The first South Asian Writers Festival takes place Event


NameThe first South Asian Writers Festival
Organiser / VenueAgaram Productions
Decades Active2010s


In 2013, Agaram Productions (led by Ahi Karunaharan) produced the South Asian Writers Festival, described as “the first ever of this kind here in Australasia.”

The focus of the festival was offering development opportunities for South Asian writers and actors in Aotearoa — workshopping ideas for stage and screen productions that might be produced by Agaram Productions.

At the time, Karunaharan shared that the festival was modelled on the Indigenous Native Canadian Development Festival, Weesageechak Begins to Dance, a model that had already successfully been adapted in Aotearoa by Tawata Productions with their Matariki Development Festival. Karunaharan had participated in this festival for three years before creating the South Asian Writers Festival.

A second festival was staged in 2014. Tea, Karunaharan’s “multi-narrative epic drama set in Sri Lanka that spans across different eras”, was developed through the South Asian Writers Festival, continued development through Auckland Arts Festival’s 2016 RAW programme, and premiered in a sell-out season at the 2018 Auckland Arts Festival. Agaram Productions has continued to develop and present original works by South Asian writers.


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Last updated: 1 March 2024 Suggest an Edit