Male’, Maldives, 17th May 2022 – JLF Soneva Fushi will come to Male’ later this month, bringing literature, music and culture to the capital city for one special day.

The world-famous JLF is holding a 10-day festival at Soneva Fushi in Baa atoll from 13 to 22 May. Soneva Fushi is hosting the one-day event in Male’ as part of its outreach programme, to provide an opportunity for Maldivians in the Greater Male Area to enjoy some of the festival’s world-class cultural programming.

Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and co-founder of Soneva, shared, “We are delighted to be hosting part of JLF in Male’, and we hope that people living in the capital can enjoy participating in this exciting festival of culture, music and literature.”

The festival day will be held at Salt Cafe in Male’ on Wednesday 18 May, with Maldivian poetry reading and storytelling, as well as conversations with prominent authors Shobhaa De and Marcus du Sautoy. Mauroof Jameel, renowned Maldivian architect and academic; Zaahie Saeed, an illustrator and author whose work focuses on island life; and Ahmed Mauroof Jameel, a writer of, and expert on, comics, will also speak at the event.

Shobhaa De is one of India’s best known novelists, whose most famous work focuses on fictional depictions of the colourful lives of Indian socialites and high society figures. Her session at the festival day is entitled ‘Fiction, Faction and the Spaces in Between’, where she will discuss the many spaces she inhabits as writer, the ability to balance and flourish in each.

Marcus du Sautoy is a mathematician extraordinaire and author of the books, Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut and The Creativity Code: How AI is Learning to Write, Paint and Think, in which he studies the nature of creativity, algorithms and how engineers track emotional responses to art. His session is entitled ‘AI and Creativity’ where he will discuss AI, intuition, the creative process and its connection to mathematics. 

Q&As and book signings will be available with both authors.

Mohamed Mauroof Jameel is a Maldivian architect, researcher and illustrator specializing in architectural heritage. He is the principal of his architectural firm Mai Design Pvt Ltd and provides services in consultancy, client advice, research, and education. Mauroof has been involved in architecture since 1982 designing many public buildings, private residences, and resorts. He served the government of Maldives for more than 19 years in high-level posts including as a cabinet minister. His research focuses on the architectural heritage of mosques, traditional houses, and resorts of the Maldives. His work is presented in many publications, and exhibitions and is well known for his work on the coral stone mosques of Maldives.

Zaahie Saeed is a creative designer, illustrator and entrepreneur passionate about collecting and sharing island stories. Through her books and illustrations, she hopes to take her audience on a journey filled with appreciation for island life. She is passionate about ocean and advocating to reduce plastic pollution.

Ahmed Mauroof Jameel is a writer and comics scholar based in the Maldives. Comics and speculative fiction have been a predominant part of his life from a young age, and a shift in interest from horror to fantasy in the latter school years seems to have stuck with him to this day. If Ahmed is known at all, it is for his scholarship and short stories, though his primary focus remains the longform stories he has always quietly worked on.

The event will also feature local musicians, Ammadey, Igyan Rafeeu, Shamoon Mohamed, and Ahnaf Ibrahim. These artists are curated by Fannuge Dharin (Talent Gathering), a local organisation that provides a platform for Maldivian artists to meet, share and inspire.

Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director of Teamwork Arts, the producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival and the international extensions of JLF said, ‘’We are excited to bring a version of the world’s biggest literary event to Maldives with JLF Soneva Fushi, which explores diversity and creates a platform to celebrate world literature and commonality.” 

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