The Literary Society of Miranda House brought all things censored and banned in the limelight during its two-day festival themed Censored. The first day, February 18, started off on an energetic note with a panel discussion with panelists from different spheres of life, including activism and film-making talking about concepts of freedom of expression and Censorship. Panelists recounted personal narratives and the audience engaged them further with poignant questions.
This was followed by a Book Bazaar in the College Foyer where a variety of books were being offered at throwaway prices along with Censored themed bookmarks and notebooks. The Book Bazaar turned out to be popular with all students and saw a large number of them walking away with piles of books. There were arrangements for an informal food court as well with various delicacies on offer.
Next in line was a competitive event – Literary Word Search that saw enthusiastic participation. The first day closed with paper presentations and documentaries on issues relevant to Censorship and a reading session, titled Kahwa Stop in the library lawns. Members of the organising committee revealed that Kahwa Stop was a new addition to the usual itinerary of events. The reading session was informal and had students as well as lecturers from various departments and colleges coming forth to read out poetry, recite passages and sing about the struggle of expression and the burden of Censorship.
The second day also began with a panel discussion on the topic “Censored: Embattled Arena”. The Literature Quiz saw teams tackling questions about all things censored and banned in arts and literature. The final formal event of the Literary Festival was Zensier, a creative writing competition.
When asked about the theme, Yusra Hasan, a member of the organising committee informed that it had spurted out of an informal discussion in class and took on a life of its own. Talking about the relevance of the theme, she said, “It’s really relevant with so many things in arts and literature being censored. Certain ideologies are being imposed on people in such a subtle manner that it’s almost a social conditioning of sorts.”
Image credits: Shubham Kaushik for DU Beat