Africa Writes 2017

Friday, 30 June 2017 - 8:00am to Sunday, 2 July 2017 - 11:00pm

Brought to you by The Royal African Society

Join us for an exciting summer weekend at the British Library celebrating the best of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora.

Last year we were joined by 67 guest contributors and writers from 18 different countries, and a London audience of nearly 2000 – African literature fans and newcomers alike. This year we have much more in store…check out the Africa Writes website for the full programme and to book your tickets here

We are expanding the festival, with Africa Writes pop-up events taking place in England, Scotland and Wales, and exciting collaborations in Rwanda and Tanzania with the Jalada Mobile Literary & Arts Festival.

We’re kicking off with the R.A.P. (Rhythm And Poetry) party on the evening of Friday 30th June. This evening of hip-hop inspired poems and songs hosted by Inua Ellams and Theresa Lola will feature some remarkable poetic talents, including Malika BookerKei Miller, Amaal SaidYomi Sode and more. Dj Sid Mercutio will be on the decks spinning a mix of afrobeat, funk and afro-house tunes.

On Saturday evening Mara Menzies and Maimouna Jallow will delight us with a story- telling night of dreams and deception through performance adaptations of the written word. And on Sunday our headliner will be the prolific Congolese writer and academic Alain Mabanckou.

The literary ambassador of Congolese sapologieAlain Mabanckou captivates readers and critics with his rhythmic prose exploring the streets of Congo-Brazaville and the boulevards of Paris. His latest novel, Black Moses, was shortlisted for the Prix Goncourt and long-listed for this year’s Man Booker International Prize. Mabanckou will reflect on his journey as a writer and the politics of language and style.  Tickets for these events are already selling fast so make sure to book early!
Weekend events

Panel discussions
We look at how publishers in Africa are reaching communities of readers, how writers are making living literary connections across different African languages with Jalada Africa,  and how hidden histories in the museums and libraries of London can be uncovered by writers.

Moments of celebration and African literary joy are to be found throughout the festival:  we will delve into the archives of the renowned Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta, discovering photographs, manuscripts and a remarkable personal history of a beloved literary icon, and will come together to discuss her work in the session: African Books to Inspire: Buchi Emecheta Book Club.

Following the annual tradition, you’ll have the chance to meet the shortlisted writers for this year’s Caine Prize for African WritingLesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria), Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria), Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan), Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria) and Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa).

Alex Reads, Reckless Rai and Derek W from Mostly Lit – the popular podcast at the intersection of literature, millennial wellness and black pop-culture – will be hosting a live show on ‘Writing Blackness’. The trio will reflect on their own personal experiences and responses to reading black characters as depicted in African and Black British fiction.

Workshops and Roundtables
We uncover the history of the East African kanga textile with an exhibition and sharing session; hear stories about Krio heritage and culture of Sierra Leone, and explore the photographic archive in Black Chronicles: The Missing ChapterWe’ll be discussing the  politics of translation, and looking at the profusion of literary events and festivals taking place across the continent.

Budding writers are invited to pitch their work to the industry experts in our lively Meet the Publishers event, and places are also open for a special self-editing masterclass with Ellah Allfrey. On Saturday 1 July, all the family are invited for the free and fun Magic of Storytelling workshops with Mara Menzies.

Launch events
Africa Writes 2017 book and poetry collection launches include the new non-fiction work by Helon Habila – The Chibok Girls; two exciting debut novels – When We Speak of Nothing by Olumide PopoolaNo Place to Call Home by JJ Bola; and two poetry collections – Kumukunda by Kayo Chingonyi and Kingdom of Gravity by Nick Makoha. Also launching at Africa Writes will be transatlantic journal collaboration Jalada Africa 05 / Transition 123, and The Ultimate Tragedy by Abdulai Silá which is the first novel to be translated into English from Guinea-Bissau.

Tickets

Day TicketsWeekend Passes and tickets for headline events are available to book on the British Library website or over the phone on +44 (0)1937 546546. More information here.

 

 

Excited…?

Partners
 

Africa Writes 2017 in brought to you by the Royal African Society in partnership with the British Library. The festival is made possible through the financial support of Arts Council England, and partnership of the British Council, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, Miles Morland Foundation, and Centre of African Studies, University of London. See all festival partners here.

Brought to you by The Royal African Society

Join us for an exciting summer weekend at the British Library celebrating the best of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora.

Last year we were joined by 67 guest contributors and writers from 18 different countries, and a London audience of nearly 2000 – African literature fans and newcomers alike. This year we have much more in store…

We are expanding the festival, with Africa Writes pop-up events taking place in England, Scotland and Wales, and exciting collaborations in Rwanda and Tanzania with the Jalada Mobile Literary & Arts Festival.

In London we will be kicking off the festival with a special Late at the Library – to which you are all invited! More details coming soon… in the meantime save the dates in your diaries for a rich and vibrant programme of book launches, panel discussions, performances, workshops, an international book fair and a delicious street food market.

Excited…?

Partners

 

 

The festival is supported by and hosted at The British Library – the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive research collection. Their collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit www.bl.uk – every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.

 

 

 

 

This event is supported by a strategic partnership between the British Council and the Royal African Society, aimed at increasing networks, sharing knowledge and expertise and making connections between the UK and Africa. The partnership supports four major events in in the Royal African Society’s 2017 programme – Africa in 2017: Prospects and ForecastsAfrica Writes,  Film Africa, and The Arts Forum, taking place in April 2017.