As we move through the changed circumstances, timelines and spaces of now, we catch up on our monthly round-up of ‘other words’ – news on AiW’s radar, collated from across our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Festivals, Fairs, Salons | Readings – Books, Journals & Mags | Performance, Visuals, Sounds | Awards & Congrats | And also #OnOurRadar – Calls for…
February’s most read Reviews and General posts –
– one from the month – #Present | and one from our archives – #Past
(click to read)
(Virtual) Festivals, Fairs, Salons
Georgia College hosted a 2 day live-streamed event this month with the themes “connection and illumination” – unfortunately not available that we can see post-event, the programme is worth checking out for the scope and range of what connections are being illumined by our virtual events in this time of shifting interrelations.
At a time when the world is shifting, and conversations around “the other” – whatever form that ‘other’ takes- are very often charged, it is important to remind ourselves of all the ways in which we connect, and the role books and dialogue play in fostering this connection. It is in the spirit of this, and in recognition of how writers help illuminate the world, that the theme of the festival is ‘connections and illumination.’ Effort has been made to have every region of Africa represented.
Africa Writes announced their return this year (that photo!) – returning in September with a blended programme…
Time of the Writer will run this year from 15th-21st March – with an exciting theme for our times and the possibilities in literary activism – “The Writer: Witness, Canary in the Mine or Testifier?”.
Zukiswa Wanner will keynote Time of the Writer on the opening day –
Readings – Books, Journals & Magazines
The moving Notes on Grief – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s tender meditation on loss and memories of her father will be out on May 13th (from 4th Estate Books):
Gemini Spice Magazine is the first ever Afrikan Literary Magazine built on Afrikan Feminist and Socialist ideologies. We aim to create a commune of artists and activists ready to change the Afrikan narrative and pen down a world that is inclusive, diverse, equal and accepting to all world’s individuals.
Adding to our roll call of the lit mags we know and love is a new release, first issue of Gemini Spice Magazine – “We Will Survive Covid”.
The Issue was part of a broader movement, the “We Will Survive Covid Movement.” An initiative inspired by our earlier movement; Jichoche 2020. From Afrika to the World, we are joining in solidarity to tell you that We Will Survive these times that have tested our strengths and resilience as a people.
To access this Issue
Order your softcopy on our website, (https://geminispicemagazine.co.ke) at only $5.50 only.
You can use this link to view the issue on our website.
Jalada‘s latest was released on Feb 13th. You can find the issue, Jalada 09: Vol 2: A Brief History of the Earth Museum and Other Tales here, or just lose yourself for a while in the loveliness of the site and all its amazing offerings (it’s a beaut!).
Thanks to a heads-up from Brittle Paper, we’ve been reading the Lauren Beukes curated collection of “What if?” stories, Upshot – a series of seven parables predicting possible financial futures, another one capturing some of the spirits of our times…
The anthology is part of RisCura’s project Upshot, which helps investors imagine how issues such as climate change, sustainability, debt slavery, inflation, and education will impact the viability of their investments. In other words, RisCura is preparing its investors for downright dystopian futures. This is where cyberpunk novelist Lauren Beukes comes in.
Beukes gathered a team of talented African writers to pen short stories in line with Upshot’s predicted financial futures. The authors are Sam Beckbessinger, Angela Makholwa, Tade Thompson, Bongani Kona, Mohale Mashigo, and Charlie Human [and of course Beukes herself].
You can read about the project, the authors, and all seven stories on RisCura’s beautiful (be-auti-ful) anthology site: https://upshot.riscura.com/about-upshot/
Performance, Film & Visuals, Sounds
One of our loves, mags, brings us another, theatre… The African Theatre Magazine celebrated February as the month of love with a weekly story from an African play. We loved this thread!
