This weekend all three editors of Africa in Words will be at Africa Writes 2013 in London – an African literature and book festival hosted by the Royal African Society.
The festival is hosting some of the most exciting names in contemporary African literature at the British Library – from Leila Aboulela to Doreen Baingana to Warsan Shire. It includes exclusive pre-launch events with Diriye Osman for Fairytales for Lost Children and Nadifa Mohamed for Orchard of the Lost Souls (Mohamed recently featured on Granta’s renowned Best of Young British Novelists list). Panel discussions will range across topics from ‘new directions in African writing’ to ‘literary prizes’ to ‘digital futures’.
You can see the full programme and details of exhibitors at the 3 day book market here. A few highlights where you will certainly catch a glimpse of an AiW editor include:
Friday 5th July 2013
Writing Africa’s Futures (British Library Conference Centre, 2pm-5pm, free)
AiW collective supervisor Professor Stephanie Newell will be hosting the five writers shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize for a discussion about their writing in the context of broader trends on the continent. We are excited about continuing some of the conversations started by Blogging the Caine Prize 2013 here. Register for this event.
The amazing Warsan Shire, recently interviewed by Katie Reid for AiW, will be performing her poetry at this ‘stimulating evening of verse and versatility’ alongside Nick Makoha, Nii Ayikwei Parkes and Leeto Thale.
Saturday 6th July 2013
African Literature Prizes & the Economy of Prestige (British Library Conference Centre, 2.30pm-3.30pm, free)
This is a panel co-organised by Kwani Trust, which I’ve been involved in putting together as part of my work as an Associate Editor on the Kwani? Manuscript Project. Set in the context of the recent announcements of the winner of the Kwani? Manuscript Project, the Brunel University African Poetry Prize and the imminent announcement of the winner of The Caine Prize 2013, panelists Billy Kahora, Jamal Mahjoub and Bernardine Evaristo, chaired by Lizzy Attree, will explore the relationship between literary prizes, politics, money, geography and the publishing industry.
Two Writers, Two Generations: Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Mukoma wa Ngugi (British Library Conference Centre, 6.30pm-8.00pm, £7.50/£5 Book Here)
An intimate conversation between father and son, chaired by Margaret Busby, and continuing a conversation started at 2010 Kwani? Litfest. Look out for AiW’s own intimate conversation with Mukoma wa Ngugi publishing on the blog later this week.
Africa Writes Party With Numbi & Kwani? (Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA, 8pm-1am, £10/£12/£5 Book Here)
Kwani Trust have also collaborated with NUMBI Arts to host the Africa Writes Party. We will be celebrating the launch of NUMBI’s SCARF Magazine and Kwani? 07 with some fantastic musicians and DJs. This is not to be missed!
Sunday 7th July 2013
I’m really excited about this conversation, which is another Kwani Trust collaboration. Chaired by Ike Anya, it brings together the impressive line-up of Billy Kahora (Managing Editor of Kwani?), Mary Harper (Africa Editor, BBC World Service), Michael Salu (Artistic Director, Granta) and Samson Kambalu (artist and author) to share experiences of commissioning and creating new written and visual narratives that challenge conventional representations of Africa.
For those of you who missed it, highlights from the Africa Writes weekend are now available to listen to on the Royal African Society’s website.