Join AKF for a vibrant weekend of debate and discussion featuring writers, poets, historians, journalists and more. We’re proud to be participating in and sponsoring four great talks:
Robin Jeffrey and Katherine Boo in conversation with Pragya Tiwari. Introduced by Dinesh Patnaik
India’s 1.2 billion strong population and the garbage they generate is a constant challenge, with the government’s Swacchh Bharat (Clean India) Campaign committed to creating a cleaner nation. An impactful session on garbage and growth in India that examines the traditional ‘kabaadiwalas’ (recyclers) and ragpickers, the stigmatised sanitation workers dealing with sewage and toxic chemicals and the solutions that can arise through changes in social attitudes and innovative technology. Academic and author Robin Jeffrey, who has co-authored Waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India, in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and New Yorker writer, Katherine Boo.
Jurjen Vandertas (Aga Khan Trust for Culture), Tom Stuart Smith (designing a garden adjacent to the Aga Khan Centre), Philippa Vaughan, Mehreen Chida-Razvi and Nur Sobers-Khan in conversation with William Dalrymple
Traditionally, an Islamic garden is a place of rest and reflection and a reminder of paradise. These multipurpose landscapes, designed around the themes of water and shade, provide shelter, sustenance and solace. Functioning as botanical spaces, sanctuaries and blissful retreats, as venues for social performances and as a refuge for lovers, their highly developed sense of aesthetics make them sites for social change, economic regeneration and environmental conservation. A fascinating talk that explores the diversity of parks and gardens in Islamic contexts, past and present, and the ways they form part of our common human heritage.
Kishwar Desai, Suhair Khan, Matt Reed and Roly Keating in conversation with Sanjoy Roy. Introduced by Jamie Andrews
The continuity of cultural heritage is brought to life and acquires fresh resonance for a new generation by custodians of community memories. A distinguished panel looks at the infinite possibilities of showcasing histories, material culture and social ethnography through real and virtual spaces to create a dialogue between past and present.
Katherine Boo in conversation with Bee Rowlatt.
In her breathtaking and award-winning book by Pulitzer laureate Katherine Boo, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human through the dramatic story of families striving toward a better life in Annawadi, a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport. As India starts to prosper, the residents of Annawadi are electric with hope. Abdul, an enterprising teenager, sees ‘a fortune beyond counting’ in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Meanwhile Asha, a woman of formidable ambition, has identified a shadier route to the middle class. With a little luck, her beautiful daughter, Annawadi’s ‘most-everything girl’, might become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest children, like the young thief Kalu, feel themselves inching closer to their dreams. But when Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy, terror and global recession rock the city and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power, and economic envy turn brutal. Boo, in conversation with Bee Rowlatt, examines Behind the Beautiful Forevers and talks about the years of uncompromising reporting, examining one of the 21st century’s hidden world.