…or another of our faves, Ama Atta Aidoo (see that link for our post on her 80th birthday anthology – realeased into the books #COVOID) and her The Dilemma of a Ghost…
The 2021 New York @AfricanFilmFest screened through February:
…celebrating the shared aspirations that drive humanity through time and the voices of the women who push the culture forward while preserving treasured traditions. Presented by Film at Lincoln Center and African Film Festival, Inc., this year’s NYAFF will showcase ten features and 21 short films from Africa, Europe, North America, and South America. The event will be presented under the banner “Notes from Home: Recurring Dreams & Women’s Voices” …
Some cracking films and a wide range – the Festival’s free talk, “Visions of Africa: The Past, Present, and Future of African Cinema” is available to watch on YouTube now.
“If Africans do not tell their own stories, Africa will soon disappear.” So said Ousmane Sembène, the legendary Senegalese auteur. Over the last many decades, African filmmakers have not only affirmed the existence of the continent on the world stage but created an entirely unique and vibrant language of cinema. This year’s New York African Film Festival showcases a number of facets of this kaleidoscopic film landscape, with works by veteran auteurs, emerging talents, diasporic voices, and pioneering women.
To celebrate the 28th NYAFF and Black History Month, we presented a special panel discussion on the past, present, and future of African cinema with the filmmakers Gaston Kaboré (Wend Kuuni; Buud Yam), Ngozi Onwurah (The Body Beautiful; Shoot the Messenger), Amjad Abu Alala (You Will Die at Twenty), and Hlumela Matika (Tab). Moderated by curator and scholar June Givanni. Translation for Mr. Kaboré provided by Nicholas Elliott.
In Visual Arts news on our radar…
Art and About Africa turned one!
Art And About Africa is a free, easy-to-use platform that allows its users to discover the vibrant art scene and connect directly with its makers and players, through an interactive map and create unique and bespoke art itineraries.
It is designed to be easily accessible to everyone, to enhance connections, empower local artists, unleash local art scene potential and inspire International audience support for Art from Africa.
And in Sounds…
And the good ol’ BBC interviewed one of the founder members of African Books Collective, Dr Henry Chakava, which you can still catch (access permitting):
Dr Henry Chakava became Kenya’s first African book editor in 1972. He made it his priority to publish in African languages as well as English, and to champion the work of Kenyans.
We’ve had the privilege of profiling a few – and only a few! – of the independent publishers ABC supports through their platform in our Words on the Times series – a Q&A subset initiated at the start of the pandemic, ongoing in the spirit of resilience and the ways we can support each other through its changes. You can read them all here, including a Q&A with CEO Justin Cox, and check out their ever vigorous work and catalogues through the African Books Collective website and their site supporting indie publishers https://www.readafricanbooks.com/.
And we love to see one uplift another – both go-tos and firm AiW faves
Awards & Congrats
Thanks to the heads-up from James Murua – always on it! – the African and African American finalists for the PEN America Literary Awards were announced this month. Finalists include Akwaeke Emezi, Hafizah Geter and Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida. Winners will be celebrated at the virtual Literary Awards Ceremony on April 8, 2021.
Congrats to Toyin Falola –
Toyin Falola, a renowned Nigerian professor of history and African studies, has been awarded the doctor of letters at the University of Ibadan. The teaching professor at the University of Texas, USA, thus becomes the first academic awardee of the D.Litt. in the humanities at the University of Ibadan….
The D.Litt is awarded by universities and learned bodies to recognize the superior accomplishment of an individual in the humanities, contributions to the creative or cultural arts, or scholarship and other merits.
And also #OnOurRadar
Some Calls that may be of interest to our viewers… for manuscripts and prizes & from the Durban FilmMart Institute
a) Writers may enter up to two unpublished full-length manuscripts.
b) Entry forms must be submitted by April 1st, 2021 to email@example.com
c) World Arts Agency will acknowledge every entry.
Thank you all for reading, and for being here with us! If there’s anything you’d like to see featured on the site, or if you’d like to connect up and we can help, in any way – don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our Contact Us page has all the details you need, or catch us on our SMs.