Johannesburg, South Africa (Thursday, 17 August 2017) – The South African Book Fair (SABF) and National Book Week (NBW) officially launched on Thursday at the Market Square, Newtown. The event was an exploration of this year’s theme #OURSTORIES, which is a celebration of the established presence of National Book Week and the return of the South African Book Fair, under the auspices of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), in partnership with the Department of Arts & Culture and the Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA (FP&M).
The theme of this year’s upcoming SABF is #OURSTORIES, which sheds light on the stories and experiences that all South Africans have to communicate. In sharing #OURSTORIES we create spaces for learning and reaching across into each other’s worlds. By learning from each other we open possibilities for greater understanding of who we are, as a people.
Speaking at the launch event, Elitha van der Sandt, CEO of the SABDC said: “The SABDC represents the South African book sector and all those involved in bringing books to you. We are proud to say this is the largest and most comprehensive campaign aimed at driving the importance of books and reading in the history of the country. Books have been kept away from many of our people during Apartheid and it is now time for us to write, read and own #OURSTORIES.”
Amongst those in attendance were NBW ambassadors Mogau Motlhatswi (Skeem Saam actress) and Mostoaledi Setumo (Generations & Green and Desire actress).
Performing artist, poet and writer Koleka Putuma performed material from her highly acclaimed poetry anthology Collective Amnesia.
Director of Libraries and Archives at the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Koekie Meyer gave an address highlighting the importance of telling our stories and reading amongst South Africans.
She also announced that the Gauteng Region is opening eight new libraries in this period, which will be home to 8000 – 15000 books each.
The launch event also gave special recognition to Joseph Lamani, who was presented with an award for the Most Innovative National Book Week Programme in 2016. This was the first award of its kind.
The SABF will take place from 8-10 September 2017 at Museum Africa, Newtown, boasting a diverse literary programme, which features the following authors: Ayòbámi Adébáyò, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, Deon Meyer, Marah Louw, Zakes Mda, Athambile Masola and many more.
Topics on the programme that are sure to catch attention include: “Hidden Figures: African Women in the Global Imagination”, “Colourism, gender and beauty” and “Racism: the immovable stain”.
With participation from a diverse group of scholars, authors, media practitioners and thought leaders, the 2017 SABF will be a space for a robust debate and engagement where those positioned differently in society can reach into each other’s worlds. Beyond these, writing workshops and test kitchens will also be a part of the programme.
The SABF offering provides something of interest to everyone, whether in politics, social justice, transformation, entertainment, food or visual art; this provides multiple vehicles through which #OURSTORIES can be delivered to the world.
National Book Week will take place across all nine provinces from 4-10 September. National Book Week is an opportunity to encourage individuals to discover, rediscover and share the joys of storytelling by engaging with the written word. The week will be focused on providing access to books, while promoting and cultivating a culture of reading across all nine South African provinces, reaching areas outside of urban centres and metros.
National Book Week is a programme by the South African Book Development Council, in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture, Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA, with broadcast media support from SAfm.
For more information visit: www.sabookcouncil.co.za or social media: Facebook (National Book Week SA), Twitter (@NBW_SA).
The SABF will take place at:
Venue: Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg
Dates: 8-10 September, 2017
- Collective Amnesia by Koleka Putuma
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