The ninth edition of the Dhaka Lit Fest (DLF) was inaugurated at Bangla Academy's Abdul Karim Shahitya Bisharad Auditorium on Thursday.
Cultural Affairs Minister KM Khalid opened the festival around 11:30 am. Internationally acclaimed Bangladeshi-born British writer and novelist Monica Ali was also present at the inauguration, along with the event directors.
"When the fest first started as the Hay Festival back in 2011, its principle was to promote global literature to the Bangladeshi audience. Now, as the Dhaka Lit Fest, it is simultaneously and successfully presenting Bengali Literature to the global audience with the presence of enthusiasts from five continents and 18 countries who are attending the fest in the upcoming three days. This is undoubtedly a glorious event for us," Khalid said.
Praising the initiative and efforts of the hosts, he said the ruling party is always ready to extend support to events like this.
The minister promised to provide special support to DLF-20 next year, which is going to be themed and dedicated to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
DLF 2019's Director and Producer Sadaf Saaz said the festival is covering all genres in both Bengali and English language from poetry to fiction and philosophy to science in order to fulfill its commitment to the society and also to secure a better literary future for the generation.
The two other co-directors of the event, K Anis Ahmed and Ahsan Akbar, also spoke on the occasion. The directors also mentioned that the event is going to have a special focus on indigenous languages, as UNESCO has marked 2019 as the year of Indigenous Language Protection.
Monica Ali, the special guest, thanked the organisers for hosting such an extraordinary event on literature.
A dance segment was held before the inaugural session, which was followed by a plenary session featuring Monica Ali, Maria Filomena Bouissou Lepecki, Yara Rodrigues Fowler, Minna Lindgren and Sumana Roy.
More than 200 speakers, authors and poets are participating in almost 100 sessions, including former foreign affairs minister of India Shashi Tharur, Monica Ali, critic Rachel Dwyer, famous Bengali writer Shankar, translator and writer Arunava Sinha, and poet and translator Mashrur Arefin.
DLF-2019 is scheduled to continue from 9 am to 7:30 pm every day till November 9. Open for all and subject to online registration, the festival is hosted by Bangla Academy with Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune as the Title Sponsors while Brac Bank is the key sponsor along with British Council, a strategic partner of the event.