The Theme for the Writivism Literary Festival 2018 is…
The sixth edition of Uganda’s premier literary festival, Writivism, is set to take place during the third weekend of August, from 17th to 19th 2018, at The National Theatre and The Square Place in Kampala, Uganda. The festival edition will be held under the theme of ‘Legac(y)ies’.
In the chorus of Legacy, Jay Z, raps, “Legacy, Legacy, Legacy, Legacy / Black excellence baby, you gon’ let ’em see”. Before Jay Z’s song, there was Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu (2014), which goes 250 years into history to trace an inter-generational family curse. In 2016, Yaa Gyasi published Homegoing, which also goes back centuries to trace the separation of a family, whose descendants we follow in contemporary times. More African writers are publishing historical fiction, from Peter Kimani’s Dance of the Jacaranda, Irenosen Okojie’s Butterfly Fish, Harruna Ayesha Attah’s The Hundred Wells of Salaga, Leila Aboulela’s The Kindness of Enemies, to Fred Khumalo’s Dancing the Death Drill.
The excavation of history enables us to see the legacies we have inherited, and to consider what legacies we leave for the future. Is it Jay Z’s “Black excellence”? For Fred Khumalo, “what we call ‘history’ is not a thing, an object of study, but a story we choose to tell”
At the 2018 Writivism Festival, we are exploring legacies. We start with the premise that representations of the past within fiction, non-fiction, drama, film, poetry, photography, music, dance, and art are a site of contestation that entails deconstruction and reconstruction of the past.
Speakers and attendees will celebrate the different ways history can be used to inspire new narratives. Key speakers at the festival include luminaries Professor Taban Lo Liyong, Goretti Kyomuhendo, authors Akwaeke Emezi (Freshwater), Ijangolet Ogwang (An Image in a Mirror), Mugabi Byenkya (Dear Philemona), Dami Ajayi (A Woman’s Body is a Country), Shadreck Chikoti (Azotus the Kingdom) among others.
Through book launches, film screenings, panel discussions, poetry and music performances, outreach to hospitals, markets and schools, visual arts and photography exhibitions, keynote addresses, Writivism Prizes awarding ceremony among other events, the sixth Annual Writivism Festival will discuss how the past is remembered, negotiated and adapted to inform the present and future.
“This is going to be our shortest festival in some time and, to borrow the song title of a currently popular Sauti Sol song, we want to make it ‘short and sweet’. The team, together with our festival partners, have prepared what we believe is the right mix of informative literary sessions and fun times and we look forward to seeing you experience it,” said Roland Byagaba, the Writivism Director and Festival Curator.
Images courtesy of Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACEAfrica), the organisers of the Writivism Festival.