With an Eclectic Mix of Speakers and Panels, Rainbow Lit Fest Set to Dazzle Delhi on 7th & 8th Dec

It’s that time of the year to come together, celebrate inclusion and diversity, listen to renowned speakers, write and express your own identity freely as we all prep ourselves to  attend the much-anticipated “Rainbow Lit Fest: Queer & Inclusive” – which is just around the corner.

The recent Delhi Pride 2019 was good enough reason to come out and celebrate your sexuality, here we have another magnificent platform which “seeks to be inclusive, bring together diverse identities and sections of society to explore common ground.”

In an attempt to go beyond mainstream gender stereotypes and put across a wide gamut of queer themed literature, the national capital is all set to host its first ever “queer and inclusive” literary festival on December 7-8.

Conceptualized by former journalist, communications consultant and queer rights advocate Sharif Rangnekar, the Rainbow Lit Fest was envisaged on the belief to “stitch together more informed narratives about diversity.”

“Literature and art should speak for as many as possible, particularly those who aren’t usually heard,” said festival director Sharif Rangnekar to PTI. “The lit fest essentially aims to engage with the truths of identity and diversity, and while drawing on the distinctions, we wish to address the common ground of humanity,” he added.

Over 75 proponents of art, music, cinema, drama, poetry and prose will take part in this fest. “There is no better way than literature, art, poetry, music and talk to bring such topics to life!, Rangnekar noted.

The Rainbow Lit Fest will be held at the Gulmohar Park Club, a venue etched in the annals of India’s queer history as it witnessed the early uprising of the gay moment in 2001 at the office of the Naz Foundation – a HIV/AIDS NGO that has played a key role in the queer rights movement in India, including the scrapping of Sec 377.

The list of participating speakers at the fest includes authors Devdutt Patnaik, Nemat Sadat, Vikram Kolmannskog, Saleem Kidwai; Indian filmmakers Onir and Nandita Das, Apurva Asrani, Ghazal Dhaliwal and Suhail Abbasi; media personalities and queer activists – Anjali Gopalan of Naz Foundation, Rafiul Alom Rehman of The Queer Muslim Project, Sukhdeep Singh of Gaylaxy Magazine, Pawan Dhall of Varta, Sandip Roy, Poonam Saxena of The Hindustan Times; as well as prominent singers Shubha Mudgal, and Parvati Krishnan.

The fest will also host panel discussions and screen queer-themed movies like “Monsoon Date” by Tanuja Chandra, award-winning silent LGBT film “Sisak” by Faraz Ansari, “U for Usha” featuring Konkana Sen by Rohan Kanwade and “Cover Story” by Suhail Abbasi.

Along-side iconic movie screenings, the fest will also have dance performances, drag acts, and three music performances from The Original Knock-Offs, Traditional Nizami Brothers, and Manzil Mystics.

With a range of diverse performances, discussions and entertainment sensitizing the LGBTQ+ issues, the Rainbow Lit Festival in New Delhi will make a conscious attempt to alter the Indian queer landscape.

For more details, visit www.rainbowliteraturefestival.com

Abhishek Kamat