Cultures of Peace 2013

from the last festival


Cultures of Peace – Festival of the Northeast started in 2011, it is organised by Zubaan in collaboration with Khublei and supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation.Conceptualised and produced by Preeti Gill and Mary Therese Kurkalang, the festival directors, this Festival has been growing with each year and expanding its reach to different cities and spaces. Through writing, music, film, theatre, media, photography etc. this Festival aims to showcase the cultures of the Northeast and bring important and pertinent discussions to the forefront, it aims to build bridges and make connections with the rest of India, and to create awareness of the region, as it is, in its present day context.

The Festival has been organised at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi for two years consecutively. In January/ February 2014 the third edition of Cultures of Peace is being held at Pune, Mumbai and Guwahati in collaboration with local partners.
Organised at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi in its first years, the Festival is being organised in Pune, Mumbai and Guwahati in collaboration with local partners, in 2014.





is an independent, non-profit publishing house. It grew out of India’s first feminist press, Kali for Women. Founded by Urvashi Butalia who was the co-founder of Kali, Zubaan was set up to continue with Kali’s work. One of Zubaan’s main objectives is to work towards increasing and expanding the body of knowledge on and by women in India and South Asia and to provide a space where women writers can debate issues and where they can publish their work. Zubaan’s publishing programme has grown to include significant and path-breaking work on gender and reproductive health, sexuality, law, architecture, gender and conflict, history and the social sciences. Zubaan has a significant list of writers from the Northeast of India, both fiction and non-fiction. By encouraging translation activity across the Indian languages Zubaan’s fiction list has some of the best regional language writing by women. Zubaan has been organising workshops and conferences, book related programmes and events in different parts of the country.


The Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBF)

is the Green Political Foundation, affiliated to the “Greens/ Alliance 90″ political party represented in Germany’s federal parliament. Headquartered in Berlin and with more than 25 international offices, HBF conducts and supports civic educational activities and projects worldwide. HBF understands itself as a green think tank and international policy network, working with governmental and non-governmental actors and focusing on gender equity, sustainable development, and democracy and human rights.

With a presence in New Delhi since 2002, the HBF India office coordinates the interaction with local project partners. Its programme activities are focused on climate change and energy, gender and economic policy, and democracy and conflict.



was set up by Mary Therese Kurkalang in 2012. It is a company working in the field of Art, Books, Culture and Design. Offering varied services including event management, programming, production, marketing, communication, PR, branding and promotion. KHUBLEI also works actively to promote the cultures of the North Eastern states of India, and raise awareness on issues related to these states.
KHUBLEI is a Khasi word that means ‘Thank You’, it is also a greeting and literally translated, the two syllables mean ‘God Bless’.


Urvashi Butalia, Festival Advisor
Preeti Gill, Festival Director
Mary Therese Kurkalang, Festival Director
Uddipta N Borah, Festival Co-ordinator
Satish Sharma, Accounts
Semy Haitenlo & Avinash Kuduvalli, Designers




Eclectic North EastThe Thumb Print

Programme 2014


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Urvashi Butalia

Urvashi Butalia is a well-known writer, activist, feminist and publisher. Her writings on the Partition of India including her book The Other Side of Silence, and Speaking Peace on women in Kashmir have been path breaking. Co-founder of India’s first feminist publishing house ‘Kali for Women’ started in 1984, Urvashi started Zubaan in 2003. She received the Padma Shri in 2010.

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Uddipana Goswami

Uddipana Goswami is a poet and writer based in Guwahati. She is editor of Northeast Review. Her publications include ‘We called the River Red’ and ‘Indira Goswami : Poetry from a Violent Homeland.’ Her latest book – No Ghosts and Other Stories – is soon to be published by Zubaan

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Triveni Goswami Mathur

A Fulbright-Nehru Scholar, Triveni is a Visiting Professor of Contemporary India and Media Studies and associated with leading educational institutions as a Board of Studies member. A former journalist with the Indian Express and the Press Trust of India, Triveni is a published writer, editor and translator of books and lives in Pune.

Tilottoma Mishra

TILOTTOMA MISRA is a writer and critic. Her published works include Literature and Society in Assam and Lauhitya Sindu (a novel in Assamese). She is also the editor of An Anthology of Writings from North East India.

