An evening of culture, featuring an extravaganza of dance and movement opened the Galle Fort Literary Festival in Sri Lanka. Guests sat in front of an iridescent red stage, while a crowd of onlookers stood behind newly erected barriers as an orchestra played music. Dressed in traditional costumes performers from the army, airforce and navy, became acrobats, fire eaters, swans, and peacocks. The evening’s presenters thanked the main sponsor Fairway Holdings and also the founder of the festival Geoffrey Dobbs, along with the Minister for Law and Order who sent a representative to the two-hour show. The last event included numerous costumed performers and the appearance of a “constructed” elephant.
After the show authors and organisers left for a dinner. Food, literature and current social and political topics make up this festival. Five days of readings and talks take place in the main Galle Hall, museums, specially erected tents and boutique hotels. Lunchtime private events and evening dinners, so guests can spend time with an author or two enhance the daily structure.
In the coming days, I will be writing about various authors in more detail, but for now here are a few photos from the second day.
Oxford historian Peter Frankopan gave an enlightening and clever talk about his book The Silk Roads and Asia’s importance in forming ancient globalisation.
John Gimlette gave a witty rendition of his 2013 travels through Sri Lanka based on his book The Elephant Complex
Shortlisted for the Booker prize for his second novel, Ours are the Streets, Sunjeev Sahota shared readings from his two novels and also talked about his experience of growing up in multicultural Britain.