What does fiction mean? Does it offer resistance or shelter? Or does it offer them both?
This was a question posed by the anchor Sumana Roy at the session of Fiction: Resistance or Refuge at Dhaka Lit Fest 2019 on the premises of Bangla Academy in the capital on Thursday.
In answer, Minna Lindgren, acclaimed Finnish author and journalist, said, “Writing means being socially active.” Brazilian author, Maria Filomena Bouissou Lepeck, saw fiction as ‘part of human kind’. Both of them also found fiction offering both refuge and resistance.
Bangladesh born British author Monica Ali and British Brazilian novelist Yara Rodrigues Fowler were among the speakers in this session held at the Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad (AKSB) conference hall.
In the vibrant session, the authors also talked about their recent works and the predicaments they faced while writing.In answer to an audience question, Monica Ali said that literature offers ‘escape’ which is crucial for healing. “Writing is a political act,” whether the subject matter deals with something grand matter or some ‘domestic stuff’, she observed.
Yara Rodigues said there were “joy, healing and safety in literature, and there is resistance in that.” Minna Lindgren shared her experience on being frequently asked on why she did write on men despite being a ‘woman writer’. She said, while writing one must choose resistance to be socially active.
Later, author Syed Manzoorul Islam and Swapnamoy Chakraborty discussed in another session of Bhanga Bangla: Trasto Neelimay at 1:30pm.
Schoolchildren participated in word plays at Nazrul Mancha under the banyan tree on the academy premises. Visitors were seen browsing books and taking delicacies around in the November afternoon.
The three-day programme will end on Saturday.