Teamwork Arts, producer of the famous Jaipur Literature Festival, will be launching an arts and literature festival in the Maldives next year, promising to deliver “the greatest literary show on Earth”.
The JLF Soneva Fushi is the latest international iteration of the festival, which, besides its annual high-profile event in Jaipur, India, has ventures across the globe, including in London, New York, Belfast, Toronto and Doha.
The event is set to take place across two weekends between May 13 and May 22, 2022. It will be held at the Soneva Fushi luxury resort, located within the Baa Atoll Unesco Biosphere Reserve. The programme will include panel discussions, workshops, music, poetry readings and film screenings. Visitors attending JLF Soneva Fushi will also have full access to the resort’s experiences, including diving, glassblowing classes, snorkelling with manta rays, and dining in a tree pod.
The line-up of authors participating at the inaugural event include Call Me by Your Name writer Andre Aciman; The Silk Roads: A New History of the World author Peter Frankopan; politician, former international civil servant and author, Shashi Tharoor; Socialite Evenings novelist Shobhaa De; as well as festival co-directors and authors William Dalrymple and Namita Gokhale.
“The JLF Soneva Fushi will be an inspirational journey where we will explore new horizons, celebrating the elements and sharing the power of words and ideas, of poetry and music,” Gokhale, author of The Book of Shadows, said.
"We are delighted to partner with Soneva Fushi,” said Sanjoy K Roy, managing director of Teamwork Arts. He promised the company will bring the festival to the Maldives “with the best writers, thinkers, filmmakers and thought leaders from across the world and India”.
Travel, fiction, food, art, wellness and the environment are all themes that will be covered at the event. However, a special focus will be given to the topic of climate change.
“Climate and environmental change are the two biggest challenges that we face in the coming years and decades,” Frankopan said. “Indeed, some believe that our survival as a species is dependent on preparing for and addressing these twin dangers.”
The historian said Soneva Fushi’s focus on sustainability and biodiversity make it a “magical and appropriate setting to gather to share some invaluable lessons that history teaches about past periods of ecological and climate change – and how to learn from them”.
Novelist De said the beauty and magic of the Maldives will be accentuated with the launch of the festival.
“This is bound to create a unique and soul-gratifying literary experience – with poetry readings under the stars, and intimate interactions with writers from across the world sharing their work on pristine beaches. I am hoping for a few underwater sessions as well.”