The annual Jaipur Literature Festival is the world’s largest free literary festival, attracting crowds of book-loving enthusiasts from across the globe. Set in the grounds of Hotel Diggi Palace, the festival is a jungle labyrinth of performance spaces welcoming poets, writers, journalists, politicians, historians and academics to the stage for readings, lectures and panel discussions. Unlike the sober and hushed atmosphere of many other literary festivals, JLF is loud, colourful and outspoken; here the crowds join the conversation laughing, jeering and fighting for the microphone to voice their questions. One fierce debate on whether we are living in a post-truth world very nearly resulted in a brawl between two Indian politicians.
This year’s line-up, for the tenth anniversary, welcomed Richard Flanagan, Sebastian Smee, Mridula Koshy, Alan Hollinghurst, Paul Beatty, and Timothy Garton Ash, amongst many other notable names, speaking on topics ranging from Brexit and Edward Snowden to the Magna Carta and Lucien Freud. Photographer, James Houston captured the scene exclusively for LUX.