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Teresa Rehman

Teresa Rehman is an award-winning journalist based in Northeast India. After a brief sojourn in Delhi, she returned to her roots in Assam. As many journalists based here, she has flirted with danger while visiting militant camps in the region. She has also done stories on child soldiers being recruited by the militant groups in Northeast India.
She has also written stories of hope which has revealed the resilience of the people of the Northeast. She has worked on pertinent issues like impact of militancy on women and children, health, education, rural employment and the disabled. She is particularly interested in issues related to HIV-AIDS, water and sanitation.


Sushama Deshpande

Writer, Director or Theatre Activist.

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Stremlet Dhkar

Dr. Streamlet Dkhar is presently working as a Professor in the Department ofKhasi, NEHU, Shillong. She has won numerous Awards for her contribution to Poetry and Khasi literature at the State, National and International level. Presently she is the Regional Coordinator, NE Region of the UGC Capacity Building of Women Managers in Higher Education, the Vice President Meghalaya Women’s Alliance, the President of the forum, Ka Shlem Phira Ki Kynthei bad Samla and the President of the All India Poetess Association, Meghalaya Chapter. She has to her credit a total number of 58 Publications.

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Siddhartha Sarma

Siddhartha Sarma is a journalist based in Delhi. His debut novel The Grasshopper’s Run, and a non-fiction book, 103 journeys, Travels, Trips and Stuff, have been shortlisted for the 2009 Crossword Children’s Book Award. He is also an occasional budget traveller, and is known for exaggerating his experiences and drinking much tea on the road.


Sanjoy Hazarika

Sanjoy Hazarika, an award winning former correspondent of The New York Times is presently Dr.Saifuddin Kitchlew Chair in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, and founder Director and Professor at the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research. He is Managing Trustee and founder of the independent CNES ( He has authored a number of books including Strangers of the Mist: Tales of War and Peace from India’s Northeast, Bhopal: The Lessons from a Tragedy, Rites of Passage: Border Crossings, Imagined Homelands, India’s East and Bangladesh. He has produced and scripted over a dozen documentary films which includes A River’s Story: the quest for the Brahmaputra; A Measure of Impunity and Where There Are No Roads.

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Samrat Choudhury

Samrat is a journalist and author from Shillong. He is currently the editor of the Mumbai edition of The Asian Age. His writing has appeared in The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, India Today, Outlook, Open and Caravan as well as The New York Times, The Friday Times in Pakistan and The Dhaka Tribune in Bangladesh.
His first novel, The Urban Jungle, was nominated for the Man Asian literature prize. His short stories have been translated into Italian, Spanish and German.

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Sahba Husain

Sahba Husain is an independent researcher and women’s rights activist, based in Delhi. Her work focuses on the social consequences of armed conflict and militarization in Jammu & Kashmir with special attention to women.

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Rupa Chinai

Rupa Chinai is an independent journalist based in Mumbai. Writing on health and development issues she has worked on the staff of leading Indian English language newspapers for over three decades. She is also the co-author of a book on rural Indian women’s health issues. A regular visitor to Northeast India since 1980, her travelogue, a reporter’s diary, based on her explorations of this region from a variety of perspectives over the course of more than 25 years, will be published by Zubaan in 2014.

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Roshmi Goswami

Roshmi Goswami is from Assam and is a co-founder of the North-East Network. She was Program Officer with the Ford Foundation in New Delhi before moving to New York where she is Head of Women, Peace and Security unit at UN Women. She is currently the Vice Chair – Urgent Action Fund (USA).

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Rosemary Dzuvichu

Ms Rosemary Dzuvichu is an Associate Professor, Department of English, Nagaland University, Kohima. She is also an expert member on north east, NCW, New Delhi. She is the president of the Rotary Club of Kohima and Nagaland University Teacher’s Associatioon. She is GB member, IGSS, New Delhi/NCAS Pune, Advisor, Nagar Mother’s Association and Co-ordinator, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), Nagaland Chapter. She was a former expert member of UGC for opening women studies centre in the country, former expert member of South Asia Peace and Conflict Studies, former Vice President, Federation of Central University Teachers Association (FEDCUTA).  She was also a former steering committee member; NEW net/Win G. She is an Alumni of International Visitor’s Leadership Programme of the US Government and Thompson Foundation Fellowship of the British High Commission.

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Rita Chowdhury

Rita Chowdhury is a known poet, novelist and Sahitya Akademi Award recipient in the world of Assamese literature. She is working as a senior lecturer in Cotton College, Guwahati, Assam in Political Science Department.


