Hear to panelists discuss ideas that will shape our times at Bandra

Updated: Dec 13, 2017, 11:42 IST | Shunashir Sen

Panelists to discuss various ideas that shape our times during a literature festival that will be held at a Bandra venue this weekend

Even as winter creeps in and temperatures start dropping, the season for literature festivals heats up with an assortment of such events. Times Litfest is the next one around the corner, and will be held at Mehboob Studios in Bandra this weekend. It features a host of Indian and international panelists discussing a range of subjects, from suppression of stories in the media to how newspaper cartoonists fire arrows at politicians with their work. We pick four sessions and tell you more about what to expect from them.

Changing tastes

Changing tastes
When Claudio Roden wrote A Book of Middle Eastern Food in 1968, people such as the British still turned their noses up at dishes like doner kebab or falafel. But, Roden's publication helped them wake up and smell the coffee. Here, the food historian will be in conversation with journalist Vikram Doctor (in pic), discussing how different diasporas — including Indians — have adapted their culinary habits to suit local palates. "For instance, the chicken tikka masala was invented in the UK. But you now get it in India as well. So, one of the things we will be talking about is how the spread of a certain people across the world changes their original food culture," Doctor reveals.

On : December 17, 11.15 am to 12.15 pm

Do hold back

Do hold back
A lot of dirty linen has been washed in public recently ever since the Harvey Weinstein case reared its ugly head. This has brought the issue of consent in sexual relations to the fore, with campaigns like #MeToo opening up a can of worms online. In a discussion titled Yes? No? Maybe, Baby: The Age of Non-consent, feminist writers Julie Bindel, Laurie Penny and KR Meera will lay the subject threadbare with columnist Paromita Vohra manning (if that's the word) the moderator's chair. Vohra tells us, "We are going to show a music video made by Agents of Ishq [an online platform that 'gives sex a good name'] that the title of this discussion is borrowed from," before adding, "There is often a big arc of 'maybe' in amorous exchanges that could become a 'yes' or 'no' depending on how things pan out. And people need to have the ability to view that intervening period with respect, openness and, hopefully, affection."

On : December 15, 3.15 pm to 4.15 pm

A tale of all cities

Turning the page
The advent of online platforms has changed the way news stories are written and consumed in today's day and age. But even though it has grown from being the crawling toddler it was around seven years ago, the digital medium is still finding its feet in our country. In Pixies and Pixels: How Digital Has Changed the Style and Substance of Storytelling, editors Deborah Treisman and Pragya Tiwari (in pic) will discuss the way forward with publisher Chiki Sarkar, who will be donning the moderator's hat. "The multimedia possibilities of online platforms are tremendously exciting, though still vastly untapped," Tiwari tells us about the digital age. "But on the downside, there is now an unhealthy fixation on social media hits and shares. That means there is lesser room for content that's not going to sell immediately, which newspapers could create the space for," she adds.

On : December 17, 10 am to 11 am

A tale of all cities

A tale of all cities
Every city breathes with a force of life that builds the narratives surrounding it, if only we choose to look at things from that prism. The politics, history, culture and — most importantly — people give it a certain characteristic that makes each place unique. This creates a wealth of stories that can be mined by anyone who wishes to excavate them, and that's the subject of a panel discussion titled The Stories Cities Tell. Photographer-writer Bill Hayes, author-actor Aurélien Bellanger and journalist Kushanava Choudhury will feature as panelists, and chronicler Sam Miller as the moderator. Choudhury released a book on Kolkata, his hometown, earlier this year. It's called The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta, and he gave up his job as a newspaper reporter to write it. "There is a lot of poverty in Kolkata, and as a reporter, all I had was an inkling of how poor people became politically motivated. But you really had to ask questions about the history of the city and its people, of the waves of refugees who came after Partition and organised protests to get their rights, to understand how the politics of hartal and roadblocks came to be for instance, or why the city continues to be geographically divided on communal lines," Choudhury explains.

On : December 15, 5.15 pm to 6.15 pm

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