It’s that time of the year again. The second edition of the Rainbow Lit Fest - one of the largest queer and inclusive literature festivals in India, is set to take place this December. And just like last year, 2020’s edition also promises an immersive experience and a celebration of queer art, literature, artists, creators and thought leaders.
Like everything else, however, this year is a bit different. In keeping with coronavirus restrictions, the organisers of the Rainbow Lit Fest have this year decided to take the festival online. This year, the two-day festival will be conducted completely online. Named ‘Digital & One’, the festival will feature special sessions with scholars such as Dr Bibek Debroy, author, economist and Chair of the Prime Minister’s Economic Council, veteran Congress MP Dr Shashi Tharoor.
While this will be the first time that dignitaries such as Debroy and Tharoor would be talking at a queer-dominated event, the organizations have ensured that queer representation itself remains at the forefront of the event with myriad discussions, films and performances.
The festival will feature panel discussions by authors and poets from the LGBTQIA+ world include Maya Sharma, Sandip Roy, Dr Akhil Katyal, Saurabh Kirpal, Parmesh Sahani, Michiel Baas, Aditi Angiras, and Raga Olga D’Silva, among others. Queer presence from the film world includes Onir, Gazal Dhaliwal, Faraz Ansari, and Sridhar Rangayan.
Given the focus on intersectionality and common ground, the festival has panelists such as Alankrita Shrivastava, Dr Saif Mahmood, Tanuja Chandra, Namita Bhandare, Seema Anand, Saikat Majumdar, Madhavi Menon and Priya Paul.
The event will also see performances from queer indie artists like Smruti Jalpur, John Oinam and Leon D’Souza, a performance by puppeteer Varun Narain and poetry recitals by Vishal Ghatge, Shambhavi Devedi and Aditya Tiwari, in addition to stand-up comedy by noted comedian, Navin Naronha.
The second edition of the one of a kind fest will also see the screening of queer-centric films such as ‘The Men Who Speak Gayle’ by Nathan Kennedy, Nowhere by Christopher Manning, Do Re Mi by Prajesh Kashyap, Forever 17 and Parvaah by the Humsafar Trust.
Registration for the event has already begun. You can register for the festival here. The event is set to be held this weekend, Dec 4 and 5. So mark your calendars!
Last year, the two-day event which was held in Delhi saw performances by and keynotes by Devdutt Pattanaik, Anjali Gopalan, Sandip Roy, Avatari Devi and Suneeta Rao among others.