Tuesday, August 19, 2008

10th Lagos Book and Art Festival, Nov 7-9, 2008

Theme: Literacy and the Global Knowledge Society

DATE: NOVEMBER 7-9, 2008

Key Literary Events:
Panel Discussions . Dialogues . Conversations . Arthouse Parties

Details on www.lagosbookartfestival.com

95 Bode Thomas Street, Suruletre, Lagos
Contact; Toyin 08057622415; Jummai: 08023683651

Marketing Consultant:
c/o AYOOLA SADARE 08023044806; inspiro77@yahoo.co.uk

Building Knowledge capacity of the people of Africa

Preparations for the 10 th Lagos Book & Art Festival, scheduled for November 7 – 9, 2008 , began on the last day of the 9 th outing. The key goal of this edition, which is slated to hold in the spacious Exhibition Hall of Nigeria's National Theatre, right in the heart of the city, remains two fold: (1) To help improve the African human capacity through encounters with The Book and (2) to provide a site for the most informed, robust debates on the literature of the continent.

In pursuit of the second objective for this edition we have detailed the programme content for the three days in this brochure. Conversation will focus on Africa in the Eyes of the Other; The Moonlight Tale in Emerging African Fiction ; The Growing Popularity of the Child Hero in the New African Novel and The Search For A Reading Market.

The first objective – to help improve the intellectual capacity of the people of our continent, -- is a work in progress. We continue to work with libraries, educationists, governments, private sector, brand specialists, communication solution experts, to find the formula to build the knowledge capacity of the African people. We are getting there: Last year we had, 1,600 children attending reading workshops, book debates, drawing experiments, craft practice. LABAF is not a Book Fair, it's a culture carnival with a high book content.

This booklet is a first call for participation: For registration as a trade visitor, to the festival, or as an exhibitor, please fill the form on this brochure and mail to our address, visit our website, or call 234 -8022016495. Thank you.


Secretary General.

Join us at the Feast

The Committee for Relevant Art invites the public within and outside Nigeria, to the Tenth annual feast of the written word. For exhibitors from anywhere, this is a huge market. A hundred and forty million Africans inhabit some 960,000 sq km of space in Africa 's most populous country.

Over 60% of this population are young people between the ages of 18 and 25. Lagos, where the event is holding, is home to 10 million souls.

Every year the Lagos Book and Art Festival plays host to a stream of visiting writers coming to take part in some of the most insightful conversation on literature, literacy and the book market in Africa.

This year won't be different and if you are a writer, an intellectual, a student, a book enthusiast, and you want to participate in any of our programmes, please simply go o the registration page, do the needful and fax to us. We are as keen to have this party filled with Kenyans, Ivorian, Algerians and Mauritanians as we are interested in welcoming Sudanese, Egyptians, Zambians, Angolans and South Africans.

If you have a proposal to do anything that's outside the template that we've put on the programme page of this brochure, please send it to me at jahblak@yahoo.com, or call me on 234-8022016495.

Lagos is an exciting place to be. You're welcome to share the human energy that animates this city on the edge of the southern Atlantic .


(a.) Opening Reception- The Book In My Life- Funmi Iyanda
(b.)Presentation To Winners of The The Green Story Writing & Telling Contest
(c.) Presentation To Winners of The The Green Comic & Cartoon Contest
(d.) The Festival Tour (where kids and their teachers are taken round the grounds of the Fair).

• Theme: Wars Without End: The Child Soldier As The New Hero in The Emerging African Novel
Reviews, readings and discussions of Novels, and Non Fiction Works including Ahmadu Koroma's Allah Is Not Obliged , Uzodima Iweala's Beasts Of No Nation; Helon Habila's Measuring Time, Biyi Bandele's Burma Boy


• Theme: Challenges of Liberal Democracy In Africa
William Mervin Gumede, author of Thabo Mbeki and The Battle For The Soul of the ANC spars with Dare Babarinsa, author of House Of War



Talking Books with Aunty Sola & Friends" : A roundtable discussion on Eddie Iroh's 'Banana Leaves', by upper primary and lower secondary school kids.

*Presentation of "The Green Book ", an anthology of environmental poems, prose, plays and paintings by children and young people of ages 7-15.



• Theme: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other .

