Sunday, November 04, 2007

Gists on the 9TH LAGOS BOOK &ART FESTIVAL 2007

By Toyin Akinosho


Festival Week Opens With Film Screenings

THE preface events leading to the 9th annual Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) opened at the National Theatre last Friday with the African World Documentary Film Week. Among the films on view are Wazobia, an adaptation of Tess Onwueme's play of the same title, directed by Awam Amkpa (Nigeria, USA); As Old As My Tongue by Andy Jones (Tanzania, United Kingdom); Living with Slim: Kids Talk about HIV/AIDs by Sam Kauffman (Uganda, USA); Raadis: In search of... by Emmanuel Mutsune (Canada, Kenya); The Professor by Jason Price (Liberia, USA). There is Sisters of Selma by Candomble y Fredrique Zepter (Brazil) among others. The event, a collaboration between the Committee For Relevant Art, organisers of the LABAF, the University of Missouri, The National Theatre and the West African Documentary Film Forum runs from November 2 to 11. The second Semi Annual Workshop For Book Editors opens at the Federal Palace Hotel on Tuesday, November 6 and runs till Thursday, November 8. The workshop parades a top-notch faculty, with Professor Dan Izevbaye teaching participants how to edit works of prose fiction and Professor Festus Adesanoye lecturing on scholarly publishing. The workshop is facilitated by Book Builders Editions Africa, headed by Chris Bankole. Gbenro Adegbola, Managing Director of the publishing house, Evans, will give a talk on publishing for primary and secondary schools. Before he went to Evans, Adegbola was co-founder of the hugely successful publishing firm Bookcraft. The week will be rounded off with the Book and Art Festival, which opens on Friday, November 9 and lasts till Sunday, November 11.

Teenagers Ready To Take On Soyinka

SEYI Akogun, Leke Olaleye, Oruomen Igbokwe and Isaac Onoh, all in their mid teens, have been reading the abridged version of Wole Soyinka's Ake: The Years Of Childhood, and they are ready to interrogate the text. "My girl has been saying: 'I am reading this book with a dictionary by my side..why is he (the author) employing such tough words?', says Chi Igbokwe, a facilities engineer whose 13 year old daughter, Oruomen is one of the participants. Isaac Onoh, the 12 year son of Ezinne Onoh and her accountant husband, Okoroji, is travelling all the way from Elyon College in Ogun State for the conversation. Teenagers Trace Soyinka's Footsteps is a highlight of the youth programme of the Book and Art Festival and it is slated for 10am on Saturday, November 10 at the exhibition hall of the National Theatre. The event is organised by Children and The Environment (CATE) , Bookcraft (publishers of the Book) and the Committee for Relevant Art, host of the festival.

Abati, 'Things Fall Apart', To Kick Off Book and Art Festival

A VERY short drama sketch of a passage in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart by the National Troupe will signal the start of the ninth Lagos Book and Art Festival, at the National Theatre on Friday, November 9, 2007. The skit is the groundbreaking ceremony for the series of events planned worldwide, for the 50th anniversary of the classic novel, in 2008. Afterwards, the columnist Reuben Abati will give a motivational speech: The Book In My Life, to 1000s of children and adults at the event. The Festival colloquium, Constructing A Nation: Stories Out Of Biafra, starts at 12noon on November 9. It will feature reviews, readings and conversations around five books based on the war, including Cyprian Ekwensi's Divided We Stand, Dulue Mbachu's War Games, Chimamanda Adichie's Half Of A Yellow Sun, Chukuemeka Ike's Sunset At Dawn, Eddie Iroh's Toads Of War, Ken Saro Wiwa's On A Darkling Plain and Ekwensi, perhaps the most widely read Nigerian author in Nigeria will read excerpts from Divided We Stand, a story of love in a time of war. Professor Ike will read excerpts form Sunset At Dawn. The National Troupe will perform a passage in Divided We Stand. Crown Troupe will perform from skits from two other works of their choice. A short excerpt from Obi Iwuanyanwu's 40 years of Civil War Literature will be read before the discussion. Three of the authors have confirmed their participation. Dr Chidi Amuta will moderate the proceedings. Shiyan Oyeweso, professor of history who convened a symposium on civil war literature a few years ago, is on the panel, so is CORA's Deji Toye and Uzor Maxim Uzoatu.

...MENDing The Damage after the Civil War Chat..

THE symposium on the emerging literature of the Niger Delta: MENDing The Damage: How Literature Illuminates The Niger Delta Crisis, originally scheduled for Saturday, November 10, the second day of the Book and Art Festival, will now take place at 3pm on November 9, that is immediately after the colloquium. It will take the place of the international dialogue between William Mervin Gumede, author of Thabo Mbeki and The Battle For The Soul of The ANC and Dare Babarinsa, author of House Of War. "The non resolution of the issues that led to the civil war has partly led to the mayhem in the Delta today", says CORA spokesman, Ayo Arigbabu. "So the two talkshops are a good fit". MENDing The Damage features readings, reviews and discussions around Ken Wiwa's In The Shadow Of A Saint, Ahmed Yerima's Hard Ground, Ike Okonta and Oronto Douglas' Where Vultures Feast, and Kaine Agary's Yellow Yellow.

Compiled by staff of Festac News Press Agency,

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