Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lagos Book and Art Festival Opens with Publishers Forum

The 13th Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) opened this Thursday amidst the euphoria of the 81st birthday of our literary icon Chinua Achebe and the good news of British Nigerian playwright Janice Okoh's clinching the £16,000 Bruntwood Prize for Play-writing with her play Three Birds. It is the competition's largest single award to date. She is also popularly known for her play Egusi Soup that was premiered at the 2009 Hotbed Festival and taken on tour by Menagerie. Okoh was also a runner-up for the 2011 Verity Bargate Award for The Real House.

The noble grand old man of Nigerian Literature, Prof. Chinua Achebe celebrated his 81st birthday on November 16.

Bruntwood Prize winner Janice Okoh receiving her prize from Maxine Peake

LABAF which is the biggest book fair and art event in West Africa started in the morning with the second publishers forum at the Goethe Institut on the 4th floor of the City Hall on the Lagos Island. The forum focused on "THE BOOK IN THE AGE OF THE MICROCHIP", exploring the opportunities in digital media and social networking sites for writers, publishers and book sellers.

"I Vote To Read" is the theme of this 13th edition of LABAF, founded and organized annually by the Committee For Relevant Art (CORA) in Nigeria.

It was an exciting forum with interactive sessions moderated by the brilliant Ayo Arigbabu, the Coordinator. Mr. Bamidele Sanusi of Best Technologies made a presentation on "Optimizing Digital Platforms for Book Editing, Design and Production", Kazeem Muritala of Wayne & Malcolm Incorporated spoke on "Optimizing Digital Platforms for Book Distribution, Marketing and Sales" and Deji Toye highlighted the "E-Business Opportunities for the Publishing Industry".

The opening day cocktail is at the Freedom Park this evening.

The colloquium is on "Africa in the Eyes of the Other" and holds on Friday November 18 at the Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos. There will be a Town Talk on "The Book in the Knowledge Economy" on Saturday November 19 and there are other literary, visual and theatrical activities open to the public. The festival ends on Sunday November 20, 2011.

The following is the programme of events presented by Mr. Jahman Anikulapo, the Editor of The Guardian on Sunday who is the Programme Chair.


FRIDAY (November 18), 9am-1pm (FREEDOM PARK)

1. (9 am, Hall 2) "My Encounter with the Book" (Kiddies’ Segment- Tunde Babawale (Director General CBAAC)-a motivational talk to kids, kicks open the kiddies’ segment of the festival.

2. (11am-1pm, Hall 1) The Festival Colloquium (I): Theme: "Documenting The Governance Challenges: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other"-I: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a) A Swamp Full Of Dollars- Michael Peel (b) Dinner With Mugabe-Heidi Holland; (c) A Continent For The Taking- Howard French.

Friday, (November 18), 1pm-3pm(FREEDOM PARK)

2A. (1pm-3pm, Hall 1)The Festival Colloquium (II) Arrested Development: “Why Can’t ‘They’ Get It Right?: "Africa In The Eyes Of The Other": Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a) The State Of Africa-Martin Meredith, (b) Nigeria: Dancing On The Brink-John Campbell, (c) It’s Our Turn To Eat-Michaela Wrong

Friday, (November 18), 3pm-5pm(FREEDOM PARK)

3. "How Familiar Is This Town?". The City As A Key Character In the Fictional Narratives Of The Continent.

Readings, Reviews, and discussions around:

(1) Good Morning Comrades(Luanda, Angola)-, by Ondjaki

(2)The Yacoubian Building(Cairo, Egypt) by Alaa Al Aswany

(3) The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives(Ibadan, Nigeria)

(4)Tropical Fish (Entebbe, Uganda)-Doreen Baigana

(5) Under The Brown Rusted Roofs(Ibadan, Nigeria)


SATURDAY, (November 19), 10am-1pm(FREEDOM PARK)

4. (11am-1pm) "My Encounter with the Book" (Kiddies’ Segment- Austin Avuru (Petroleum Geologist and Author/Managing Director, Seplat Petroleum)-a motivational talk to kids .. (12noon to 1.30pm)

5. (12noon to 1.30pm) Town Talk1: Theme: "Books as tools of The Knowledge Economy: Can a book make you rich?" A top notch panel of discussants review the role of books in the Knowledge Economy, using three books as take off points: Hot, Flat And Crowded- Tom Friedman, The Tipping Point-Malcolm Gladwell, The Ascent Of Money-Niall Ferguson

5B. (1.30pm to 3pm)Town Talk2: Theme: "The Book As Key To The Knowledge Economy":

A conversation around Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flat, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.

Saturday, (November 19),

6. (3pm-4pm, Hall 1) Challenging The Present: African Authors And The Global

Discourse On Governance: Readings, Reviews and Discussions around: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working And What Can Be Done About It, By Dambissa Moyo, When Citizens Revolt: Nigerian Elites, Big Oil and The Ogoni Struggle For Self Determination By Ike Okonta.

Musical Interlude/Live Performance (FREEDOM PARK)

Saturday, (November 19), 4pm-6pm

7. Mapping The Future: Four young authors and publishers under 35, discuss the changing landscape of the publishing industry and express, in detail, their dreams/plans in contributing to the revamp. Inserted in this conversation is a 25 minute presentation by Toni Kan with a working title: What happened to The Pace Setter Series- and when will the new Nigerian thriller come?

Saturday, (November 19), 6pm-10pm (FREEDOM PARK)

8. Festival Birthday Party

Combined birthday party for: Fatai Rolling Dollar@ 85, Chukwuemeka Ike @80, Benson Idonije@ 75, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett@ 70, Ebun Clark @ 70; Charly Boy @ 60; Richard Mofe-Damijo @50; Yeni Kuti @50; Joke Silva @50; Femi Akintunde-Johnson @ 50; Tunde Babawale @ 50; Sola Olorunyomi @ 50; Remi Raji @ 50


SUNDAY, November 20, 12noon (FREEDOM PARK)

9. Arthouse Forum: Art Of The Biography:Reviews and discussions of Femi Osofisan’s J. P. Clark: A Voyage, Adewale Pearce’s A Peculiar Tragedy: J. P. Clark and the beginning of modern Nigerian literature and Dele Olojede/Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo’s Born To Run: a biography of Dele Giwa.

Sunday, November 20, 2pm (FREEDOM PARK)

10. Stampede- "The Nigerian Abroad: Fictional Accounts Of The Immigrant Experience". A panel discussion on the The Phoenix By Chika Unigwe, Some Kind Of Black, By Diran Adebayo, 26A By Dianne Evans, A Squatter’s Tale, By Ike Oguine, Her Majesty’s Visit, By Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, Icarius Girl, By Helen Oyeyemi, Lawless, by Sefi Atta, The Thing Around Your Neck, By Chimamanda Adichie.

Sunday, November 20, 6pm (FREEDOM PARK)

11. Festival Play: Waiting Room by Wole Oguntokun: To Commemorate A Fresh Start Of Our Democracy.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, author of Children of Heaven, Sleepless Night, Scarlet Tears of London, Bye, Bye Mugabe and In the House of Dogs.

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