Indian writers strengthen ties with Australia

Ten of India's most acclaimed regional writers and two major publishers will travel to Australia to participate in a high calibre literary forum organised by the University of Western Sydney - one of the largest India-Australia literary exchanges to be held between our two countries.

The Australia-India Literatures International forum (ALIF) will develop and strengthen Australian ties with one of the fasting growing markets for literature.

AILF will be held at the State Library of New South Wales, 3rd-6th September 2012, and is being organised by the Writing and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney. The program has been funded by the Australia India Council, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, the Copyright Agency Limited, the Literature Board of the Australia Council and the Australia India Institute.

The event organiser, Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty, from the UWS Writing and Society Research Centre, says it will provide opportunities for writers from both countries to exchange cultural knowledge that will encourage further collaboration, research and commercial ventures.

Indian publishing is at a highpoint at the moment, and major global publishing houses are rapidly moving into the subcontinent to cash in on a highly literate English-proficient clientele," Dr Chakraborty says.

"Australia is in a good position to capitalise on this, as our hidden gems of Australian Aboriginal, Indigenous and multicultural writing, derived from traditions other than the European, are especially unknown in the subcontinent."

"This forum brings together vernacular writers from India with Australian multicultural writers, to generate interest in their respective traditions and enable close interaction and collaboration between them."

Dr Chakraborty says Australian literature has a significant presence in the English departments of Indian universities, but it has not yet penetrated this sizeable regional language markets.

"It will be beneficial for Australian writers to interact with their Indian counterparts so as to explore possibilities of reciprocal publication in translation, and it will be equally fruitful for vernacular Indian writers to expand on Australian vistas," she says.

"This event will have the twin effect of promoting inter-lingual ideas and enable translations of high quality between these literatures, thereby helping Australia and India understand each other's societies and foster closer cultural relationships."


24 August 2012

Contact: Mark Smith, Media Officer