The Ake Arts & Book Festival 2021 with the theme “Generational Discordance” is set to happen in Lagos, Nigeria on October 28-30, 2021. The announcement was made on July 12, 2021

The Ake Arts & Book Festival, popularly known as the Ake Festival, has been running in Nigeria since 2012. Lovers of books and the arts attend book readings, panel discussions, poetry recitals, film screenings, theatre and music performances and lots more over the week of the festival. It has hosted many of the continent’s top writers including eminent personalities like Wole Soyinka, Niyi Osundare, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nuruddin Farah, Maryse Condé, and Tsitsi Dangarembga as headliners.

The festival organisers announced the dates for one of the most anticipated literary shindigs on the continent yesterday. It will be hosted in the commercial capital of the West African countries in the last week of October.  They made the revelation with the following video message on their social media channels;

“From relationships, love and marriage, spirituality and religion, gender and feminism to politics and activism, the Internet has exposed generational differences. Where earlier generations of Africans are anchored to their cultural identities, our younger compatriots see themselves as part of a globalised world.

From Boomers to Millennials to Gen Z, the pace of societal change means our lived experiences are diverse, but this does not mean that our aspirations are.

Africa cannot afford the luxury of endless culture wars. Engagement and communication, characterised by a willingness to listen, mutual respect, and empathy is what will face down the retrogressive forces and the structures and systems that oppress, asphyxiate, and dehumanise us.

We must eschew the sensationalism and divisive influence of digital algorithms and find a more harmonious continental rhythm that allow us to talk to, and not past, each other.

This year, in addition to lively book chats and panels, Ake Festival will curate 6 intergenerational conversations on themes that impact our lives in very real ways.

The theme for Ake Arts and Books Festival is…

GENERATIONAL DISCORDANCE.”

The video then ends with the event logo alongside that of Ake Festival as well as Sterling Bank which is the event sponsor. One thing that is noticeable from the statement is that Gen X, as usual, continues being ignored in these debates. 😊

There is no indication whether the festival will be a virtual, physical or a hybrid of the two at the moment.