Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse

Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse kicked off day three of Season 3 of Afrolit Sans Frontières from Bordeaux, France on May 27, 2020. She was hosted by Merdi Mukore.

Afrolit Sans Frontières, a virtual literary festival for writers of African origin, started as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown in March. It has had two iterations with Season 1 curated by festival founder Zukiswa Wanner in March and Season 2 co-curated with Maaza Mengiste and the founder in April. Season 3, with curation by Mohale Mashigo and Zukiswa Wanner, features 16 writers from 13 countries streaming from 15 cities in English, French, and Portuguese. All sessions run on the official Afrolit Sans Frontières Instagram page from May 25 to June 1.

The festival which started on Africa Day, May 25, has so far featured Dilman Dila in Kampala, Uganda, Tochi Onyebuchi in New York, USA, Vamba Sherif in Amsterdam, Holland, and Ayesha Harruna Attah in Dakar, Senegal.

Beata Umubyeyi Mairesse is the author of the short story collection Ejo (2015) that won the Francois Augiéras Book Prize 2016 and the Ailleurs Book Prize 2017. She has also written Lezardes (2017) which won the Estuaire Book Prize 2017 and the La Boétie Book Prize 2019; the novel Apres Le Progres (2019); and the poetry collection Tout Tes Enfants Disperses (2019).

The Bordeaux based Rwandan who works as a suicide prevention programme manager started her session Merdi Mukore the read from her book Tout Tes Enfants Disperses. Over the next hour and a half in both English and French, the Rwandan spoke about her work, the politics of language, book prices on the continent, and more. You can watch the sessions between the Rwandan and her Congolese host below.