City Scripts 2019 looks at the city's stories with a focus on dignity and diversity
IIHS’ City Scripts, now in its fourth edition, has always aimed to foster conversations about the city through literature, social activism, art and cinema. This weekend, the festival returns to Bengaluru with an added focus on techno-logy and diversity. “In the festival, we will cast a detailed look at topics such as how an app like Dunzo is modifying our behaviour, or how an uncommon language like Byari influences communities,” says Rekha Raghunathan, who is part of the organising team. We take a look at some of the highlights.
Illustrator and writer Vinayak Varma curates the session Sci-Fi Jam: Imagining Future Cities. “The discussion will be about writing techniques in speculative fiction, worldbuilding for sci-fi and how one can use these narrative tools,” he explains. Panelists include authors Zac O’Yeah, Bijal Vachharajani and Padmini Ray Murray. “The objective is to imagine what the Bengaluru of the future might look like,” he adds.
A common thread running through many of the panels is the theme of dignity and gender. “We want to create a dialogue about dignity and diversity in our urban spaces,” says Rekha. For instance, the panel Writing on Air will look at how gender stories are discussed on podcasts and radio. Pinky Chandran, the founder of the community radio, Radio Active, will be moderating the session. “We will explore how one articulates social hierarchies, challenges stereotypes, questions power relations and redefines representations,” she says.
Another interesting session is Trans Masculinities: Cities, Sexualities and Writing, which has poet Rohini Malur in conversation with people from the trans and queer community. “We will talk about how much of their literature and culture is formulated by their own community and how much of it is from an outsider’s perspective” she says.
With sessions on topics from metal health and manual scavenging to children’s literature, City Scripts aims to capture the micro shifts that shape our culture.
Browse and shop for books at the official festival bookstore by Goobe’s Book Republic.
Take part in a zine making workshop by The Alipore Post.
Participate in the Public Library Walk and visit Librarians of the Mythic Library Society (Nrupathunga Road), the State Central Library (Cubbon Park) and the IIHS Library.
Entry free. February 8 -10, 11 am. At IIHS, Sadashivnagar
anagha@ newindianexpress.com @anaghzzz