The Centre for Creative Arts has announced a change in venues and a special programme for the Time of the Writer festival this year, under the theme Decolonising the Book.
The 19th edition of the Durban festival will take place from 14 to 19 March, in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality Libraries Department. The day programme this year will take place in these libraries.
In addition, the Time of the Writer is shifting venues for its evening panel discussions. These are usually held at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, but this year they will each take place in a different location across the surrounding areas of Durban, in Clermont, Cato Manor, Umlazi, Inanda and KwaMashu.
All events will be free to library or student card holders. People without either will be charged a nominal fee of R20.
The developments follow a conversation around inclusiveness in South African literature sparked at last year’s festival by Thando Mgqolozana, which culminated in him announcing at the Franschhoek Literary Festival that he was quitting the “white literary system”.
The CCA says it is hoping to gather leading voices from every facet of literature in the areas of writing, editing, publishing, translation, marketing, bookselling and promotion, to provide a platform for conversation and debate on this issues of transformation and the growth of literature.
“This theme aims to interrogate the central question of how to go about decolonising literature in South Africa, from writing to readership,” the CCA says in a statement.
Tiny Mungwe, festival manager at the Centre for Creative Arts, says: “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.
“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.”
The full 2016 Time of the Writer programme will be announced in a few weeks.
See some of Books LIVE’s coverage of last year’s event:
- Read: Polygamy, Owning English and Ben Okri: NoViolet Bulawayo and Sue Nyathi Talk African Writing at 2015 Time of the Writer
- Read: “Writers are Readers. Readers are Writers”: Advice from MJ Mngadi and Ousmane Diarra at 2015 Time of the Writer
- Read: “I’m So Tired of the Sexy Corpse!” – Charlotte Otter and Margaret von Klemperer Talk Crime Writing at Time of the Writer 2015
- Causing Confusion: Nthikeng Mohlele and Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho Chat About Memoir and Fiction at Time of the Writer