The DESIblitz Literature Festival 2021 is the UK’s leading South Asian Literature Festival. Opening in Birmingham City Centre on 18th of September, the festival a mix is a mix of in-person and digital events and runs until 1st October. All tickets are free apart from three headline events at £2.99 per ticket with Sathnam Sanghera, Nikesh Shukla and a panel event on Cultural Representation in Literature. Live events will take place at the Rep Theatre and B Music (formerly Symphony Hall) in the city centre.
The festival is designed to encourage young and aspiring British Asian writers but is open to all. As well as aiming to inspire new creative writers, the festival provides an opportunity to highlight the way writers of South Asian descent have contributed to the literary canon across the world.
Organised by the DESIblitz.com website, one of the festival’s core aims is to create an incubator for British South Asian literary talent, inspiring and encouraging the British South Asian writers of the future. The DESIblitz.com website has launched the careers of over 40 British South Asian journalists, and the festival was started three years ago to encourage a younger generation of British South Asians to read more books and to become writers.
There will be a series of workshops, panel events and poetry readings and events covering fiction, poetry, history, politics, diversity, erotica, psychology, science, art, and much more.
DESIblitz Literature Festival Director Indi Deol said:
This is the third annual literature festival curated and produced by DESIblitz.com. As in previous years, the aim of the festival is to provide a platform for new voices from within the British South Asian writing community, as well as feature existing British South Asian voices who are already successful as role models. As well as aiming to inspire new creative writers, it provides an opportunity to highlight the way writers of South Asian descent have contributed to the literary canon across the world. It has never been more important to showcase the incredible and multifaceted talent of Britain’s South Asian literary community.
The British South Asian demographic is still hugely underrepresented in British publishing and panel events taking place at the festival will include “Diverse Characters Matter” a panel discussion about the importance of diversity in children’s books, with leading authors Bali Rai, Serena Patel, Sita Brahamchari and Monika Singh Gangotra; “Cultural Representation in Literature” a panel discussion about the importance of diversity in adult writing with Saima Mir, Pragya Agarawal and Sufiya Ahmed; as well as Women of Colour in Publishing a panel discussing the importance of diversity in British Publishing with Farhana Shaikh from Dahlia Publishing, and Hannah Chukwu from Penguin.
Workshops include: Genre, Setting and Character led by Bali Rai the award winning children’s author, Writing Memoir led by Shyama Perera, Guardian and Channel 4 Journalist and author of three novels, as well as a South Asian Poetry Masterclass with acclaimed poet Rupinder Kaur – a Birmingham Panjabi writer and performer whose debut poetry book Rooh (2018) was published with Verve Poetry Press.
Authors appearing at the event include:
· Imtiaz Dharker internationally acclaimed poet who famously turned down the role of Poet Laureate in 2019 and whose work is on both the GCSE and A-Level syllabus in the UK will read from her latest poetry collection
· Anchal Seda Social media influencer, make up artist, podcaster and BBC presenter will talk about her new book What Would the Aunties Say? A brown girl’s guide to being yourself.
· Saima Mir is the novelist of the Bradford gangland crime novel published by Oneworld – The Khan which is currently being optioned for TV.
· Sita Brahamchari – Author of Artichoke Hearts – Winner of the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Award 2011 and many other awards.
· Tahmima Anam Award winning Bangladeshi novelist and Granta Young Writer whose critically acclaimed novel The Startup Wife was published earlier this year.
· Serena Patel – Winner of the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book of the year 2020 and shortlisted for the Blue Peter s Book of the Year 2021.
· Sarfraz Manzoor will be discussing his new book They: What Muslims and Non-Muslims Get Wrong About Each Other.
· Nikesh Shukla bestselling author of The Good Immigrant, will talk about his new book Brown Baby: A Memoir of Race, Family and Home.
· Sathnam Sanghera Acclaimed journalist and author, will talk about his latest book Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain.
You can obtain tickets here.
*information taken from press release, further information can be found on the DESIblitz website*