Reviews, readings and discussions of Novels, and Non Fiction Works including Paul Theroux Dark Star Safari , V.S Naipul's Half A Life , Shiva Naipul's North Of South, Gil Courtemanche's A Saturday At the Pool In Kigali, Karl Maier's This House Has Fallen.

2-3PM Saturday, November 8,2008 .
Music, Wine and Dance

Party For:
* Ambassador Segun Olusola at 75,
* Jazz Promoter Tunde Kuboye at 60,
* Filmmaker Tunde Kelani at 60,
* Painter Kolade Oshinowo at 60 and the actor * Zack Orji at 50.
(More names of “birthday people”, who have made significant contribution to the growth of culture production in the country, will be added)

• Theme: Dijns,Ghosts, Ghomids and Magical Spells: The reappearance of the Moonlight Tale in the New African Novel

Zakes Mda's Heart of Redness , Andre Brink's Imaginings Of Sand , Ahmadou Koroma's Allah Is Not Obliged


When Is The Profitable Reading Market?

Andy Akhigbe, Toyin Tejuosho, Otunba Lawal Solarin, Muhtar Bakare, Bibi Bakare Yusuf

Moderator: Tolu Ogunlesi

Presentation of Awards for participation

* This will be the result of the Green Book Contest published to mark National Creativity Day. It will be a contest whereby notable environmental authors will participate by 'writing' the 'first paragraph' of a poem, story or play to be completed by school kids. 21 winners of the contest will have their works published and launched during LABAF 2008.

Paintings will also be sent in and the winning illustration will be placed on the front cover of the book.



THE 8th Lagos Book and Art Festival began on a wet note last Friday at the National Museum, Onikan, Lagos, as the heavens disgorged litres of water.

Had guests and exhibitors at the event organized by the Committee for Relevant Arts (CORA), chosen to sing the nursery rhyme “Rain, rain, go away...”, they would have been forgiven because the heavy rain almost became a kill-joy by holding up proceedings.

And although it succeeded in delaying the opening of the festival by over two hours, it took nothing away from the event as participants had their fill of books, art, comics, lectures, workshops, dance and drama which were in abundance for the three days the festival lasted.

Seyi Solagbade and the Black Face Band who returned from a music festival in Italy recently and Adunni and the folk music group Nefertiti, treated guests to sessions of music which would have been more than it was on the first day had the rains not delayed events.

Nonetheless, the opening ceremony finally kicked-off in a relaxed atmosphere with Chris Ihidero, a member of CORA doing the initial introduction before Jahman Anikulapo took over the formal introductions. Jahman began on a light mood by saying that the rains fell because majority of those at the event left their homes that morning without praying. He then highlighted the objective of the festival and explained why it is more than a book festival.

Jahman said art was added to the book aspect of the festival to showcase the creativity of Nigerians whom he stressed are very creative before explaining the choice of the keynote speaker, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi. Gbadamosi, he explained, was invited to the forum as a playwright and for his contributions to Nigerian literature and not because of his affiliation to the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPRA), Ragolis Water or any other body.

Before he called Gbadamosi who is a leading patron of the arts to the rostrum, Jahman told him to prepare to launch Sola Olorunyomi’s Afrobeat: Fela and the Imagined Continent, which he was given the honour to launch because of his closeness to the late Afrobeat maestro.

In conformity with the prevalent bonhomie spirit, Gbadamosi who was dressed in a blue suit removed his suit and tie before he mounted the rostrum. Though he was scheduled to speak on The Book and The National Consensus, the keynote speaker who came without a prepared speech, spoke on writers and writings in the country.

He said he was aware Olorunyomi was working on the book but was surprised that it was ready. On new writers, Gbadamosi disclosed he met some at an event recently and was thrilled by the freshness of their ideas, styles and command of English language even though he is disturbed by the magic and fantasy some include in their works.

Gbadamosi, who mentioned Peju Alatishe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Promise Ogochukwu Okekwe among other female writers as those that thrill him however said he would love more plays to be written. He noted that new playwrights are not getting published and advocated a union between playwrights and stakeholders in Nollywood.

The economist and playwright equally tasked playwrights to produce enduring works and advised writers to produce text for all classes of students to encourage reading. He subsequently opened the exhibition mounted by four artists: Nkechi Nwosu Igbo; Mufu Onifade; Washington Uba and Jelili Atiku Olorunfemi inside the exhibition hall of the museum as part of events for the festival.

