• 25 Feb - 03 Mar, 2023
  • Focus

The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is an annual cultural festival held in Karachi. It celebrates the diversity of cultures, the richness of languages, poetry and prose. Every creative person yearns to be a part of this event and the 3 days KLF hosts many speakers, authors, poets, philosophers, thinkers not just from Pakistan but from many other parts of the world.

The KLF is a means to promote a culture of reading and writing among the people of Karachi. The festival features a book fair that showcases the works of local and international publishers and encourages people to read and explore new ideas. The festival also provides a platform for new and struggling writers and artists to display their work, take part in workshops and masterclasses, and receive guidance and feedback from specialists in their fields. During KhiLF 2023, many young writers reached out to prominent writers like Anwar Maqsood, Faseeh Bari Khan and Bee Gul to inquire about the art of writing stories that readily connect with the target audience.

For senior citizens, the KLF is an event that they look forward to throughout the year. KLF offers a platform for literature enthusiasts to engage with literature and ideas, which is especially important for those who may feel disconnected from the fast-paced, technology-driven world around them. The KLF's focus on promoting a culture of reading and writing is particularly significant for senior citizens who may have more time to engage with books and the arts. During the 14th Karachi Literature Festival, Ahmed Shah moderated a session of Anwar Maqsood and Imrana Maqsoon, where they talk about the second installment of Imrana Maqsood’s “Doosri Mulaqat”. The session engaged many, encompassing the attention of youngsters and especially senior citizens. The language, the dialect and the puns were all superb and highly engaging.

Another significant aspect of the KLF is that it provides a platform for young people to engage with literature and ideas. The festival hosts a variety of sessions and activities that are specifically designed for young adults and children. These sessions focus on a wide range of topics, from storytelling to poetry to creative writing, and provide an opportunity for young people to interact with writers, learn new skills, and explore new ideas.

A debate on current state of Pakistani dramas

There was a time in Pakistan when families used to take time out and spend it together by watching TV dramas on their TV screens. Dramas like Jhok Sayaal, Ankahi, Tanhaiyaan, Nijaat, Kashkol, and Hawaayen etc. used to capture the attention of youth, kids and seniors alike. A session on what dramas were and how they are now took place during KLF which was moderated by Raju Jamil, where he asked relevant questions to noteworthy and veteran panelists including Nadeem Baig, Shameem Hilaly and Kubra Khan. The discussion highlighted the importance of urdu language, characters perceived by the writers and stories that used to be relevant to the social issues and stayed with the audiences for years to come.

Fans of cultural and literature enthusiasts eagerly wait for Karachi Literature Festival. The festival brings together a diverse range of writers, intellectuals, and artists, both local and international, which provides an opportunity for them to engage with their favorite authors, learn about new works and ideas, and broaden their horizons. The festival's focus on promoting linguistic diversity is particularly appealing for those interested in exploring different languages and cultures. Fans of dramatics and performing arts also feel very excited to attend KLF.

Experts verdict on emergence of OTT Platforms

This year, in KhiLF 2023, discussion on “From Silver Screen to Mini Screen: Goldmine of OTT Media” was quite an insightful session. Moderator Safinah Danish Elahi questioned some hard-hitting, yet very calculated questions to Sanam Saeed and Faseeh Bari Khan. Faseeh Bari Khan shared his experience and listeners were in his awe. One of the most authentic writers of modern-age, Khan, shared the way he visualizes and character and what draws his attention towards different subjects. After all Ghissi Pitti Mohabat, Quddusi Sahab Ki Bewa and Saat Din Mohabbat In are just a few strokes of his pen that won the hearts of millions, around the world. Sanam, also shared about the importance of OTT platforms like Vidly, UrduFlix and Tapmad cannot be overlooked. According to Sanam, there is some amazing content that is available on these OTT platforms and her upcoming series Barzakh that will be releasing on Zee 5 will be a treat to watch but sadly, it will not be streamed in Pakistan as Zee 5 is banned here.

Promotion of Multi-lingual Literature

Another unique feature of the KLF is its commitment to promoting literature in different languages. The festival features sessions in Urdu, English, and other regional languages of Pakistan, such as Sindhi, Punjabi, and Balochi. This emphasis on linguistic diversity helps to break down barriers between different communities and promotes a culture of inclusivity and tolerance.

The KLF is also known for its focus on social issues and its engagement with current affairs. The festival hosts a wide range of sessions and debates on issues such as politics, human rights, and social justice. These sessions provide a space for critical engagement and reflection on the most pressing issues of our time, which is particularly appealing for those interested in exploring the intersection of literature and social issues.

Political Satire & humorist

The KLF is also known for its commitment to social issues and its engagement with current affairs. The festival hosts a wide range of sessions and debates on issues such as politics, human rights, and social justice. These sessions provide a space for critical engagement and reflection on the most pressing issues of our time. This year, a very interesting session on political satire took place with the title of “Hum Sangeen Mazaaq Ki Lapait Mein Hein” (we are surrounded by a serious joke) where Shehzad Ghias (the moderator) brought some interested and very Karachi’ite style talking points in front of the guests that included Mustafa, Murtaza and Faysal (i.e. Banana Boys). Importance and usage of language was discussed and how people compare current Urdu language and its jokes with the language of 80s and 90s.

Kids Poem Book Launching Event

Kids mend the future of any society and culture, providing kids with right information and good etiquettes is something that every society needs. Bilal Maqsood launched the Gluco Kahani with some amazing messages that were simple, precise, humanly and true. He shared the entire thought process that went in for the Gluco Kahani. He pointed out how calling names to kids is not something that we should be proud of. Further he narrated poems that are included in the syllabus yet they sound so inhumane, bad in taste, indecent and ridiculing at so many levels. He questioned what kind of generation we will see in future. That is exactly when and why he decided to become a part of this journey.

The closing of 14th Karachi Literature Festival was hugely enjoyed by the youth as Noori took to the stage and owned it. The band performed its famous tracks and the crowd went crazy in zeal and enthusiasm, enjoying each and every moment. Pakistan pop music is celebrated around the globe and what more could music fans asked for other than witnessing and enjoying Noori’s live performance on the stage. It was a sight to watch, as everyone was either humming, dancing or smiling to the songs that the band played for their fans. The entire 3 day event of Karachi Literature Festival 2023 was a huge success as literature buff came forward to attend it and participate in it, letting the world know that Karachi is a city that appreciates artistic expression and literary talent and encourages emerging Pakistani talent for literary and cultural exchanges.