Edwige Renée Dro kicked off day three of Season 2 of Afrolit Sans Frontières on Instagram from Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire on Wednesday, April 22, 2020.
Afrolit Sans Frontières, a new initiative by and for writers of African origin, was started in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic international lockdown. Like the first edition, Season 2 features some of the leading names in African letters today with curation by Maaza Mengiste and festival founder Zukiswa Wanner. This season sees 16 writers from 14 countries streaming from 13 cities in English, French, and Portuguese over eight days under the festival theme “What I Wish You’d Ask Me.”
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor kicked off proceedings on the first day from Nairobi, Kenya followed by festival co-curator Maaza Mengiste closing out the day from Zurich, Switzerland. The second day started out with Elma Shaw streaming from Kigali, Rwanda before the evening was concluded by Lola Shoneyin from Lagos, Nigeria.
The first day of day three had Tanella Boni scheduled as the speaker but because of technical difficulties could not participate. In her stead, the host Edwige Dro took up her slot and engaged those who had gathered to take part. Edwige Dro is a writer, literary translator, and literary activist from Cote d’Ivoire. She is currently writing the fictionalized biography of Marie Kore, one of the female political activists of colonial Cote d’Ivoire through the support of a grant from the Miles Morland Foundation. She is the co-founder of Abidjan Lit, a collective of literary activists in Abidjan working on changing the “Africans don’t read” stereotype. Her short stories have been published in anthologies such as New Daughters of Africa or by publications such as Ankara Press or Bloomsbury.
The session in both English and French started with Edwige reading an English translation of one of Tanella’s poems. Thereafter there was a discussion which included what a good translator needed, the different Frenches in the different African countries are, and much more. She was joined by Kelvin Adantchede who we remember as being a participant of the Goethe Institut sponsored AfroYoungAdult Anthology project.
You can watch video from the session on the link below.