In other Words… AiW news and June’s wrap

Catching up on our monthly round-up of ‘other words’ – news on AiW’s radar, collated from across our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We have also continued our separate “Calls for” post in our “Other Words” this month, rounding up opportunities and shout-outs for contributions – academic and creative. 



Festivals, Salons, & Conversations | Readings – Books, Journals & Mags | Performance, Visuals, Sounds | Awards & Congrats | And also on our radar…


Festivals, Salons & Conversations

NYrobi Book Festival was live at Alliance Française De Nairobi, which supports the production and presentation of artistic works that reflect the diversity, aspirations and contradictions of our contemporary society and that open up space for dialogue. 

From 25 – 26 June, NYrobi Book Festival celebrated the spoken and written word across disciplines and genres, and through exhibitions, performances, and panel discussions. 

NYrobi BF 1


The 23rd edition of the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival was held from 10 – 20 June 2021, and incorporated a  #VirtuallyEverywhere offer available online to everyone in South Africa.

The program showcased 71 films (shorts, features and animations), including from Niger, Ethiopia, Kenya, DRC, Botswana, and Mozambique. There were also webinars, debates, and Q&As with local and international directors. 

Encounters SA


The African Film Festival (TAFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and teaching African culture through motion pictures, arts, and storytelling. TAFF was created to give the Independent Creative, that has interest in African art and stories, an international platform; hence, expanding the market and creating networking opportunities for seasoned and aspiring practitioners to commiserate on ideas and forge working relationships.

When the festival was expanded to also appreciate the importance of arts in storytelling, it became The African Film & Arts Festival. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 edition of The African Film and Arts Festival was held virtually on from 1 – 5 June.



The African Diaspora International Film Festival, in collaboration with Chicago-based Facets Cinémathèque, celebrated its 18th anniversary virtually from June 18 – 24, 2021. The films in ADIFF Chicago 2021 explored the full humanity and range of the Black and Indigenous experience, giving a multidimensional voice to often misrepresented and misunderstood realities and peoples.

Some titles in ADIFF Chicago 2021 came directly from film festivals such as Tribeca, Toronto, Berlinale, Durban, the Pan African Film Festival and The Trinidad and Tobago film festival. 

Special events in ADIFF Chicago 2021 spotlighted films by women filmmakers of color, e.g., Nicole Sylvester’s Maya And Her Lover, in which the mundane life of a 39-year-old introvert is disrupted when she begins an affair with a much younger man, Raja Amari’s She Had A Dream, about a young black Tunisian woman who decides to go into politics to fight against sexism and racism in today’s Tunisia and Sanaa Akroud’s Myopia, a beautifully observed meditation on faith, perseverance, and integrity.



In March 2021, a new campaign invited Black and Brown people around the UK to share what they are Proud To Be. The campaign aimed to make Black History Month 2021 personal and unique to individuals, families and communities, focusing on how we’re all making history all the time in our own ways, as well as the contributions and achievements of Black people throughout history.

The Black British Book Festival is designed to celebrate black authors across all genres​ of literature. 



The 52nd Cairo International Book Fair was inaugurated on 30 June and opened to the public on July 1. It will run until July 15. The Cairo Book Fair is the largest and oldest book fair in the Arab world, usually held in the last week of January of each year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s book fair was postponed to June.

Cairo International Book Fair


The 2021 edition of the Schomburg Center Literary Festival was reconfigured as a 6-day virtual event which honoured great contemporary writers who gathered from across the country and around the world to offer an intergenerational exploration of freedom. The festival closed on June 19th, also known in the United States as ‘Juneteenth,’ a day in 1865 marking freedom for enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. 

The lineup of authors included Ben Okri, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Angela Dalton.

Schomburg Centre Literary Festival

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Readings – Books, Journals & Mags

This month our SM news feed’s been concentrated around lit mags from the continent and the communities built around the opportunities they offer… 

The vigorous Bakwa Magazine announced its upcoming 10th birthday celebrations – woop!! – and shared highlights of a celebratory event about literary magazines in the publishing ecosystem:


And with congrats to all of the shortlisted writers, the announcement of the AKO Caine Prize shortlist this year spotlit literary mags on the continent in all their collaborative possibilities and the accessibility of their platforms… 


Performance, Visuals, Sounds


Writers Project Ghana (Writers PG) hosted some of the contributors to Accra Noir (Cassava Republic Press, 2021) on their weekly radio show on Citi FM in Ghana. On the show, they spoke to Ernest Addo, author and contributor with “The Driver”, and Billie Mcternan, artist, author, whose story “The Labadi Sunshine Bar” also appears in the collection. You can listen to the show here.


The Realness Institute, an African screenwriters residency whose mission is to unearth the wealth of stories from the continent, teamed up with Netflix to run two inaugural three-month development lab for African Writers and Development Executive Trainees. 12 creative industry professionals from Africa were selected to be part of the project, and are split into two sets, the Episodic Lab (EPL) and the Development Executive Traineeship (DET). You can read more the candidates here.


The Durban International Film Festival launched their curated film programme consisting of over 120 shorts, documentaries and feature films. The University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts will host #DIFF2021 from 22 July to 1 August 2021, with the theme “Framing the Future, Cinema Unleashed”. We can’t wait! You can watch the launch here:

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Awards & Congrats 

Poetry Africa announced the winners for the 45th anniversary of the Soweto uprising Poetry competition. First prize went to Lethu Nkwanyana with his poem ‘Uprising’, the second prize winner was Nomawethu for ‘Born for war’, and the audience choice award, went to Vanesa Thee Poetaster: Morongwa Vanesa Malete, for her poem ‘Honouring the Students of 16 June 1976’. Special mention was given to Kiara Naidoo from VN Naik School for the Deaf in Durban, for her poem ‘Deafinately’ which was in sign language, and Jeffrey Oarasib from Stellenbosch with his poem ‘Khâima #khamkhoin’ which was in Khoikhoi language.

Watch Nkwanyana’s ‘Uprising’ here:


Congrats to Tsitsi Dangarembga, the winner of the PEN Pinter Prize 2021!


South African poet Maneo Refiloe Mohale has been named the winner of the African Poetry Book Fund’s 2020 Glenna Luschei Prize for African Poetry, for their collection “Everything is a Deathly Flower.” Award-winning poet Phillippa Yaa de Villiers judged this year’s prize, which annually awards $1,000 to a book of poetry by an African writer published in the previous year. Congrats, Maneo!


The shortlist for the Huza Press/Goethe Institut Kigali Writing Residency was announced this month. The four week residency will support writers as they complete or make significant advances with a work-in-progress novel manuscript. Read more about the shortlisted writers here.


Rémy Ngamije is the first Namibian to win the African regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Congrats, Rémy! The overall prize was won by Kanya D’Almeida from Sri Lanka.

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And also on our radar…

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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.

For our new Calls For… roundup for June – with sections for scholarly and academic calls, as well as for creative critical ones for makers and producers – follow this link…

Categories: And Other Words..., Announcements, News, & Upcoming

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