LLF London 2017

The second annual edition of the Lahore Literary Festival in London, #LLFLondon2017, is now sold out. The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 28, at the British Library’s Knowledge Center.


Morning Sessions

9 a.m. / Registration

9:30 / Welcome address

9:45 – 10:45 / Writings on Pre-Partition Lahore

Lahore, though geographically an interior city, has always been a gateway for strategic trading and pilgrim routes, influencing different empires. This panel explores the city and its fabric, its thriving Hindu, Muslim and Sikh communities under the Raj and before Partition.

· Ved Mehta, acclaimed biographer, journalist, and fiction writer
· Ian Talbot, Professor of British History, Southampton University
· Tahir Kamran, Professor of History at Government College, Lahore
· Chair: Yasmin Khan, Associate Professor, Oxford University

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. / Never Forget

Partition was the single most cataclysmic event in South Asia in the 20th century and accounts of the inter-communal horror, displacement, and loss in 1947 are still being uncovered. How should these stories be told?

· Kamila Shamsie, author, most recently, of Home Fire
· Mirza Waheed, Kashmiri novelist and journalist
· Tahmima Anam, author of The Good Muslim, The Bones of Grace
· Chair: Razia Iqbal, BBC broadcaster

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. / Book Launch: Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English

On the history and rise of Pakistan’s English-language fiction, memoir writing, and poetry.

· Muneeza Shamsie, author of Hybrid Tapestries, critic, and editor
· Aamer Hussein, author of several short-story collections
· Chair: Amina Yaqin, Centre for Contemporary Pakistan, SOAS

12:15 – 1:15 / In the Maze

Our panelists discuss food as a leitmotif of cultural exchange and identity, the shared and mutating recipes, the food bazaars, and the kitchens of modern Pakistan and India.

· Madhur Jaffrey, the world authority on Indian food
· Sumayya Usmani, internationally-published Pakistani food writer
· Chair: Elizabeth Collingham, Associate Fellow, University of Warwick

12:15 – 1:15 / British Library Collections from Pakistan

An introduction to the British Library’s diverse collection of manuscripts, paintings, photographs as well as fascinating records of the East India Company and the India Office.

· Nur Sobers-Khan, Lead Curator for South Asia, British Library
· Sâqib Bâburî, Curator, Persian Manuscripts, British Library
· Layli Uddin, Project Curator, Two Centuries of Indian Print
· Penny Brook, Head of India Office Records, British Library

Afternoon Sessions

2 – 3 / In Conversation with Malala

The world’s youngest Nobel Prize laureate, icon, author, and global activist for girls’ education, Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai speaks with author Kamila Shamsie about the Malala Fund, settling in at Oxford, her favorite books, and more.

3:15 – 4:15 / Life, Love, and Luton

A decade since Sarfraz Manzoor published his acclaimed memoir Greetings from Bury Park, which described his childhood growing up in 80s’ Luton as a working class British-Pakistani Muslim whose life changed the day he discovered the music of Bruce Springsteen. Writer and broadcaster Manzoor discusses Greetings and reflects on the changes in Britain and his own life since the book came out. A word of warning: this session may feature baby photos.

3:15 – 4:15 / Making Lahore Work

During the Raj, figures such as Sir Ganga Ram had a vision of a flourishing modern city unbound by caste and color. This is the story of their philanthropy and campaigns to transform Lahore, and a look at the city then and now.

· Baroness Shreela Flather, Sir Ganga Ram’s great-granddaughter
· Nayyar Ali Dada, Pakistan’s most iconic architect
· Chair: Sarah Ansari, Professor of History, Royal Holloway

4:30 – 5:30 / Pakistan at 70

Far from the chaos and uncertainty of its initial decades, Pakistan celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding in August. And with good cause: Pakistan’s economic and security situations are greatly improved and its institutions are exercising fear-free independence. This panel examines the trajectory the country is on and the internal and external challenges that persist.

· Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the U.N.
· Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former co-chair of the Conservative Party
· Christina Lamb, award-winning journalist and author
· Chair: Owen Bennett-Jones, author of Pakistan: Eye of the Storm

4:30 – 5:30 / Urdu Language’s Uncivil Woman

Exploring the works of the iconoclast and feminist Urdu-language author Ismat Chughtai (1915-1991), whose writings continue to influence authors today.

· Zehra Nigah, acclaimed Urdu-language poet
· Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Professor of History, Forman Christian College
· Chair: Dr. Asif Farrukhi of Habib University and writer, critic, translator

5:45 – 6:45 / Leviathan

A 10-part film conceived and directed by artist Shezad Dawood, Leviathan is an episodic narrative which will unfold over the next three years. The first two parts premiered at two sites at this year’s Venice Biennale. In dialogue with a wide range of marine biologists, oceanographers, political scientists, neurologists, and trauma specialists, Leviathan explores notions of marine welfare, migration, mental health, and their interconnections.

· Shezad Dawood, artist, filmmaker, sculptor
· Vali Malhouji, curator and founder of Archaeology of the Final Decade

5:45 – 6:45 / Crafts beyond Ornamentation

Exploring traditions of the arts and craft in South Asia and how these are viewed in the context of contemporary art, design, and technology.

· Prof. Ashoke Chatterjee, former professor, National Institute of Design
· Adeela Suleman, contemporary artist
· Prof. Shehnaz Ismail of the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture
· Chair: Prof. Salima Hashmi, artist and curator

Evening Performance

7:15 – 9 / A Soulful Journey into Music with Tina Sani

Tina Sani caps off the second annual edition of LLF in London with an unforgettable evening of song. Since she started her career in 1979, Sani has enthralled audiences across the world. She received the President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance Award in 2004, and is currently researching a book on the remarkable music of Pakistan.