Open Book Festival 2022

The Open Book Festival 2022, after a mini-edition in March, returns to Cape Town, South Africa from September 2-4, 2022.

The Open Book Festival is a literary festival held annually in Cape Town, South Africa since 2011. It has in the past included over 150 literary events, featuring over 100 authors over 5 days. It was initiated by Mervyn Sloman of The Book Lounge (a Cape Town-based bookshop) and Ben Williams then of ‘Books Live’ now a literary-focused subsidiary of South African newspaper Times Live.

After a two-year Covid-19 prompted break, the festival had a virtual mini-edition sponsored by the South African Department of Arts and Culture and Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Cape Town on March 26-27.

“We were lucky enough to run a mini festival in March. It was incredibly emotional to see the faces of so many people again for the first time in two years. It has also been fantastic to have workshops running outside of the digital spaces. There’s something about being able to learn amongst others that I don’t think can be easily replaced,” event organiser Frankie Murrey said. 

The festival would be a return to an in-person format, people will be able to interact with one another, face-to-face, in September. Some of the featured guests will be Rofhiwa Maneta, Africa Melane, Terry-Ann Adams, Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, Musawenkosi Khanyile, Fred Khumalo, Pumla Dineo Gqola, Lucas Ledwaba, Lethokuhle Msimang, Kopano Ratele, Bongani Kona, Pulane Mpondo, Yewande Omotoso, Mohale Mashigo, Rofhiwa Maneta, Lethokuhle Msimang, Christopher Ouma, among others.

While in the past events were hosted in a variety of venues, this year many events will go down at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre (HCC). One special event aimed at children will be hosted at The Book Lounge on Saturday, September 3.

“The Homecoming Centre is delighted that we can once again host the Open Book Festival. The subject matter and themes for the 2022 edition are matters that closely align with our mission here at the HCC and we could not be more excited to host discussions and meaningful engagement with the public at large,” says Chrischene Julius, acting director of the District Six Museum.

This year’s events are presented in association with the national Department of Sports Arts and Culture, The Heinrich Boll Foundation, The City of Cape Town, Jonathan Ball Publishers, and NB Publishers. They are supported by Penguin Random House and Pan Macmillan.

For those who want to buy tickets or for more information they can be assisted through the website, www.openbookfestival.co.za. You can check out the festival program by clicking here.