BLF 2021

BLF 2021

HEARTLAND STORIES encourages the narration of individual as well as collective stories so as to unlock those hidden human emotions that are intrinsic to all of us and which bind our spirits together. This togetherness is the powerful force that can be evoked to transform the lone individual into the powerful collective. This is where words written would find voice, silence would find expression and darkness would be illuminated - so as to touch and kindle the soul of every individual, every collective, every society. Heartland Stories are those stories that stimulate the intellect and provoke detailed discussion and candid dialogue.

Inspired by the glorious traditions and rich history of Central India - stories from the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sanchi (close to the Heliodorus Pillar and the Udaygiri Caves) and Bhimbhedka, the enticing and mysterious jungles of Central India, the upsurge of traditional and contemporary arts: epics writers like Kalidas; literary giants like Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Hari Shankar Parsai and Subhadra Kumari Chauhan; artists like SH Raza, MF Husain and NS Bendre; musicians like Tansen, Ustad Allauddin Khan and Kumar Gandharv - and the common desire to foster an environment of culture, the Society for Culture and Environment has planned an annual event: The Bhopal Literature and Art Festival.

Bhopal is the city of Raja Bhoja, the Gond Rani Kamlapati and the Nawab Begums of Bhopal. It has seen the rise of Emperor Ashoka and Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Dotted with gardens, its historic palaces and their floral interiors provide rare insights into the aesthetic and cultural finesse of those times. The unfolding of history is reflected in its diverse architecture, its beautiful lakes and its serene multicultural ethos.

 

Partnered by Sahitya Akademi, the national literature organization, the Society for CUlture and Environment has carefully crafted this five-day online extravaganza.

SAHITYA AKADEMI, India's National Academy of letters, is the central institution for literary dialogue, publication and promotion and the only institution that undertakes literary activities in 24 Indian languages, including English. Over the 64 years of its dynamic existence, it has ceaselessly endeavored to promote healthy reading habits, to keep alive the intimate dialogue among the various linguistic and literary zones and groups through seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances.


Events

Events &
Program Schedule

Note: Schedule is subject to changes
Disclaimer : The speakers are solely responsible for the views expressed by them during the festival and the society is not liable for them.
5:30 PM

Welcome Address by Dr Meera Dass, Secretary - Society for Culture & Environment,   Co-Director - Heartland Stories

5:35 PM

Inaugural Address by Mr Raghav Chandra, President - Society for Culture & Environment, Director - Heartland Stories

5:45 PM

BLF Flashback Video Clip

5:50 PM

Announcement of Sushila Devi Book Award 2021 for the Best Fiction by a Woman Author published in 2019. Launch of Anuradha Kumar Jain's book: Written on the Wind    

6:00 PM

Title: Challenges to Environmental and Wildlife Conservation

Session: Prof. Reuven Yosef in conversation with noted environmentalists Madhu Verma and Bharati Chaturvedi

7:00 PM

Title: The Incredible Civil Service Journey

Session: Noted Author Civil Servant Kush Verma in conversation with distinguished civil servants Deepak Gupta and BS Baswan

6:00 PM

Title: Storytelling in Times of Crisis

Session: Museum Scholar and Art Historian Ina Ross in conversation with renowned artists Atul Bhalla, Amitesh Grover, Johanna Schlegel and Franziska Rattay 

7:00 PM

Title: The Art of Storytelling

Session: Authors Atima Mankotia and Sumit Mullick in conversation with Novelist Kunal Basu on the art of storytelling through his novels
 

6:00 PM

Title: Wartime Stories

Session: War Biographer and Novelist Vee Walker in conversation with Seema Raizada of Club Literati

7:00 PM

Title: Recreating Voices from the Past

Session: Historian Writer Manu Pillai in conversation with Author Tino de Sa and Seema Raizada of Club Literati

6:00 PM

Title: Lens on the past

Session: Indian History and Heritage Writers Giles Tillotson and John Zubrzycki in conversation with Rima Hooja

7:00 PM

Title: Reflections about Home and Identity

Session: Award Winning Novelist Annie Zaidi in conversation with author Sukrita Paul Kumar and Professor Nirmalya Samant

6:00 PM

Title: Urban Planning Myths and Imperatives

Session: Urban Expert and Author Sameer Sharma in conversation with Hitesh Vaidya Director of the NIUP and Prof Sanjay Gupta of SPA 

