LLF New York 2024

The Lahore Literary Festival (LLF), one of South Asia’s premier cultural events, returns to Asia Society New York on April 27, 2024, exploring contemporary Pakistan through artists, writers, and other experts. The festival will present American audiences with a more nuanced view of Pakistan, with discussions on fiction and nonfiction writing, art, architecture, history, and politics. This year’s Festival in New York features engaging conversations on a wide variety of topics ranging from cinema in Lahore to combatting climate change, from the literature of Manto to designing our ideal cityscapes.

The Lahore Literary Festival in New York 2024 is presented in association with the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA).

This is a ticketed event.

LLF, founded by Razi Ahmed in 2012, aims to reclaim Lahore’s cultural significance and influence. A global city under the 12th century Sultanate, a capital of the Mughal Empire under Akbar, and a cradle of the modern Punjabi civilization under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Lahore has fired the imagination of artists for centuries, inspiring global literature and thought from Milton’s Paradise Lost to Kipling’s Kim to Massenet’s Opera Le Roi de Lahore to John Masters’ Bhowani Junction. The LLF’s efforts in Lahore have led to the city being declared a City of Literature by UNESCO.


11 – 11:45 a.m.

Cinema as a Vector

  • Iftikhar Dadi (Professor in History of Art at Cornell University)
  • Moderator: Sonal Khullar (Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania)

Iftikhar Dadi, Professor in History of Art at Cornell University, discusses his latest work Lahore Cinema: Between Fable and Realism; a book that explores the impact of cinema in Lahore on the modernization of society. Comprising clips and images, the session gives a panorama of the vibrancy of films during the early decades since Pakistan’s independence. The conversation is moderated by Sonal Khullar, Professor of South Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

12 – 12:45 p.m.

Evergreen Manto

  • Nasreen Rehman (Historian, translator, writer and activist)
  • Moderator: Saeed Naqvi (translator and writer)

Historian Nasreen Rehman has translated the stories of Saadat Hasan Manto. Manto is widely recognized as one of South Asia’s best short-story writers, known for his chiseled prose covering the trauma of the 1947 partition, the hypocrisy of clergy, and the peculiarities of everyday life in Lahore as it recovered from the violence of 1947. The conversation is moderated by translator and writer Saeed Naqvi

1 – 1:30 p.m.

Sacred Depictions

  • Murad Mumtaz Khan (Professor of Art History at Williams College)

Art historian Murad Mumtaz Khan, in his work Faces of God: Images of Devotion in Indo-Muslim Painting1500–1800 presents the subcontinent’s visual language, from the Mughal era to the Pahari style of painting, of portraying rituals of devotion.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Lunch Break

2:30 – 3:15 p.m.

Writing Our Lives

  • Sorayya Khan (novelist; City of SpiesFive Queen’s Road, and Noor, and memoirist; We Take Our Cities with Us)
  • Tahira Naqvi (translator, writer, and Clinical Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University)
  • Dur e Aziz Amna (novelist, American Fever, essayist)
  • Moderator: Dr. Azra Raza  

Working across a patchwork of cultures and continents, writers Sorayya KhanTahira Naqvi, and Dur e Aziz Amna share their insights on how their personal memories and dislocations shape the characters in their novels in a conversation moderated by Dr. Azra Raza. 

3:30 – 4:15 p.m.

Embracing the Storm: Climate Perspectives for a Changing World 

  • Saleem Ali (Chair and Professor, Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences, University of  Delaware and a member of the United Nations International Resource Panel);
  • Shazia Rafi (President and Convenor, AirQualityAsia);
  • Moderated by Farwa Aamer (Director of South Asia Initiatives at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI))

Three experts on environment discuss the shifting tides of climate change in South Asia. This session addresses themes in the COAL + ICE exhibition and series of programs at Asia Society, Feb. 13-Aug. 11, 2024, designed to provoke thought and action on climate change.

4:30 – 5:15 p.m.

The Ideal Citizens’ City?

  • Molly Crabapple (artist, writer, contributing editor, Vice)
  • Noah Chasin (Professor, Columbia GSAPP; writer, critic)
  • Moderated by Madeeha Merchant (architect and systems engineer, Research Associate, Columbia University Spatial Information Design Lab)

Artist and writer Molly Crabapple shares her perspective on how our present cities enable creativity as resistance with Noah Chasin, Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture in the Urban Design program at Columbia GSAPP. Madeeha Merchant, architect and systems engineer and Research Associate at Columbia University’s Spatial Information Design Lab, moderates.

LLF New York 2024 Program