South African Zukiswa Wanner and Mexico’s Luis Philip Lomelo are the co-curators of the new South-South initiative, an online literary initiative seeking to give a platform to writing from Latin America and Africa. The two were previously selected for the Africa39 and Bogota39 lists as writers expected to shape the future of literature in their regions.This is not the first time one of the two curators has been involved in a South-South initiative of this kind.
A few years ago Zukiswa Wanner co-curated and co-edited an anthology of African and Asian short stories in English, Behind the Shadows with Rohini Chowdhury. The South African writer has written books like The Madams (2006), Behind Every Successful Man (2008), Men of the South (2010) and London Cape Town Joburg (2014). She has also done nonfiction work including 8115 Vilakazi Street an official biography of Nelson Mandela alongside late legendary photographer Alf Khumalo and her hilarious satirical take on domestic workers and their madams, Maid in SA: 30 Ways to Leave Your Madam (2013).
Luis Felipe Lomelí for his part has written broadly with a short story collection, novel, and technical essays among his works. His work, primarily in Spanish, includes Todos santos de California (All saints of California) 2002 Ella sigue de viaje (She continues to travel) 2005, Cuaderno de flores (Book of flowers) 2007, ambientalismo (Environmentalism) 2009, Sólo cuento, vol. 3 (Only story, vol. 3) 2011, and Indio borrado (Indian Deleted) 2014. For his efforts he has been recognised with honours like the Latin American Story Award, National Prize of Story “San Luis Potosí” and the National Award for Short Story “Viceversa.” 2000.
The initiative will see writers sharing work monthly in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. On the initiative’s blog you can already read a short story from Zukiswa Wanner in English. Our Portuguese speaking brothers and sisters can read Ondjaki’s short story As duas bolas de Mané Abreviado. For those who might remember, Angolan Ondjaki was one of the few writers not writing in English who was also on the Africa39 list that was universally loved a few years back. Our brothers and sisters who speak in Spanish have the option of Equatorial Guinean Recaredo Silebo Boturu, who also made the Africa39 list, with La chica del barrio or Luis Felipe Lomelí with Las nubes.
If you are willing to participate in this new collaboration, then you are welcome to submit original texts in any of the spoken languages in the two continents (fiction, playwrights or non-fiction) and translations on a copy-left basis.
To follow the initiative you can also follow them on Twitter at @ShambaContact.