Curtain fell on the 10th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest through a colourful closing ceremony at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad auditorium on Sunday evening.
The closing ceremony of the four-day festival at Bangla Academy premises began with a colourful dance and recital performance produced by Jatrik.
The performance titled, 'Women Rise' was about women empowerment. The performance showcased classical and contemporary dance forms, representing struggle and strength of women in the Indian subcontinent.
Among the guests present at the closing ceremony, Indian author Gitanjalee Shree, Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah, Dhaka Tribune editor Zafar Sobhan, City Bank managing director Mashrur Arefin and Dhaka Lit Fest director and producer Sadaf Saaz gave addresses thanking and bidding adieu to everyone.
Geetanjali Shree said, "It has been five amazing days for me and this has been a wonderful experience. I felt great warmth and love here. I don't feel like a foreigner here."
"Dhaka Lit Fest is not just another fest mushrooming around us. It's a true celebration of the world with rich and informed discussions alongside riveted and engaged audience.
"However, isn't it high time we recognise writers of our subcontinent without waiting for validation from others. And, lets not stop at literature only in one language," she continued.
Nuruddin Farah said, "It's a pleasure to be standing here and talking to you. When I'll go back to Cape Town, where I live, my friends will be asking me how was it and is it different than others festivals around the world?"
"And I'll be telling them about how I felt a great deal of warmth from the organisers as well as the people here," he added.
Then Zafar Sobhan spoke about the vibrant energy and festivity of Dhaka Lit Fest. He said that people don't just look forward to it, they long for it.
"And, despite there being claims of the fest being elitist, it's not. It's a festival of ideas. Thanks to the speakers as well as the audience for their participation," he said.
Mashrur Arefin said despite having to purchase tickets to enter the festival, people have turned up in great numbers. He labelled the fest as the best one so far and thanked the guests for coming.
At the end of the ceremony, Sadaf Saaz came on stage to say good bye to everyone. She said, "This is the most important part of the four-day festival and thanks to Dhaka for turning up."
"We are not scared of controversy when we believe in something. We wanted to put value on art, literature, culture and Dhaka you proved us right," she added.
She then thanked the audience and sponsors for believing in them, for supporting them in curating the event in a way they felt justified. And thanked everyone for making the 10th edition of Dhaka Lit Fest a great success.