Celebrating the triumph of creative and liberal thoughts over trepidation, the three-day Dhaka Lit Fest hosted by Bangla Academy in the capital came to an end yesterday with UK-based international journalist Jon Snow urging fellows to be subtle if under pressure while working in regimes barring free speech.
The veteran reporter was having a conversation with Dhaka Lit Fest Director Ahsan Akbar in the morning when he shared his experiences from around the world and also talked about the influence of media ownership, dangers of de-sensitisation and terrorism worldwide.
The morning started with the screening of “India's Daughter”, where British filmmaker Leslee Udwin examined the society and values of India after a 23-year-old medical student was raped and murdered in a bus in Delhi in 2012.
Later in the day, Leslee discussed violence against women in today's world with Bangladeshi women's rights activist Shireen Huq and actress Sara Zaker at the Bhasa Stage.
The morning hours at the venue, where Nesar Nadim's first horror fiction “Demons” published by Daily Star Books was launched, saw a lively discussion among three Bangladeshi writers of English fiction.
In a conversation with Indian novelist Nirupama Subramanian, Nesar Nadim, Srabonti Narmeen Ali and Khondokar Ashif Uz Zaman spoke about the space English commercial fictions by Bangladeshi writers occupy in the country.
Nesar stressed the importance of forming fan groups using events and social media to promote and create readership.
Among other interesting events of the day was the speech of Nobel prize-winning Harold Varmus on his lifetime passion for literature and science.
Besides discussions, the day was marked with spiritual songs, staging of a children's play, storytelling sessions, poetry recitals and many more.