The Word

In Melbourne 2017

Melbourne Writers Festival joins forces with Jaipur Literature Festival to present JLF Melbourne, an exciting pop-up festival with a difference.

JLF Melbourne is a celebration of the written and spoken word, featuring internationally acclaimed writers and thinkers from India and Australia. In an extraordinary presentation of talks, performances, music and poetry at Fed Square, JLF Melbourne is an exploration of culture, migration, identity and gender issues, politics, the environment, travel and history.
Connecting South Asia’s and Australia’s unique identities, the festival brings ‘the greatest literary show on Earth’ to Australia’s City of Literature. With stimulating discussions and live performances, experience the best of South Asian and Australian writing and ideas at JLF Melbourne. The two-day celebration is held in collaboration with Melbourne Writers Festival, Teamwork Arts, Fed Square and Arts Centre Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA.

  • 11 February, Saturday
  • 6:30 PM onwards
  • Gala: India Now
  • Welcome Dance
  • Welcome speeches
  • Keynote by Sanjeev Sanyal
  • Spoken word to close night (Sampurna and Sofia)
  • Party follows

12th February, Sunday

  • 10:00 - 11:00 AM Deakin Edge
    Weaving Womens Narratives
    Namita Gokhale, Rakhshanda Jalil and Michelle Cahill
    Chair: Natalie Kon-yu

    Women’s writing in India spans centuries and millenia. In a session on womens narratives, the cumulative impact of these writings is examined with specific reference to some landmark and iconic books by women writers in the last century.

  • 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM Deakin Edge
    Present Tense: The Way of the World
    Sanjeev Sanyal, George Megalogenis, Suvendrini Perera and Supriya Singh
    Chair: Raf Epstein

    We live in times of constant change. As political certainties crumble and polarities assert themselves across the world, panelists from India and Australia examine political and social realities and the context of the changes around us.

  • 12:30 - 01:15 PM Deakin Edge
    The Untrod Path: Writing Travel
    Mishi Saran, Namita Gokhale,and Catherine Anderson
    Chair: Sunil Badami

    In a suddenly shrunken planet,the conventions of travel writing are being challenged by more experiential insider accounts. Four panelists speak of their very different approaches to recording and sharing their journeys.

  • 01:45 - 02:45 PM Deakin Edge
    Gender and the Spaces in Between
    Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Raina Peterson, Sally Goldner
    Chair: Benjamin Law
  • 03:00 - 04:00 PM Deakin Edge
    The Voice and the Word
    Sampurna Chatterji, Omar Musa, Sofia Ashraf
    Chair: Jessica Alice

    Blurring the lines between poetry, writing and performance, four powerful speakers recite their recent work and discuss why and how they wrote it.

  • 04:15 - 05:15 PM Deakin Edge
    From the Margins to the Mainland
    Sudeep Chakravarthi, Tony, Benjamin Law and Roanna Gonsalves
    Chair: Jamila Rizvi

    In India, as in Australia, voices that have been silenced and marginalised gain strength and resonance and find their way into the mainstream. Panelists discuss age old strategies of suppression and the acts of literary assertion that counter them.

  • 10:30 - 11:30 AM Atrium Stage
    The Near and The Far: Readings
    Jennifer Down, Amarlie Foster, Omar Musa and Laura Stortenbeker

    Writers from The Near and the Far: New Stories from the Asia-Pacific Region, a book that bridges the gaps between Asia, Australia, and the world, read from their stories.

  • 12:00 - 1:00 PM Atrium Stage
    Tales of Magic and Mystery
    John Zubrzycki, Sam Angelico and Rosanna Maccaronne

    India has a history of magic stretching back centuries. Researcher John Zubrzycki explores some of the extraordinary stories and unbelievable feats of India’s magical heritage, followed by a performance of an amazing selection of tricks by renowned illusionists Sam Angelico and Rosanna Maccaronne.

  • 1:15 - 2:15 PM Atrium Stage
    Writing Our Melbourne: Readings
    Aparna Ananthuni, Rashmi Patel, Chetna Prakash and Meelee Soorkia

    Writing Our Melbourne is an immersive story telling experience by the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office created especially for JLF Melbourne.

    In this conversation, Writing Our Melbourne’s editor Meelee Soorkia and the writers of the featured stories examine the question, ‘What is our Melbourne?’

    The writers will also read from their stories.
    Kritika • Now

  • 2:30 - 3:30 PM Atrium Stage
    JLF Reading Salon
    Michelle Cahill, Sudeep Chakravarti, Roanna Gonsalves and Rakshanda Jalil

    Join Indian and Australian writers as they read from their latest works

  • 3:45 - 4:45 PM Atrium Stage
    Performing Poetry: Body as Text
    Michelle Cahill, Sridhar Chari, Priya Srinivasan and Uthra Vijay

    Watch, listen, absorb and interact with Priya Srinivasan as she performs Michelle Cahill’s poetry, using her body as a canvas for words to flow through. With the help of classical Carnatic musicians from Melbourne, including vocalist Uthra Vijay and flautist Sridhar Chari, Srinivasan asks audiences to reimagine the relationship of the written word to sound, melody and the female body in motion.


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