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Voices From The Valley

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As the autumn leaves change color, the Valley of Kashmir will resonate with the sound of poetry, literary dialogue, debate and discussions, and readings with Srinagar hosting Jammu & Kashmir's first ever national literature festival from 24th-26th September, 2011. A special series of symposiums and discussions on 26th September will be held at the Kashmir University. 

'Harud: The Autumn Literature Festival', will provide a platform to celebrate the written word and create a forum for the rich literary tradition that exists in the region. Harud (autumn in Kashmiri) will be free to the public and will emphasise on local writings from Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh including a special focus on folk and oral traditions. The event will also host significant writers from across India. The final program will soon be available on the Harud website (

Festival advisor and program director, noted author Namita Gokhale believes that the festival "will engage with local writing in Kashmiri, Urdu and English, to provide an open and inclusive forum for literature. It will celebrate the vibrant and layered literary tradition of the region, provoke dialogue and communication and create a platform and inspiration for a new generation of readers and writers."The festival advisors include M.K. Raina, Naseem Shafaie, Neerja Mattoo and Urvashi Butalia.

Sanjoy Roy, producer of the Harud Festival & MD Teamwork Productions (the comany organising the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival as well) talked about how the festival will be a great addition to our existing literary and arts festivals in India. "It is a privilege to be creating this program with the backdrop of Kashmir and its legacy of literature, which has a history of over 2,500 years. We strongly believe that India's multi cultural ethos needs to resonate across the world," he said. The sessions will include conversations on culture, travel, history, film and poetry, amongst other themes.