The annual Mountain Echoes Literary Festival held in Bhutan has announced a list of speakers for its eighth edition next month. Among the 40 speakers on board are Bhutanese poet Ashi Sonam Choden Dorji, art restorer and author Ashi Kesang Choden T, politician and author Shashi Tharoor, author Nadeem Aslam, environmentalist Pradip Krishen, biochemist and author Pranay Lal, filmmaker Imtiaz Ali, journalist Barkha Dutt and television host Karan Thapar.

The literary, arts and cultural festival organised by the India-Bhutan Foundation, in association with the literary consultancy Siyahi, will be held from August 25 to August 27 this year, with an inaugural ceremony on August 24 in Thimphu. The themes: Environmental conservation, natural history, spirituality, and the global evolution of textiles and design traditions. The programme will also celebrate “Untouched Beauty, Unexplored Ideas and Unstoppable Voices from the heart of the happiest country in the world”.

“The aim of the free, open festival is to showcase Bhutan and India’s shared historical and traditional narratives and at the same time promote the culture of reading, writing and literature in Bhutan. Each year, we strive to curate programming that presents audiences with interesting insights into the literature, art and culture of Bhutan, India and the world around,” said Mita Kapur, the CEO of Siyahi.