Year-end gatherings highlight the best in literature, art and music in the pearl of the Orient
Literature critics, art enthusiasts and audiophiles will have to mark their calendars for the months of November and December as the stunning and remarkable “10 Days 3 Festivals” in Penang returns this year. The objective of having all these festivals back to back is to draw in visitors from all over and to ensure a fruitful stay and an enjoyable holistic arts festival in Penang. Read on more to find out about each individual event and what will be the highlights at each festival.
George Town Literary Festival (above)
25 – 27 November
The George Town Literary Festival (GTLF), one of the most beloved and respected literary festivals in the region, returns for the sixth year in celebration of poetry, prose and spoken word from 25 to 27 November.
Helmed by Festival Director, Bernice Chauly, the three-day festival will see panel discussions, readings, spoken word performances, dance and film screenings around the festivals theme; “Hiraeth”, a Welsh word which means “the longing for a homeland that is no longer there”. The theme captures a universal unrest and longing for a better world in a reality that sees mass displacement of people, gross violations of human rights and growing chasm caused by the proliferation of crippling neoliberalism and regressive ideologies.
The festival’s stellar line-up of world literary giants and respected social commentators include Stefan Hertmans (Belgium), Adriaan van Dis (Netherlands), Olga Martynova (Germany), AC Grayling and James Scudamore (UK), Ayu Utami (Indonesia), Tishani Doshi and Mahesh Dattani (India).
This year’s keynote address will be delivered by leading Malaysian feminist activist and writer Zainah Anwar, with headlining Malaysian writers including National Laureate of Malaysia Muhammad Haji Salleh, Tash Aw, Faisal Tehrani, Dina Zaman and Karim Raslan.
GTLF 2016 is free and open to public, with the exception of the writing workshops.