Northern Cape Sport, Arts and Culture hosts 11th Annual Provincial Writer’s Festival, 8 and 9 Oct

11th Annual Northern Cape Writers Festival

The Northern Cape Department of Sport, Arts and Culture will be hosting the 11th Annual Provincial Writer’s Festival. The three day event will be officially opened by MEC Bernice Sinxeve on Wednesday, 09 October 2019 @ 18h30 at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley.

MEC Sinxeve will be accompanied by the former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of South Africa, Professor Barney Pityana. Professor Pityana will deliver a lecture focusing on the black intellectual tradition and its role in the evolution of higher education in South Africa.

The 2019 festival comes as the country celebrates 25 years of democracy and indigenous languages. This year the festival will feature book launches as well as panel discussions in various Northern Cape languages including Nama, Setswana, IsiXhosa and Afrikaans.

There will also be other panel discussions focusing on various issues affecting literature. These include publishing, the role of historical fiction and biographies in the post-apartheid South Africa, literary translations, collaboration between literature and other art forms, the important role of book clubs as well as the role of poetry in social change.

This year’s participants include publisher Phehello Mofokeng, biographer Gaongalelwe Tiro, linguist Hleze Kunju, biographer Lorato Trok, poet Molebatsi Bosilong, fiction writer Linda Fisher, nonfiction writer Johannes Madjiedt, nonfiction writer Sam Maphalane, poet Jabulile Buthelezi, literary translator Modise Tshite as well as emerging writers Cisca Julius and Pelonomi Itumeleng.

Participating Sol Plaatje University academics from disciplines related to literature and languages include Jabulani Sibanda, Victor Teise, Marga Stander, Richard Moloele (who is also a playwright), Siza Nkosi (poet) and Sabata-mpho Mokae (novelist).

The festival has also included a visual arts segment, ArtLit 2019, through which visual artists from the Northern Cape and the United States have created artworks that are based on excerpts of African literature. The exhibition will be officially opened by MEC Bernice Sinxeve on the 08 October 2019 @ 18h30 at the William Humphreys Art Gallery and will be opened to public until the middle of December 2019.

The basis for the ArtLit (Art and Literature) exhibition is the history of collaboration across art forms. There are many such examples where poetry and music find a common outlet, or novels and film, theatre and poetry, music and dance and so forth. In this case the artists will be showing us a conversation between literature, in particular African literature or literature by writers and poets of African origin, and visual art. Both art forms are telling human stories.

The selected works include that of Northern Cape-born poets Ingrid Jonker and Sandile Dikeni. There are also excerpts of the works of Chinua Achebe (Nigeria), Langston Hughes (USA), Don Mattera (South Africa), Ellen Khuzwayo (South Africa), Bessie Head (Botswana), Jamaica Kinkaid (Antigua) and Sol Plaatje (South Africa).

Participating artists from the Northern Cape include the legendary Rochester Rocky Mafafo, Ulrich Roberts, Xolani Kitsi and Pierre Cloete. Their counterparts from the states of Texas and California in the United States of America include Derrick Bell, Clara Johnson and Isaac Alexander.

The second leg of the ArtLit is planned to be in Oakland, California in March 2020.

The writers festival is a culmination of a year-long programme which includes community writing workshops which are held in all districts of the Northern Cape, public readings that are held every second month at the Sol Plaatje University and the annual Summer School of Writing which takes place every year in the beginning of January. The NCWF is intended to be a celebration of literature from the Northern Cape, South Africa and the continent.

Source: Government of South Africa