What women write
A session appraising the engagements of Nigerian female writers was one of the events held on the opening day of the just concluded 8th Book and Art Festival. Given the new heights female Nigerian writers have attained and the rave reviews their works are enjoying across the globe, four women, out of which three were present, enlightened the gathering on the theme of their works at a colloquium moderated by Deji Toye.

Before Peju Alatishe, Araceli Aipoh and Mobolaji Adenubi discussed their works: Oritameta: Crossroads; No sense of Limits and Splendid respectively, and also Helen Oyeyemi’s Icarus Girl, some women writers read excerpts from their works.

Ibiba Don Pedro, two-time winner of the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award read excerpts from her work Oil in the Water ; Kaine Agary took excerpts from Yellow-Yellow, her forthcoming novel; Veronica Uzoigwe read a poem entitled Dance Again; Virginia Ogah read The Journey So Far and Ndidi Enemoh took excerpts from her work Flight for Murder, which original title is in Igbo language.

In the presence of bookworms and art patrons like Odia Ofeimun, Professor Akachi Ezeigbo, Gbenro Adegbola, Professor Adebayo Lamikanra, Mr. Modupe Oduyoye, Mr. Gboyega Banjo, Chief Frank Okonta, Dr. Sola Olorunyomi, Rita Dahl, a journalist and poet from Finland who read a poem in Finnish language before Jumoke Verrismo read the English version entitled It’s Amazing and Gerd Meuer, former correspondent of the German Public Radio (ARD) who later facilitated a workshop on Reporting the Arts, the women dialogued and gave insights into their works.

Peju Alatishe, painter and author of Oritameta: Cross Roads revealed that she had always been passionate about females and always advocated on issues concerning them even though she is not a ‘feminist’. She said her writing evolved from her paintings and the accompanying poetry to explain them in response to the moderator’s observation that her work resembles advocacy for women.

On why women make the lead characters in their works, Alatishe explained that it is because no one can express a woman’s feelings and concerns more than a woman. She said women have not been done enough justice in the literature by men and that men need to explore their feminism more.

Mobolaji Adenubi, on her part, said women writers make women their heroines because they have been portrayed negatively by men. The former president of Women Writers’ Association of Nigeria (WRITA) said women have become what they’ve been told they are by men over time and that women in Africa before colonization are different from women after colonization due to changes wrought by colonization. Colonization, Adenubi affirmed, taught women to be submissive and take on feminine roles which, hitherto, were not part of their roles.

She said further that current women’s writing is still trying to find the place of women in the society and that the negative potrayal of women in men’s writing made WRITA organize a seminar with the theme ‘Writing Women Right’ some years ago.

Former ANA president, Odia Ofeimun, who was ‘stampeded’ to comment by the moderator identified with the women by declaring himself a feminist because WRITA was formed during his tenure as ANA president. Although he said Nigerian literature has been taken over by women, he stated that it does not follow that when they tell their stories, they tell it better.

On what she writes, Araceli Aipoh said she writes about “things she loves and hate; what is real and fantasy; what she has and will like to have; about everything”.

Reporting the arts
The workshop on reporting the arts facilitated by Gerd Meuer was the final event held on the first day of the festival before the floor was surrendered to Seyi Solagbade and his Black Face Band. Before the German who had sessions with arts reporters earlier in the week took the floor however, Arne Schneider, Director of the Goethe Institut, Lagos, made a brief remark. Schneider disclosed that his first contact with the vibrant arts scene in Lagos was last year’s book and art festival and told the audience about the German films The Edukators and Go for Zucker showed last Friday and Saturday evening at the Gosthe Institut.

Other events held at the three-day festival which ended on Sunday include a lecture entitled Book in My Life, by Professor Pat Utomi of the Lagos Business School; a celebration of the landmark birthdays of members of the arts and culture family; a seminar with the theme Is African Literature More at Home Abroad than in Africa?
On Sunday, the festival bouquet with the theme 45 years of CORA: An appraisal where

Odia Ofeimun and Bisi Sylva spoke and the usual stampede with theme 20 years After The First Nobel Prize.

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