The annual Mountain Echoes Literary Festival to be held in the Bhutanese capital of Thimpu, in its seventh year will focus on climate change and other concerns challenging the environment.
The festival, an undertaking of the India-Bhutan Foundation in association with Siyahi, is scheduled to be held from August 26 to August 28 and promises to be a wrap of all forms of art including literature, music and poetry.
Announcing the programme itinerary, the organisers said that the festival this year will go beyond the customary "spirited discussions and intellectual debates."
It will feature a range of themes like climate change, women’s voices, travel writing and love and relationships in the form of exhibitions, workshops and cultural performances.
Eminent Indian author Amitav Ghosh, essayist Pico Iyer, Bollywood actor Tabu, environment conservationist Nawang Norbu and Australian writer and playwright Graeme Simsion will be among the speakers at the festival.
"Mountain Echoes in its seventh iteration brings back an acute focus on issues relating to the environment and climate change whilst widening its ambit to include the visual arts and new media; subjects at the forefront of youth interests that are redefining our cultural experiences and fostering new dialogues," says Pramod Kumar KG, one of the festival directors.
Other directors include Namita Gokhale, Siok Sian Dorji and Tshering Tashi.
Exhibitions will include an insightful display of artworks by the nomadic Jogi tribe.
The art form was developed by Ganesh and Teju Jogi along with their six children over the last four decades to support themselves, prior to which they were believed to have earned their livelihoods singing devotional songs and ballads.
The show will have on dislay a selection of artworks from the book "Contemporary Expressions – Art of the Jogi Family" by Tulika Kedia.
The exotic beauty of Bhutan’s Gasa Dzongkhag or Gasa district will be brought to life in photographs taken by Dorji Dhradhul, a Bhutanese agricultural extensionist turned photographer who works towards the development of the district.
Another show, "An Ode to Rajasthan" will be a tribute to the colourful state of Rajasthan. The photographs taken by Sudhir Kasliwal will capture the vibrance of the region, beyond the grandeur of palaces or the mystery of sand dunes, over a period spanning from 1976 to 2016.
"With each edition of the literary festival, we’ve reached a deeper insight into literature and life. Join us at Mountain Echoes, you will be surprised at what you discover," Dorji says.
Workshops on ‘How to Tell a Good Story’ by Sonam Wangmo Jhalani and ‘Campaign Strategy: A Guide to Advertising and Brand Building’ by Piyush Pandey will keep the audience engaged while they pick up some new skills.
For fashion enthusiasts will be an exclusive session dedicated to fashion photography, where Maneesh Mandanna will discuss the core technical, logistical and commercial aspects of the discipline as practised today.
The 3-day long festival this year will also venture into the realm of healthy living with writer Ira Trivedi deliberating on yoga and meditation for beginners.