives and vision. GTLF remains free for all  members of the public

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