Festivals South Africa

Thando Mgqolozana-powered Time of the Writer 2016 set to slay

timeofawriterThe 19th Time of The Writer festival under the theme Decolonising The Book is set to happen 14 to 19 March in Durban, South Africa. The festival organized by the UKZN Centre for Creative Arts in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality will include a change in venues and a special programme.

As usual you can expect a galaxy of some of the brightest minds in the writing business on the continent and further afield. This year however, there is a shift in venue for events. By day the panels will happening at different libraries in the provincial capital of Kwazulu-Natal. In the evening, festival panels will take place in a different location across the surrounding areas of Durban; venues are located in Clermont, Cato Manor, Umlazi, Inanda and KwaMashu.

Thando Mgqolozana
Thando Mgqolozana

So why the changes? They come as a result of a nationwide conversation on inclusiveness in the South African literature landscape begun at the 2015 edition of Time of the Writer and sparked off by South African writer Thando Mgqolozana and others.

The leading voices from every facet of literature in the areas of writing, editing, publishing, translation, marketing, bookselling and promotion (including events) will deliberate on the salient issues pertinent to the transformation and growth of literature in South Africa. This theme aims to interrogate the central question of how to go about decolonising literature in South Africa, from writing to readership.

“We are very excited about the plans for this year’s festival, which came about as a result of a growing call from within the literary world and South Africa as whole for increased diversity, access and inclusiveness. The Centre for Creative Arts would like to acknowledge one of South Africa’s leading writers Thando Mgqolozana who has been very vocal about change in our society and has assisted in the programming of this edition of the festival,” says Tiny Mungwe, festival manager at the Centre for Creative Arts. “The change is very big for us and by breaking from years of tradition we will have another set of operational challenges, but it is something we believe is absolutely crucial for the festival and for the face of literature in South Africa if we are to effect some kind of shift in our thinking.”

It’s a good start to changing the nature of publishing in South African and hopefully the whole continent. #RevolutionMode

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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