7:00 PM

Title: Taming the Dragon

Session: Brig Sanjay Agarwal, (Retd) in conversation with War Historian Shiv Kunal Verma

6:00 PM

Welcome address by Mr Raghav Chandra - President, Society for Culture & Environment    

6:05 pm

Inaugural address by Mr Sheoshekhar Shukla - Principal Secretary - Culture, GoMP    

6:10 pm

Saraswati Vandana by Gundecha Bandhu - Opening performance at BLF 2019  

6:25 pm

Title: Bagh Paintings by Nandalal Bose at State Museum, Bhopal
Session: Presentation and discussion by Dr K K Chakravarty, Mr P K Mishra and Dr Meera Dass

7: 15PM

Title: Film - Bhajju
Session: Mr Bhajju Shyam in conversation with Ms Rachita Gorowala

7:55 pm

Title: Mankotias and Upswing
Session: Snippets of Performance at BLF 2019

6:00 PM

Saraswati Vandana by Kalapini Komkali - Opening Performance at BLF 2020 

6:15 PM

Title: Maharajah of the Skies
Session: Presentation by Dr Meera Dass. Discussion Dr Meera Dass, Ms Uttara Parikh, Ms Meenakshi Dua and  Ms Ajooni Bhogal

7:00 PM

Title: Wild Wonders - Rajesh Bedi and Naresh Bedi
Session: Presentation by Ms Shailaja Srinivasan. Dr Meera Dass in conversation with Mr Abhilash Khandekar

7:35 pm

Title: Shefali Rashid
Session: Snippets of Performance at BLF 2019

Bagh Paintings by Nandalal Bose at State Museum, Bhopal - Presentation and discussion by Dr K K Chakravarty, Mr Praveen Kumar Mishra and Dr Meera Dass
Rajesh Bedi and Naresh Bedi - Dr Meera Dass in conversation with Mr Abhilash Khandekar
Rajesh Bedi and Naresh Bedi - Presentation by Ms Shailaja Srinivasan
Maharajah of the Skies - Presentation by Dr Meera Dass. Discussion Dr Meera Dass, Uttara Parikh, Meenakshi Dua and Ajooni Bhogal
Maharajah of the Skies - Presentation by Dr Meera Dass. Discussion Dr Meera Dass, Uttara Parikh, Meenakshi Dua and Ajooni Bhoga
Maharajah of the Skies - Presentation by Dr Meera Dass. Discussion Dr Meera Dass, Uttara Parikh, Meenakshi Dua and Ajooni Bhogal
Maharajah of the Skies - Presentation by Dr Meera Dass. Discussion Dr Meera Dass, Uttara Parikh, Meenakshi Dua and Ajooni Bhogal
Bhaijju shyam conversation with Rachita Gorewala
Launch of Anuradha Kumar Jain's Book - Written on the Wind
Taming the Dragon - Brig sanjay Agarwal, (Rtid) in conversation with War Historian Shiv Kunal Verma

2021 SUSHILA DEVI AWARD – for the BEST BOOK of FICTION written by a WOMAN AUTHOR published in 2019

The Ratanlal Foundation and the organizing Committee of the Bhopal Literature and Art Festival are happy to announce the 2021 Sushila Devi Award for the Best Book of Fiction Written by a Woman author published in 2019. This prize has been instituted by the Shri Ratanlal Foundation. The winner is Avani Doshi’s Girl in White Cotton.

The Jury chaired by Prof Malashri Lal included Dr Sukrita Paul Kumar and Prof GJV Prasad concluded that:

Based on a sensitive portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship, Avni Doshi’s  novel Girl in White Cotton explores the interiority of memory and the landscape of psychological warping. Writing with admirable restraint, even when depicting the intense emotions at play, Doshi touches on vital issues in contemporary times such as intergenerational troubles, freedom of choice, and the urgency of desire. It raises questions about identity and belonging and the strange ways in which familial love can become a mask for hate and deception. Rapier sharp in its incisive vocabulary, the narrative unfolds its secrets through delicate layers covering a brittle core of remembrances.

 

The jury was pleased to note the high quality of fiction submitted for the award this year. 

 

This Award carries a cash prize of 2 lakh INR. 

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The Society for Culture & Environment will hold the fourth edition of 'Heartland Stories — Bhopal Literature and Art Festival 2022 as a physical cum virtual event, between 25-27th March 2022.

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