Doek Literary Festival

The Doek Literary Festival 2022, together with the University of East Anglia’s International Chair of Creative Writing, will run at the Goethe-Institut in Windhoek, Namibia from April 21-23, 2022.

The Doek Literary Festival, a celebration of Namibian and African literature that connects Namibian readers and writers with their counterparts in Africa and the African diaspora, will be the first of its kind in Namibia. It seeks to nurture and grow the country’s literary culture while providing a creative and immersive space for encountering the works of Namibian and other African writers.

The festival’s principal sponsor for 2022 is the world-renowned creative writing programme at the University of East Anglia in Norfolk, United Kingdom, home to one of the most successful degrees in the discipline in the world, and whose graduates include Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the Nobel Prize, Booker Prize winners Ian McEwan, Anne Enright and emerging writers from the African continent including Ayobami Adebayo.

“In partnering with the UEA’s International Chair of Creative Writing, headed by acclaimed Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga, Doek has been provided with the funding, conceptualisation resources, planning capacity, and organisational support needed to make this milestone event possible,” said Rémy Ngamije, Doek’s founder and chairperson. “UEA is an institution whose influence in literature and creative writing is felt around the world, and to have their support in this project reaffirms the work we do at Doek. It also hints at future growth possibilities for our emerging literary scene. I am thrilled that UEA’s ICCW decided to focus its attention on Namibia and Namibian writers in 2022,” Rémy Ngamije said.

The Doek Literary Festival will be hosted every two years. Each edition will focus on a different mode of literary creation; in 2022 it will be fiction in the novel and short form.

“Partnering with the UEA’s ICCW allows the festival to have an international profile from its very inception, with some of the most well-known writers in Africa forming part of the festival’s lineup alongside emerging writers from the local literary scene,” Ngamije added. “This first iteration of the festival will surely enrich the Windhoek and Namibian literary scene and pave the way for more literary events for years to come.”

Professor Jean McNeil, who is in charge of UEA’s International Chair programme commented: “It is a great pleasure to be able to contribute to a vibrant and growing literary community in Namibia, working with Rémy and Doek. Doek embodies the values our programme seeks to uphold: initiative, innovation and a belief in African stories and voices. We are immensely proud to support the first ever festival of literary writing in Namibia.”