Usually held every February as a physical festival, the Delhi Literature Festival (DLF), in its ninth edition this year, was launched online at Commons, DLF Avenue, Saket, which is also the host venue for the 2021 edition. Bharati Bhargava, Founder Director, DLF, tells The Morning Standard on how an online festival garners support and says given the overwhelming response, she may organise more such events in the year.
What is DLF’s major objective?
To promote Indian art, culture and the good old habit of book reading along with Indian authors and publishers. We also want to bring the focus on Delhi as a major cultural and tourism destination. The DLF is held annually around February. We may organise more events round the year, based on the response.
What are the highlights this year?
To begin with, most of the authors are last years’ bestsellers. Milee Ashwarya Publisher Penguin Random House and Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman and Editor in Chief Businessworld have joined the Delhi Literature Festival as the Honorary Advisors.
Chitra Mudgal, Sahitya Akademi Awardee 2019 for Hindi Literature delivered the keynote address.
Any big names participating this year?
The list includes Anupam Kher, Tahira Kashyap Khuranna, Deanne Pandey, Devdutt Patanaik, Preeti Shenoy, and Satyarth Nayak.
Give us an insight into organising a literature festival online.
Going digital is the way forward. It provides the endless opportunity of instantly scaling up the programme. For this year, we have gone digital with the Zoom video app, further broadcasting through Facebook Live to the larger audience. We hope to share sessions’ videos on YouTube and other social media platforms after the festival. The digital space provides authors and audience an adequate plattform for joining the festival, without leaving their own comfort space.
How has the response been? What steps have you taken to ensure high attendance from across the world?
The response has been overwhelming. We received requests for authors from major publishers, however we could not oblige all, despite our best intention and efforts. The session with Devdutt Patanaik on his latest book had 5,000 plus viewers. We are also actively promoting the DLF banner/ authors/books on our own social media platforms. Our digital partners are promoting the festival to over 122M users, across the country.
TILL: February 28
AT: https://www.facebook. com/delhiliteraturefest/live