“Africa Writes” back in London

The best African contemporary literature filled the rooms of the British Library again

July 10th, 2017
Ioana Bolboacă, CD News
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From June 30th until July 2nd the Royal African Society organized the annual festival of contemporary literature from Africa and the diaspora featuring different book launches, readings, author appearances, panel discussions, and workshops.


One of the world’s greatest research libraries hosted once again the celebration that welcomed everyone who wanted to taste the African writing art. Over 60 contemporary writing artists were brought to enrich the festival with ideas and inspiration, using various themes.

The first day of the festival started with a R.A.P (Rhythm And Poetry) party, as hip-hop is considered a source of inspiration for poems and songs. The atmosphere was enlivened by different poetic talents, such as Malika Booker or Yomi Sode, combined with afrobeats. On Saturday, the library offered the visitors a story telling night by Mara Menzies and Maimouna Jallow, while on Sunday the Congolese writer and academic Alain Mabanckou was in the spotlight.

Through all the activities organized, the people could connect with African history and tradition from various areas, such as Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Moreover, they could create a clearer perception of the African publishers and had direct access to contemporary literature and writers that had already won different national or international prizes. Not only were they visitors and observers of the African writing world, but they became participants to the workshops held by the artists. On this occasion, several books and poetry collections were published, enriching the African literature exposed in an international environment.

The weekend offered, thus, an exciting travel to the African culture through literature, right in the emblematic British Library.


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