About Ethos Lit Fest 2018 (ELF 2018)
There has been an upsurge in literary festivals in the country in the last decade, and for a country that is one of the largest consumers of literature, it comes as no surprise. The book publishing industry in India was booming at a compound annual growth rate of 30% four years back, as reported by The Hindu, and the trend is only gradually increasing. Apart from the corporate publishing houses, the existing and emerging Independent presses in the country have greatly contributed to the trend.
However, most major literary festivals in the country seem to give prominence to the books that come out of the big corporate houses. This is where the idea of Ethos Literary Festival as one that will celebrate the independent presses was conceived by its partners, Ethos Literary Journal and Hawakal Publishers. While other literary festivals focus on the big names, Ethos Literary Festival wishes to gravitate both to the known and not-so-known. It intends to bring to the fore the works of small presses in India, and celebrate the authors and academicians closely associated with the literary scenes in the country. ELF also hopes to challenge the existing norms by giving more space to female writers and speakers.
Apart from giving the much-deserved, long-due space and recognition to authors who are associated with small presses, ELF 2018 also aims to rejoice in Bangla (the Bengali language) literature just as much as English, giving the regional vernacular its due credit and respect. With this objective in mind, ELF (22-23 December, 2018) is going to be the first bilingual literary festival in Kolkata, and plans to have a total of eight hours of English sessions and seven hours of Bangla sessions. One can expect animated debates on the relevant trends and emerging issues in the contemporary Indian English and Bangla literary contexts. With ELF, we also hope to bring readers and authors together and give the readers access to books by these small presses. It is about time India had a literary festival that celebrated female writers, writers from the LGBTQ communities, and the independent presses that work so hard to give voice to the writers that need to be heard.