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Monday, May 16, 2022
EditorialInspiring LLF

Inspiring LLF

The 10th annual edition of the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) successfully concluded this Sunday after thought-provoking discussions during 27 sessions on myriad topics from fine arts to literature and from climate change to tales of fairyland. This year LLF brought together speakers and performers from eight countries. In fact, LLF explores the dialogue and interface between literature and the arts that shape our cultural, social, economic, and political frameworks. Since its inception, LLF has done an excellent job of promoting intra-disciplinary dialogue not just limited to literature and the arts, including the need to strengthen Pakistan’s academic institutions, talks by many writers, etc. In the light of the declining attention paid to culture and the arts, efforts such as the literary festival are essential to encourage intellectual dialogue on the issues surrounding Pakistani culture, to promote writers and artists and fuel the growth of an educated intelligentsia representing diverse perspectives. In addition to the scheduled sessions, the charm of an event like the LLF is the opportunity and space it provides to people to simply interact and engage in meaningful conversations. A space like this has become increasingly rare in our over securitised society and the value of the cultural and intellectual expression is being steadily eroded.

In this scheme of things, the LLF and events like it take on even more significance. Platforms such as the literary festival assist dialogue and encourage tolerance by facilitating debates and allowing people to recognize and respect the diverse beliefs espoused by the different factions, religions and artistic traditions of the country. The promotion of literature and story-telling aids the ailing state of education and helps support aspiring writers. Although, regrettably, such events were limited in previous years because of the Corona pandemic and security threats to large public gatherings, their resurgence, is a step in the right direction. The event also provides an opportunity to celebrate Lahore’s rich tradition of art, story-telling and philosophy. The literary festival has snowballed into a national phenomenon and hopefully will continue to do so as the future sees the further boom in literary, artistic and intellectual events.

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