Rakhee Kalita Moral

Rakhee Kalita Moral is Associate Professor of English at Cotton College, Guwahati. At present she is a Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. She has published papers in research periodicals and journals and is the co-editor of ‘At the Frontier and Beyond: Literature and its Relations’, edited ‘Gender and Society in Northeast India’ and is presently working on her book on Arms and Woman: ‘Gender, Insurgency and the Myth of Power’.

Priyadarshi Telang

Priyadarshi Telang

Priyadarshi Telang is working as Director for Manuski Trust, Pune. Besides overall responsibility of managing and monitoring of the project, he is involved in Human Rights Advocacy and Campaigns. He is also engaged in training grassroots activists and organisation in social legislation, human rights approach, special component plans and building solidarity among human rights defenders. He is trained as a computer engineer, with a law degree. After working with the public sector and private companies, he involved himself in entrepreneurial activities. He is a trainer in Management Information Systems.

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Preeti Gill

Preeti Gill is an editor and writer. Her books include The Peripheral Centre: Voices from India’s Northeast and Shadow Lives: Writings on Widowhood in India. She has travelled extensively in the Northeast of India and worked on a number of assignments and projects as well as documentary films on a range of subjects.

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Prajwal Parajuly

Prajwal Parajuly is the son of an Indian father and a Nepalese mother. He divides his time between New York and Oxford, England, but disappears to Gangtok, his hometown in the Indian Himalayas, at every opportunity. His first book, the bestselling collection of short stories called the The Gurkha’s Daughter was shortlisted for The Dylan Thomas Prize 2013. Land Where I Flee, his novel, is now out. He is the writer-in-residence at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

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Neha Mathrani

Neha Mathrani is a writer and editor based in Pune. With a Masters of Creative Industries, she has worked with writers, filmmakers, artists, design houses and NGOs using the arts to bring about conversations on cultural and social issues. She is currently associated with Open Space, Pune and The Kahani Project.

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Neena Ningombam

Neena Ningombam is the Secretary of Extra-Judicial Execution Victims Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM). She is also the first petitioner of the monumental case of 1528 extrajudicial killing in Manipur pending in the Supreme Court for final adjudication. Neena has also addressed the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in May 2013 and raised the plight of the increasing population of widows in areas declared disturbed under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
EEVFAM is an organization of widows and mothers whose husband/son were executed by the state security forces in what is general known as fake encounter.

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Monalisa Changkija

Monalisa Changkija is the founder and editor of the English language daily published out of Dimapur called Nagaland Page. A writer and poet Monalisa is a fearless journalist of repute with two anthologies of poetry to her credit. She lives in Dimapur.

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Minimon Laloo

Minimon Laloo is a woman with diverse interests. She is a writer, philatelist, All India Radio artist, amateur photographer, actor, coin collector, playwright and performer and amateur caver. Adventurous to the core, Mrs. Laloo is best known for her literary works. Her long list of literary work includes some 79 pieces ranging from books of poetry and romantic novels

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Mitra Phukan

Mitra Phukan is a writer, translator, columnist and classical vocalist who lives and works in Guwahati, Assam. Her novels include, “The Collector’s Wife, A Monsoon of Music and several books for children. She is the North East correspondent of the Chennai-based journal of the performing arts, “Shruti” and is the current President of the North East Writers’ Forum, an important literary body that draws its membership across eight States of the region.


Meenakshi Ganguly

Before taking over as South Asia Director, Meenakshi Ganguly served as Human Rights Watch’s South Asia researcher since 2004. She has investigated a broad range of issues from police reform to discrimination against marginalized groups, abuse surrounding the sectarian riots in Gujarat, the lack of justice in Punjab, issues of religious freedom, the failure to protect India’s vulnerable communities–including those affected by the Maoist conflict, and abuses related to the fighting in the states of Manipur and Jammu & Kashmir. She has also advocated a human rights approach to India’s foreign policy particularly on countries like Burma..

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Mary Therese Kurkalang

Mary Therese Kurkalang runs Khublei which promotes and organizes events in the arts, publishing and social development areas. Born in Shillong, Mary has lived and worked in Delhi for the last sixteen years in NGOs, international cultural centres and in the publishing industry. For the past few years, and especially through KHUBLEI, Mary is working to actively promote the cultures of the North-Eastern states of India, and raise awareness on issues related to these states.

