Asia House

63 New Cavendish Street London W1G 7LP

Tel: +44(0)20 7307 5454

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© Asia House Arts & Learning 2019

About the Festival

The Asia House Bagri Foundation Literature Festival celebrates its 13th edition in 2019 and has welcomed a vast range of exciting speakers over the years. We have showcased talent across the spoken and written word, including speakers such as Jung Chang, Elif Shafak, Mohsin Hamid, Nadiya Hussain, Nish Kumar and Mishal Husain.

The festival takes place every autumn and seeks to increase the awareness and understanding of the diverse cultures of Asia and the diaspora through the power of stories. We do this by holding panel discussions and debates, author talks and live literature performances. By acting as a neutral space for the exchange of ideas and the highlighting of key Asian issues, and providing a platform for debate, the festival brings together a predominantly millennial and ethnically diverse audience for a series of educational and entertaining events.


This year we are delighted to welcome an eclectic mix of household names and rising stars, from politician and bestselling author Shashi Tharoor to the UK’s most followed poet on social media, Nikita Gill. The breadth of our conversations range from key events in 20th Century Chinese history to an examination of British Muslim identity today.

We are once again grateful for the support of our Title Sponsor, the Bagri Foundation, who share our vision to celebrate Asian arts and culture and share it with audiences across the UK.

We hope you enjoy this year’s festival as much as we have enjoyed programming it. 

The Power of Stories

We aim to bring literature to life. We believe in the power of stories. Stories connect us to people and culture. They fire our imaginations, hold our present, share our histories and shape our futures. Stories are powerful and they matter to us and our audience.

The Diverse Cultures of Asia

We explore the world’s largest continent – from Turkey to Tokyo – and the experiences of the Asian diaspora. From examinations of British South Asian identity to socio-economic discussions on the future of China, the festival’s programme is as diverse as the region, cultures and people that we cover.

Representation Matters

The 2011 UK census showed that the Asian population formed the largest ethnic minority group, yet a 2015 report commissioned by Spread the Word (a writer development agency) found that only 4% of writers appearing in the largest UK literature festivals were from ethnic minority backgrounds. We are committed to representation and this is reflected in our programming.



Aged 18-24


BAME backgrounds

(Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic)


Aged 25-34




Aged 35-44

8+ out of 10

Event rating from 86% of our audience

About Asia House


Asia House, a centre of expertise on trade, investment and public policy, supports a vibrant Arts and Learning programme - a creative hub for Asian arts and culture in the UK. The mission of Asia House Arts and Learning is to inspire and engage diverse audiences through a pan-Asian artistic and cultural programme, which takes place through panel discussions, exhibitions, performances, talks and screenings and spans artistic forms ranging from music, dance, visual art, film, fashion, literature and food.


For more information visit

About the Bagri Foundation


The Bagri Foundation, a UK registered charity, is inspired by creative, unique and unexpected ideas that weave the traditional and the contemporary of Asian culture. The Foundation is driven by curiosity, a desire to learn and supports myriad of exciting artistic programmes that challenge, engage and inspire. Through a diverse programme of film, visual arts, music, dance, literature, courses and lectures, Bagri Foundation gives artists and experts from across Asia, or those inspired by the continent, wider visibility on the global stage.


For more information visit