Friday, 22 June 2012

Africa Writes

Africa Writes: The Royal African Society’s inaugural Literature and Book festival

Saturday 30 June & Sunday 1 July 2012, 12-8PM

Brunei Gallery Building (SOAS) & Torrington Square

The RAS is pleased to present Africa Writes - a festival celebrating contemporary African literature and writers, scheduled to take place on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July 2012.

Africa Writes aims to enhance coverage and discussion about African literature and writers in London - and the UK, by extension. Every year Africa Writes will showcase established and emerging literary talent from Africa and the Diaspora during a weekend-long series of events, including: a major lecture with a high profile African literary figure; book launches, readings, workshops, panel discussions, talks and other activities; a 2-day international book fair showcasing publishers of African literature; and a 2-day pan-African food market featuring dishes from around the continent.

SATURDAY, 30th June 2012

Welcome and Introduction by Richard Dowden (Director, RAS)
12:00-12:15 / Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)

Opening session: New writing for a ‘new Africa’?
12:15-13:00 / BGLT
Deputy Editor of Granta, Ellah Allfrey, leads Ghanaian author Kojo Laing in conversation, discussing new writing in Africa and setting the scene for the festival.

Book launch: How Shall We Kill the Bishop? by Lily Mabura
13:00-13:30 / Brunei Suite (BS)
Book launch with author Lily Mabura. Chair: Fiammetta Rocco (Literary Editor, The Economist).

Book launch: Sterile Sky by E. E. Sule
14:00-14:30 / BS
Book launch with author EE Sule. Chair: Dr Mpalive Msiska (Reader in English & Humanities, Birkbeck College).

Event: The 2012 Caine Prize authors meet their readers
15:00-16:30 / BGLT
Meet the 2012 Caine Prize Shortlisted writers - Rotimi Babatunde, Billy Kahora, Stanley Kenani, Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, and Constance Myburgh. Event in collaboration with the Black Reading Group and the London Afro-Caribbean Book Club. *Attendance by RSVP only:

Book launch: Crossbones by Nuruddin Farah
17:00-17:45 / BS
Book launch with author Nuruddin Farah. Chair: Richard Dowden (Director, RAS)

Africa Writes 2012 Lecture by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
18:00-19:30 / BGLT
Marking the 50th anniversary of the African Writers Series, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will reflect on 50 years of African literature since the series was first established in 1962. Followed by a reception.
*Attendance by RSVP only:

SUNDAY, 1st July 2012

Workshop: Story Time
12:00-13:00 / BS
Interactive story-telling for children.

Book launch: Labyrinths by Christopher Okigbo
12:00-12:30 / BGLT
Book launch led by Christopher Okigbo’s daughter, Obiageli Okigbo (Founder, the Christopher Okigbo Foundation).

Panel discussion: Publishing contemporary African Literature - challenges & opportunities
13:00-14:00 / BGLT
With Margaret Busby (writer, editor, critic, consultant and broadcaster), Becky Nana Ayebia Clarke MBE (Founder, Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd), and James Currey (Founder, James Currey - an imprint of Boydell & Brewer). Chair: Wangui Wa Goro (translator, editor and writer).

Panel discussion: Writing Away from Home
14:30-15:30 / BGLT
Authors Ellen Banda-Aaku, Noo Saro-Wiwa, Goretti Kyomuhendo and Aminatta Forna (TBC) discuss the implications, challenges, and opportunities of living in the Diaspora and writing about ‘Home’. Chair: Hannah Pool.

Book launch: And Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night by Jack Mapanje
16:00-16:30 / BGLT
Book launch with author Jack Mapanje. Chair: Becky Nana Ayebia Clarke MBE (Founder, Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd).

Closing event: Word from Africa – part of Poetry Parnassus
18:00-22:00 / Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre
Word from Africa 2012 celebrates the exciting culmination of the Poetry Parnassus and Africa Writes festivals. It's a rich jollof of poetry, storytelling and song, sauteed with performance and music! Headlined by the Official poet at London Olympics 2012 and Associate Artist at the Southbank Centre, Lemn Sissay, the event will feature a selection of The Poetry Parnussus African poets, rappers and wordsmiths, including: Modeste Hugues (Madagascar), Oxmo Puccion (Mali), Ketty Nivyabandi Bikura (Birundi) Shailja Patel (Kenya), T.J. Dema (Botswana), Paul Dakeyo (Cameroon), Bewketu Seyoum (Ethiopia), Abdulahi Botaan Hassan 'Kurweyne' (Somalia), Mariama Khan (Gambia) and Togara Muzanenhamo (Zimbabwe).

For more information please visit the Royal African Society website

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