Pakistan’s historically rich and diverse literatures and cultures have long been facing challenges, resulting in stifled diversity of expression and in stereotypes we sometimes internalize. We launched our free, open-to-all festival on 1, 2, 3 February 2019 in Karachi, to celebrate writers and artists. We celebrate literature in diverse Pakistani languages, launch books, feature talks, interviews, discussions, mushairah / poetry sessions, a book fair, music, dance, theatre, comedy/satire, and film. We feature over a hundred Pakistani and international authors, and an audience of around 200,000 from the widest cross-section of society to celebrate not just ideas, debate, and creativity, but also community and public space.
Adab Fest continued via online sessions in 2019, 2020. The 2021 edition was held exclusively online through our joint project in partnership with the Bradford Literature Festival, supported by the British Council: From Keighley to Karachi - a creative skills development opportunity for South Asian women. (#AdabFest2021Online, in continuation of #AdabFest2020Online and #AdabFest2019Online). This fourth edition of the Adab Fest is organized around the theme of climate change. We aim to raise awareness about the urgent need to protect Karachi’s ecosystem and to invigorate the campaign against the ongoing destruction of our mangroves.
Keynote Speakers at the Inauguration on 26 November 2022 at Frere Hall
Sherry Rahman, Minister for Climate Change, will inaugurate Adab Fest 2022 as Chief Guest with a keynote address on 26 November at 11:00 am at Frere Hall. The second keynote address will be delivered by Tariq Alexander Qaiser who has worked relentlessly on Karachi’s mangroves and islands. Tariq will later show his films and give talks along with people who work with him on the life-giving mangroves, tall trees, and halophyte cover of Karachi and its Bundal and Khaprianwalla islands, of the need to protect their biodiverse wilderness, to help the flooding situation, the urgency to declare them as Protected Natural Reserves. Dr. Nauman Naqvi, Dean of Habib University will also inaugurate Adab Festival by delivering a speech on climate change.
Art Exhibition and workshops on the Environment will run all day on both days.
Fauzia Minallah, an artist, environmentalist, and children’s author whose work is inspired by the climate crisis will set up an art installation, stone carvings, paintings, and books in the Sadequain / Goethe Gallery on the 1st floor of Frere Hall for both full days of Adab Fest. She will exhibit her art, make presentations and give talks to students and teachers on Art in the time of Climate Crisis and how to create art using recycled and waste materials. Darakhtoan mein chhuppi betiyaan (Daughters Hidden in Trees) is a poem written especially for Fauzia's body of work that will be on display, by Pakistan’s leading feminist poet Kishwar Naheed.
A Panel Discussion on the Clifton Urban Forest
Masood Lohar has converted 20 acres of urban, barren dumping ground in Clifton, Karachi, into an urban forest. Over 60 species of trees and fruit trees have been planted there. Masood is also managing plantations in other parts of Karachi such as the government teacher training college in Federal B area, Karachi. He is creating models that can be replicated. Masood has organized a powerful panel discussion at Adab Fest with key stakeholders regarding this work.
‘Dear Donors…’ Emergency Flood Relief 2022: A Presentation of Photographs and Letters
Hani Baloch of Zindman Welfare Organisation and Samya Kadri Paracha Charity Works will make a presentation about the ongoing humanitarian crisis from the most recent floods in Pakistan.
Mutaasareen-e-Sailab: Ek Silsila Guftagu Ka
A powerful panel discussion organised by Uzma Noorani on which segments of society were most affected by the 2022 flood.
A Discussion on Wusatullah Khan's Sailab Diaries, a book made from his reporting travelogue of the 2010 floods, published by the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi.