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Today: JLF Soneva Fushi returns to the Maldives with a star-studded author line-up
World-renowned resorts operator Soneva and Teamwork Arts, producer of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival (JFL) and its international JLF extensions, have joined forces once more to launch the second edition of JLF Soneva Fushi with a star-studded author line-up. Taking place on the sands of Kunfunadhoo in the Maldives’ breathtaking Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the arts and literary festival will be returning to the award-winning barefoot luxury resort from May 12 to 21, 2023. Over the course of ten days and two weekends, the JLF Soneva Fushi festival will host an unforgettable program, with live performances of art, music and literature.
Each weekend, there will be flagship events, including keynote addresses, gala dinners on the sand, live music performances, and film screenings at the outdoor Cinema Paradiso. The festival will offer delectable international food from a specially curated menu prepared by Soneva Fushi’s award-winning chefs. Weekdays at JLF Soneva Fushi will focus on close-knit sessions and author discussions, as well as a range of engaging workshops. Every morning, the festival will offer sessions focused on yoga and meditation, dance workshops, guided snorkeling with Soneva Fushi’s resident Ocean Guardians, and glassblowing at Soneva Art & Glass, the Maldives’ first hot glass studio.
“A truly bespoke experience, JLF Soneva Fushi’s remarkable programme is an opportunity to reconnect with the pure joy of literature and the arts”, said Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Co-Founder of Soneva. “The exceptional setting of our barefoot island in the Maldives, coupled with our contributors and guests staying with us for at least a weekend makes JLF Soneva Fushi unlike any other literature festival. It’s this greater, intimate access to authors, deeper understanding, new friendships and stronger bonds that make this barefoot festival so unique. I cannot wait to welcome a line-up of outstanding international authors to our shores once again.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival, said, “JLF Soneva Fushi is food for the mind, body and soul. An exceptional gathering of collective wisdom and expertise from across the world, set in the most idyllic setting of the Baa Atoll, with delectable fare, exhilarating conversations and spectacular vistas.”
The 2023 edition will also see a line-up of world-renowned authors, including:
- British novelist, broadcaster and Man Booker Prize winner, Howard Jacobson;
- Booker Prize-winning novelist and playwright, Damon Galgut;
- Co-founder and co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival and author of 20 books, Namita Gokhale;
- British historian, television presenter and author of popular history books, Simon Sebag Montefiore;
- Best-selling historian, and JLF co-director, William Dalrymple;
- Professor in the departments of astronomy and physics at Yale University, Priyamvada Natarajan; who is well-known for her work in mapping dark matter and dark energy.
Throughout each day during their stay, guests will be able to explore and indulge in everything that Soneva Fushi has to offer: miles of pristine sandy beaches edged by tranquil turquoise waters; exquisite private villa accommodation, with Barefoot Guardians on hand 24/7 to anticipate every request; healing rituals and innovative wellness treatments at Soneva Soul; exceptional dining destinations serving the finest cuisine from across the world; and rare, one-of-a-kind experiences that create memories to last a lifetime. Watch my YouTube video with full tour of the resort below.
The inaugural JLF Soneva Fushi brought with it a global line-up of critically acclaimed authors, thinkers and cultural leaders to the Maldives from May 13 to 22, 2022, and the sessions covered a fascinating spectrum of topics. The stand-out sessions included keynote addresses by best-selling author Peter Frankopan and New York Magazine deputy editor David Wallace-Wells; musical performances by Grammy-nominated singer Shilpa Rao and The Sufi Gospel Project; a free-flowing discussion with director Mira Nair and Festival Producer Sanjoy K. Roy, followed by a screening of her award-winning film Monsoon Wedding; sunset dolphin cruises; and an intimate author session on the power of diverse thinking with best -selling author Matthew Syed and mathematician extraordinaire Marcus du Sautoy.
The 2022 edition of the festival also held a special one-day event in Malé, featuring live Q&As with guest speakers and book signings in the Maldives’ capital city. The event was held at Salt Cafe, with participation from the Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed, and world-renowned authors Shobhaa De and Marcus du Sautoy. Prominent local architect and academic Mauroof Jameel, illustrator and author Zaahie Saeed, and comic writer and expert Ahmed Mauroof Jameel also took part in the pop- up event.
For those wanting to attend JLF Soneva Fushi 2023, Soneva’s exclusive festival offer includes full access to the entire festival program, with luxurious private villa accommodation, alongside daily full board at selected dining destinations and complimentary round–trip wheeled plane domestic transfers, priced from USD 8,100 for two guests for a minimum four-night stay. Those who book before November 30, 2022, will also benefit from an additional 10 per cent JLF Early Bird reduction on their stay. Contact me by email for more information.
About Jaipur Literature Festival
Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas. The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted over 2,000 speakers and welcoming over a million book lovers from across India and the globe. Tje JLF’s core values remain unchanged: to serve as a democratic, non-aligned platform offering free and fair access. Every year, the festival brings together a diverse mix of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians, business leaders and entertainers on one stage to champion the freedom to express and engage in thoughtful debate and dialogue.
Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producer Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day program set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage. Past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates J. M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk, Malala Yousafzai, Muhammad Yunus and Joseph Stiglitz; Man Booker Prize winners Ben Okri, Douglas Stuart, Margaret Atwood and Paul Beatty; Sahitya Akademi winners Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, as well as the late Girish Karnad, Mahasweta Devi and U. R. Ananthamurthy; along with literary superstars including Amish Tripathi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Vikram Seth. An annual event that goes beyond literature, the Festival has also hosted Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, the late A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Bill Gates, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Stephen Fry, Thomas Piketty and former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.
The Jaipur Literature Festival is a flagship event of Teamwork Arts, which produces it along with over 25 highly acclaimed performing arts, visual arts and literary festivals across more than 40 cities globally.
Founded in 1995, Soneva is an award-winning sustainable luxury resorts operator. At Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand, true ‘luxury’ is defined by peace, time and space. Each day, guests are encouraged to discover the SLOW LIFE, reconnecting with themselves and the natural world through rare, unforgettable experiences that inspire and enthral. Soneva is a pioneer for responsible tourism, combining a conscientious, proactive approach to sustainability with exquisite luxury and intuitive personalized service. Carbon neutral since 2012, Soneva launched its Total Impact Assessment in 2016, a first for the hospitality industry, measuring its social and environmental impacts. A mandatory 2% environmental levy is added to every Soneva stay, with proceeds going towards the not-for-profit Soneva Foundation to offset both direct and indirect carbon emissions from resort activities and guest flights. The Foundation funds a range of global projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.
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