Prof Niyi Osundare

Prof Niyi Osundare

The Lagos Book & Art Festival 2017 will be hosted from November 6-12 at Freedom Park, Lagos. The festival, popularly known as LABAF, with the theme “ERUPTIONS: Global FRACTURES & Collective Humanism,” is dedicated to Prof Niyi Osundare.

LABAF now in its 19th year is a week-long cultural picnic including readings sessions, conversations around books, art and craft displays, kiddies’ art workshops, book exhibitions, live music and dance.

Lagos Book & Art Festival 2017Explaining the theme, the programme directorate of the festival, says: “The theme is primarily inspired by the convulsions in the global political and economic space; the sort of angst that’s led to the emergence of Donald Trump and now upsurge of the ‘supremacist’ and rightists’ movements in the United States; the decision by 17.4million British voters to leave the European Union; the siege on Europe by Islamic militias; the crises in the Middle-east, which have led to millions of refugees besieging Europe; the resurgence of ‘separatist’ rhetoric from some youths in different regions of Nigeria etc. We wish to examine the implications of all these actions on the fundamental rights and privileges of affected people; and in general, our collective humanity”.

The 2017 festival is “dedicated to the Poet laureate, Professor Niyi Osundare, stated Toyin Akinosho, secretary general of the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, promoters of the festival. He described Osundare as a “true national and cultural icon,” who has influenced generation of younger poets and writers, helping them to find their voice and developing their own styles.

Programme chair of CORA, and Curator of the festival, Jahman Anikulapo said, “as it is traditional with the CORA, in deciding our theme for every edition, we always look at most cogent development in global political and cultural circuit and try to weigh in on the effects of such on the condition of our collective humanity.”

The festival will also honour some icons in the Nigeria culture and creative industry sector, who clock landmark birthday anniversary (usually those just attaining the milestone ages of 80s,70s and 60s) in the course of the year.

You can follow our previous coverage of this important festival here.