Press Release: 3rd edition of AKE Arts and Book Festival will bring some of Africa’s best to Abeokuta

Ake-Festival-2015-Banner-e1447060550577

The third edition of Ake Arts and Book Festival will take place at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto-Abeokuta, from 17-21 November 2015.

The theme is Engaging the Fringe and dialogue will focus on the genres and creative endeavor that do not get the same attention as Art forms considered as mainstream. This year, we will also be exploring topics about African life and living in Africa in an honest, open and constructive way. The Ake Arts and Book Festival will once again host African writers, artists, filmmakers and thinkers from all over the world to advance on our goals to develop, promote and celebrate creativity on the African continent, on African turf. As such, we will showcase the very best of contemporary African literature, music, art, film and theatre.

The festival will feature 8 book chats, 3 art exhibitions, 1 play, 2 in-depth interviews, school visits, 18 stimulating panel discussions, 3documentary screenings, 2 films screenings and a poetry performance event. In addition, we run a large bookstore which is open to booksellers, book lovers, pupils and students who benefit from Governor’s grants.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FESTIVAL

Renowned poet and writer, Professor Niyi Osundare will sit in conversation with author and editor, Kunle Ajibade. Dr Olaokun Soyinka will sit with Angolan writer and TV host Imanni Da Sylva and in a panel moderated by Kadaria Ahmed.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai will talk about “Minding The Business of Africa” with Howard French of the New York Times.

16 books will be discussed in 8 book chats: Maaza Mengiste’s Beneath the Lions Gaze, Pius Adesanmi’s Naija No Dey Carry Last, EC Osondu’s This House is not for Sale, Irenosie Okojie’s Butterfly Fish, Chris Abani’s The Secret History of Las Vegas, Mona Elthahawy’s Head Scarves and Hymens, Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon, Ekow Duker’s White Wahala, Helon Habila’s Oil on Water, Igonni Barret’s Black Ass, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s A Season of Crimson Blossoms, Tendai Huchu’s The Maestro, The Magistrate and The Mathematician, Diekoye Oyeyinka’s Stillborn.

Newly celebrated Zimbabwean author; Novuyo Rosa Tshuma, will introduce us to her work Shadows and Taiye Selasie will discuss her bestselling book, Ghana Must Go, for the very first time on African soil, at the Ake Arts and Book Festival.

Ake Festival 2015 Poster

In collaboration with Etisalat Nigeria, Ifeoma Fafunwa’s Hear Word!, will enjoy its Ogun State premiere at the festival. HEAR WORD!is a powerful stage play that combines artistry, social commentary and true-life stories of inequality and transformation, delivered by some of Nigeria’s most talented actresses: Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola, Omonor, Elvina Ibru, Ufuoma McDermott, Zara Udofia, Lala Akindoju, Rita Edward, Debbie Ohiri and Odenike. Tickets for this event is available online at http://www.akefestival.org.

Our festival film, The Man Who Mends Women is based on Dr. Denis Mukwege, winner of the Sakharov Prize in 2014. Dr. Mukwege is internationally known as the man who treated thousands of women after they were raped and brutalized during the twenty-year conflict in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The screening will be followed by an interview session with the writer, Colette Braeckman, and the director, Theirry Michel, hosted by Olaokun Soyinka. We will also be screening Ramata, a movie about a woman in her fifties who decides to follow a young Ngor Ndong on a journey to Copacabana where she starts a new life. Three documentaries will be screened at Ake Festival 2015; Behind The Veil, a documentary that focuses on diversity issues in Nigeria, No Where To Run To: Climate Change and Nigeria’s Environmental Crisis, a documentary that seeks to sensitise the general public and inspire stakeholders to support efforts to mitigate potential environmental crisis. ROLLING DOLLAR: A LEGEND UNPLUGGED celebrates the music legend, Fatai Rolling Dollar.

Two workshops will be held at Ake Festival 2015. A one-day Fiction Writing workshop with Helon Habila, Taiye Selasi, and Nnedi Okorafor. This workshop will cater to 20 budding writers who want to improve their skills in writing fiction and learning how to prepare their work for publication. The following topics will be covered; Broadening your Horizon, Editing and Publishing your work, and Narrative Voice.

The Creating Web Documentaries workshop seeks to guide individuals interested in documentary-making on how to tell their stories in more interactive ways, using multimedia such as photos, audio, animation, maps, charts, text, slideshows, and infographics.

Three exhibitions will run at Ake Festival in 2015: a commemorative exhibition in memory of felled environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa titled, “Ken Saro-Wiwa: 20 Years On”. A stunning exhibition of photographs by Andrew Eseibo called “Margin and Marginalization” and an art exhibition of Tyna Adebowale’s “Shadows and Dreams”.

Ake Arts and Book Festival is collaborating with the Lagos State Government to sponsor 100 Nigerian undergraduates schooling in Lagos to the festival. The grant will include book tokens worth N20,000 which can only be spent at the Ake Arts and Book Festival bookstore where they will have access to a great selection of books. The application form is available at http://www.akefestival.org.

We collaborated with Air France to run a Prose and Photography competition aimed at supporting three young African creatives from any African country who would like to attend this year’s edition of Ake Festival but are constrained by costs. The prize includes an all-expense paid trip to the festival and EUR200 in prize money. Three winners emerged: Alex Dyzenhaus from Kenya, for the Photography Prize in the English/French categories. Mamadou Diallo from Senegal, for the Prose Prize in the French category. Geoffrey Gyasi from Ghana, for the Prose Prize in the English category.

We are very proud of our new app, possibly the first of its type in Nigeria. Android users can now download it in the Google Play store, but IOS users will have to wait a week longer. Ake Arts and Book Festival program is available for download here. Tickets to all events can be purchased online before the festival at http://www.akefestival.org or in person at the festival Registration Desk from 17 November, 2015.

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