Nadiya Hussain opens Asia House Literature Festival 2016

Nadiya Hussain, the winner of The Great British Bake Off 2015, opens the 2016 Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival on May 4, 2016.

Nadiya Hussain opens Asia House Literature Festival 2016

The programme encompasses an exploration into gender and identity.

Nadiya Hussain, the woman behind Her Majesty’s 90th birthday cake, kicks off the 2016 Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival in London on May 4, 2016.

She speaks with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a renowned journalist and author of ‘Exotic England: The Making of a Curious Nation’.

The Great British Bake Off winner, of Bangladeshi origin, is one of several distinguished guests with a South Asian association who is speaking at the exclusive literature festival, which is now in its 10th year.

An exciting variety of illustrious writers and artists from across the country have also been invited to participate.

Nadiya Hussain opens Asia House Literature Festival 2016This year’s festival is a rich and exciting melting pot of writers, artists and events that cater to the tastes of all manner of Asian literature enthusiasts.

From spoken word rappers to history experts, tales of drug-dealing and debauchery to socio-political activism through art, there is something for everyone.

The festival opens on May 4, and the itinerary will include a discussion for renowned writers, artists and experts on Pakistan to talk over the country’s vibrant modern art landscape, which is now one of the most sensational art cultures in South Asia.

The talk will cover how contemporary art is being used as a way of conveying socio-political concerns in the country.

The board for the discussion includes the prominent Pakistani curator, artist and teacher Salima Hashmi as well as Pakistani novelist Kamila Shamsie.

Nadiya Hussain opens Asia House Literature Festival 2016British art historian, critic and curator Virginia Whiles will also sit on the panel along with Pakistani artists Faiza Butt and Naiza Khan.

The programme will also encompass an exploration into gender and identity, with an evening performance by spoken word artist Shane Solanki, who will venture into the issue of ‘hijra’ – transgender people – within South Asian societies.

Birmingham-born British publisher and writer Bobby Nayyar will perform an evening recital from his first book of poems, ‘Glass Scissors’, a charming collection centred around the universal themes of love and relationships.

British author Jenny Balfour-Paul will share excerpts from her book, ‘Deeper than Indigo: Tracing Thomas Machell’, the untold story of the adventurous yet forgotten British explorer Thomas Machell, who spent a large part of his life voyaging through South Asia.

Jenny’s depictions will take audiences through his exhilarating journey, from the indigo plantations in Bangladesh and coffee estates in Kerala to the uncharted territories of central India and Calcutta.

Nadiya Hussain opens Asia House Literature Festival 2016The Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival runs from May 4 to 18, 2016. Having been established for a decade, the festival stands out as the only celebration in the UK dedicated exclusively to Asian literature.

For more information about the Festival and to see the full programme of events, please visit the Asia House website here.

Raeesa is an English Graduate with an appreciation for both classic and contemporary literature and art. She enjoys reading on a wide variety of subjects and discovering new writers and artists. Her motto is: 'Be curious, not judgemental.'

Images courtesy of Asia House Twitter and Medina Publishing

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