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KARACHI: The second day of the 13th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), being organised by the Oxford University Press (OUP) Pakistan, from March 4 to March 6 here at a local hotel, was again an affair full of invigorating discussions and vibrant performances.

The day began with talks on women’s contribution to Pakistani society and politics, and the changing role of art in contemporary society. Panellists in ‘Pakistani Siyasat Aur Samaaj: Khwateen Ka Kirdar’ highlighted the important role women have played throughout the country’s history and regretted how so many have been held back by patriarchal restrictions, tribal holdovers and reactionary traditions.

Meanwhile, a mix of renowned sculptors and writers, art exhibition curators, and creative technologists looked at how technology was shaping contemporary art. They spoke in depth about how developments in social media were expanding the reach and impact of art and were optimistic about how the development of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) could be a boon for artists around the world.

One of the most entertaining sessions was a talk by renowned English author Hanif Kureishi. When asked about the growing trend of moral policing in literature, he replied there was nothing new about banning books. He remarked that the most interesting books ever written had been banned and that the step acknowledged the importance of books to society.

Kureishi joked that he once considered burning his own books as it was an easy way to gain publicity. He concluded that literature survives, and books return to the limelight despite bans.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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