The Rainbow Lit Fest – Queer and Inclusive, set for December 9th and 10th, 2023, at New Delhi’s Gulmohar Park Club, promises a celebration of love, literature, and LGBTQIA+ inclusivity. Over 60 speakers and artists from diverse backgrounds will participate in around 30 sessions, exploring various themes and narratives within the queer community.
This groundbreaking event includes spotlight sessions with prominent figures like director Jaydeep Sarkar, actor Kalki Koechlin, and poet Hoshang Merchant. Discussions will encompass topics such as love, law, social hierarchies, mythology’s relationship with culture, and the intersection of queer rights and feminism.
Special sessions will revisit significant historical moments, including India’s first Stonewall moment and a tribute to historian Saleem Kidwai. The festival extends beyond academic discussions, incorporating films, performances, and immersive experiences. Films covering different aspects of queerness will be screened, while performances by queer artists and theatrical presentations will add to the event’s vibrancy. Highlighting the fest’s second day, the first-ever Rainbow Awards for Literature and Journalism will be announced and presented. Attendees can also engage with stalls, pop-ups, and a queer-friendly bookstore. The festival’s venue, Gulmohar Park, holds historical significance as a hub for early gay movement activities in 2001. Supported by various organizations like Delhi Queer Spaces and the Naz Foundation, the festival aims to provide a platform for unheard voices in literature and the arts. Festival Director Sharif D Rangnekar emphasizes the importance of post-marriage equality conversations, advocating for discussions around lived experiences to foster a sense of belonging within the community. The Rainbow Lit Fest, owned by the Dwijen Dinanath Arts Foundation, functions as a not-for-profit entity focused on gender, sexuality, arts, and music.