The Tasveer South Asian Litfest, for which I worked as a curator and consultant the last few months, has just started, and you can watch it from anywhere in the world with a free registration. please please come register (and attend) if you can!
This is a six-day-long event with a panel every evening during the weekdays, and a few more during the afternoon on the weekend. The panel I am moderating called Dalitness in Diaspora takes place tomorrow evening, and on Saturday at noon I’m one of the panelists on Plural Worlds, Plural Futures: South Asian Speculative Fiction. Following my panel on Saturday is The World that Belongs to Us: Queer Poetry from South Asia, which I partly helped curate with some of my favourite diasporic poets. And on Sunday morning there is Not Just ABCD: A New Generation in Young Adult and Children’s Literature, which I didn’t curate myself but I came up with the excellent punny title. (What? It is excellent, right?)
Tasveer is physically located in Seattle, so the time on the event posters is all for the West Coast. Dalitness in diaspora is at 9 pm in New York for me tomorrow, so in India it would be 6:30 am on Friday morning. And then, on Saturday afternoon Plural Worlds, Plural Futures will be at 3 p.m. in New York, and in India it will be at 12:30 am, right after midnight into Sunday, when many of you are possibly awake?
As a guest author or panelist I don’t often worry about how many people end up attending an event besides sharing it on my social media, but as a curator for the first time I feel like I should be putting more heart into it. My main curation for this festival was the Dalitness in Diaspora panel, which features Yashica Dutt, Suraj Yengde, Toral Gajarawala and John Boopalan, authors whose works I’ve admired and whom I am really excited to bring together in conversation. It is also an especially momentous panel because conversations on Dalit writing don’t usually happen in the South Asian diaspora. Tasveer may just be the first literary festival doing it, and it’s really super high time that it starts, and not only among the Dalits ourselves. I’ll be really glad if you can come to listen, meet these wonderfully erudite and thoughtful authors, and participate in the conversation tomorrow.
Looking forward to an amazing week of South Asian diasporic literature, intellectualism, identities, and imaginations!