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Corona Forces Afro Literature to go online

by | Apr 27, 2020 | News

Sixteen African writers from 14 countries streamlined content in English, French, and Portuguese, at the second Afro Lit Virtual Festival.

The Festival included book readings and lively Q&A sessions, with a focus on sharing the diversity of African literature – in terms of themes and language.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the global literary festival circuit to surrender to postponements and cancellations. But this hasn’t stopped some passionate African bibliophiles from finding innovative ways to connect writers with their readers.

“Firstly, you don’t need to think about being stuck in traffic to go to a literary festival. All you need to have is WIFI and be in your home.. just open your Instagram and there we are live,” said author and publisher Zukiswa Wanner, composer of the festival.

Liberian author Elma Shaw said the virtual festival was an encouraging, inspiring way to open up Africa’s literary scene.

“Alot more people were able to participate, to watch and learn about new books and writers. And even when the pandemic is over, what we are building here now should continue”.

“Usually we listen and read more in English and French. Portuguese is not so common. But I think this is an opportunity. This will increase our level of communication. I’ve been talking to people from Malawi, Uganda, Namibia – so this was a great achievement of this festival,” said Ondjaki, Angolan author

Ishmael Beah, an author from Sierra Leone, said: “We do what we always do, tell stories. I think we need to work more because now everybody’s at home, everybody’s listening, looking to hold onto something, looking to travel somewhere they cannot physically go. And this is our role, this has always been our role. And we are called to action even more so than before”.

 

Source: CGTN Africa

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