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Virtual stage set for JLF 2021 from Feb 19 to 28

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The Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 will take place from 19th – 28th February
on an exclusive virtual platform

Chilly mornings filled with music; decked up Diggi palace teeming with book lovers and illustrious authors from all over the world, literary sessions brimming with the audience, art, culture, and literature celebrated with great enthusiasm – Jaipur Literature Festival is indeed the Kumbh Mela of Literature.

Putting to rest the doubts if JLF 2021 would be held online or offline; dates were announced in January for the virtual festival starting from February 19 to go on till February 28. And what is lost in the way of not being able to attend the festival at the amazing Diggi Palace in Jaipur will be made up with an amazing line up of speakers; 300 of them and performers ‘representing around 25 Indian and 18 international languages and over 23 nationalities as well as major literary awards ranging from the Nobel, the Man Booker, the Pulitzer, the Sahitya Akademi, DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, JCB Prize for Literature.’

During a press conference, author and JLF Co-Director Namita Gokhale said, The virtual edition of Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 is an absorbing immersive experience where we encounter an outstanding roster of great writers from around the world. It could be called a living library, or indeed a library of life. The challenges and disruptions of 2020 have transformed into the triumphs of 2021.”

“We hope to enhance the online digital experience and capture an essence of the colour and diversity represented by Diggi Palace, the home of this vibrant edition of the festival,” shared Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, the producer of JLF.

Keynote Address:

The inaugural keynote address will be on The Art of Innovation by Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive of the Science Museum Group and Dr Tilly Blyth, Head of Collections and Principal Curator, Science Museum, London, at 10 am, February 19, 2021.

Speakers for the virtual festival include:

  • American business magnate and co-founder of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates
  • American economist, public policy analyst and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz
  • Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai
  • Man Booker Prize-winning author Douglas Stuart
  • Journalist and Pulitzer awardee Jeffrey Gettleman…


  • Author and columnist Shobhaa De will be in conversation with actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas over her autobiography, ‘Unfinished’
  • Namita Gokhale and Malashri Lal’s co-authored play ‘Betrayed by Hope’ follows the chequered life of poet and writer extraordinaire Michael Madhusudan Dutt. Gokhale and Lal will be in conversation with actor and multidisciplinary artist Oroon Das and explore the paradoxes of Dutt’s life and work.
  • A special session titled ‘The Connections and Disconnections Between India and China’, will have William Dalrymple and Director of the Center for Global Asia and Professor of History, NYU Shanghai, Tansen Sen will fill the gaps in the narratives tying the regions, breaking through traditional conceptions of understanding India-China connections and proposing new ways to explore historical and contemporary relations.
  • Patrick Radden Keefe, an award-winning staff writer for The New Yorker, will give a glimpse into his writing process and the source of his inspirations, in conversation with author and literary editor Finton O’Toole.
  • A powerful narrative on the stark realities of climate change, We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by award-winning author Jonathan Safran Foer takes a hard-hitting look at the day-to-day human contribution to the unfolding environmental catastrophe.
  • Sport and a billion dreams: 2021 is a huge sporting year with the postponed Olympics and Paralympics and the men’s World Cup scheduled back-to-back. The women’s World Cup is also less than a year away in February 2022. India’s best athletes and para-athletes like Pullela Gopichandand Mansi Joshi, in conversation with renowned author and sports journalist Boria Majumdar who has documented their stories in his books on cricket and Olympic sport.

Early Morning Music:

  • Singer-songwriter from Srinagar Ali Safuddin, known throughout the valley for his magnetic and captivating voice that amplifies the plight of his people and the cultural heritage of the Kashmiri community
  • Versatile and popular singer Harpreet; HimaliMouwho sing ‘Pahaadi’ or mountain folk music from Uttarakhand
  • Internationally acclaimed performer, composer, cultural entrepreneur and music educator Shubhendra Rao
  • UK-based vocalist and composer Supriya Nagarajan; popular Hindustani classical vocalist Ujwal Nagar.

Jaipur Music Stage:

  • The Anirudh Varma Collective, a contemporary Indian classical ensemble led by Delhi-based pianist, composer and producer, Anirudh Varma\
  • Belonging: a Belfast-Kolkata online musical collaboration featuring Jason O’Rourkeand Deepmoy Day
  • Singer-songwriter, producer and accomplished acoustic guitarist from New Delhi DhruvVisvanath
  • The popular Kutle Khan Project
  • Renowned Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur
  • BBC NI/Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Young Musician Platform Award-winning singer Jack Warnock.

The programme:


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