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Margaret Zama

Margaret Ch. Zama is Professor in the Department of English, Mizoram University. Her areas of research are cultural studies, translation and northeast studies. As a member of North East Writers’ Forum, she had collaborated extensively as a language coordinator in translating works from the region. Her own translated works have appeared in The Heart of the Matter: Handpicked Fictions from Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Assam and Nagaland(2004) and Fresh Fictions: Folk Tales, Plays, Novellas from the North East (2005)

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Mamta Murthy

Mamta Murthy is a filmmaker, photographer and curator based in Mumbai. ‘Fried fish, chicken soup & a premiere show,’ is her first feature film.

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Madhu Gurung

Madhu Gurung is a Fellow of the National Foundation of India who has worked on the issue of female foeticide. She has been a freelance journalist for over 20 years and written for a host of national and international newspapers and magazines. A fifth generation Army kid and wife, she has lived across India, spending many years in the North East, where she has worked with grass root communities. She has lived in Myanmar for three years where she collected ancient folktales and has recently published ‘Burmese Folktales’ for children. Currently, she lives in Delhi and is writing on a book on the Gurkhas.

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Jarjum Ete

Jarjum Ete is the spokesperson of Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society; Chief Advisor, Galo Welfare Society; President, All India Federation of Forest Working People. She was a former Chairperson of Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women.


Indrani Raimedhi

Indrani Raimedhi is a well known journalist, columnist and writer. She is an Assistant Editor featuers in The Assam Tribune, a premier English newspaper of the North East region. Author of eight books, she has been the resource person in IGNOU’s phone in radio programme on creative writing. In 2004 she was awarded the Kunjabala Devi Award for Investigative Journalism on women’s issues.

Ilina Sen

Ilina Sen is an internationally known feminist scholar, human rights activist, a pacifist, an agronomist, a builder and manager of institutions. She is Sen is a professor at the Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, TISS, MUMBAI and a professor of Gender Studies at Mahatma Gandhi Hindi University in Wardha. She manages an innovative NGO, Rupantar, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. She has authored several books including “A Space within the Struggle: Women’s Participation in People’s Struggles,” “The Migrant Women of Chhattisgarh,” and “The Women’s Movement in India.” Ilina and her husband Binayak have worked for more than three decades among some of India’s most impoverished and socially stigmatized populations on issues of health, livelihood, and civil liberties.


Borkung Hrangkhawl

BK is also known as a ‘conscious rapper’ – a progressive rap reformer beneath because his songs are based on life, struggles, and are against discrimination, racism, and injustice. His songs have unique messages, compelling lyrics. It’s not often you get this blend in a rapper.

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Belinder Dhanoa

Belinder Dhanoa is a writer, artist and Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at the School for Culture and Creative Expression at the Ambedkar University Delhi. Her novel Waiting for Winter was published by Penguin India and her novels for children by NBT. Her new novel ‘Echoes in the Well’ is forthcoming from Zubaan. She has recently edited ‘The Body in Indian Art and Thought’ (Ludion).


Avinuo Kire

Avinuo Kire lives in Kohima and works at the State Resource Centre for Women, under the Government of Nagaland. Writing has been a passion since she was 12 years old and she is intrigued by the extraordinary in ordinary people. She enjoys writing both prose and poetry.

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Anuradha Sharma Pujari

Anuradha Sharma Pujari is an influential Assamese journalist and author. She is the editor or Sadin and Satsori. Her contributions to Assamese literature include fiction and essays

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Anupama Basumatary

Anupama Basumatary was born in Darrangiri, Goalpara district, Assam, in 1961. She has five collections of poetry and a book of translations. She received the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad’s ‘Ishan Award’ for her book Rupali Ratir Ghat. She is an administrative officer in LIC of India, Guwahati


Ankush Saikia

Ankush Saikia, the author of the Shillong-based thriller The Girl From Nongrim Hills was shortlisted for the fourth Outlook/Picador-India non-fiction writing award in 2005. He is the author of Jet City Woman (2007) and Spotting Veron and Other Stories (2011). He is based in Shillong, Meghalaya and Tezpur, Assam.


We know that while covering the festival media people will need detailed information and pictures in an easily adaptable format. You can down the prepared Press Kit here.

For more information, please contact:

General Queries:
Uddipta N Borah, Co-ordinator
(m) +91 8447487673

PRESS contact:
Ela Gupta, KHUBLEI
(m)+91 9582732689

Gunjan Sharma, KHUBLEI
(m)+91 9654977142


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