It is fast emerging as one of the most exciting stops in the global calendar of literary events. At a time when Bangladesh is facing increasing – and fatal – threats to freedom of thought and speech, the importance of such an event cannot be stressed enough.
When the event was first conceived, the spectre of such violent threats was nowhere on the horizon. So, even as it takes a stand amid daunting circumstances, DLF also remains devoted to its unique and subtle vision of shifting cultural dialogues from the centre-periphery model to a peer-to-peer vitality.
DLF is as focused on embracing the diversity of its own culture, promoting small – in cases, vanishing – languages, as it is on breaking of established axis of Anglophone dialogues. It is a festival that celebrates a wide array of literary and cultural forms and sets off debates on topics ranging from politics to science. Through this festival, Dhaka hopes to find a place of relevance in the world of ideas while introducing the world to all the richness — and challenges — of one of the world’s most vibrant cultures.