Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wole Soyinka and J.P. Clark at 13th Lagos Book and Art Festival

Lagos Freedom Park at night, the main venue of the 13th Lagos Book and Art Festival.

First African Nobel laureate in Literature Prof. Wole Soyinka and famous dramatist Prof. J.P. Clark were among the special guests on Saturday as they graced the Town Talk on "The Book in the Knowledge Economy" at the on going 13th Lagos Book and Art festival (LABAF) at the Freedom Park on Broad Street, Lagos. Other special guests included Penny Compton and Maggie Robertson from the Hay Festival.

LABAF is the biggest book fair and art event in West Africa founded and organized annually by the Committee For Relevant Art (CORA) in Nigeria.

The festival ends on Sunday with the Arthouse Forum on 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 at noon, followed by the CORA Stampede on "The Nigerian Abroad: Fictional Accounts Of The Immigrant Experience". There will be a panel of 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 and The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The festival's play is Waiting Room by Wole Oguntokun, to commemorate a fresh start of Nigerian democracy. And the grand finale is the Nigerian premiere of Adopted, a German/Ghanaian documentary directed by Gudrun F. Widlok.

ADOPTED is an agency through which extended families in Africa adopt grown-up Europeans who are detached from their families. The film attends three chosen ones to their new families in Ghana.

Ludger from Berlin just recently found out about ADOPTED. Disappointed with his emotionless surroundings and isolated from friends and family, he has been searching for a long time for an escape. He hesitantly participates in ADOPTED and is selected sooner than expected.

Thelma, on the other hand, can`t wait for the moment of departure. A family in Accra (Ghana) has already agreed to adopt her and she is very pleased to get to know them soon. She packed her suitcases, gave away her furniture and is flying to Africa tomorrow – perhaps forever.

Likewise, Gisela is also excited. The last year was not easy for her. After the death of her husband she doesn`t know where she belongs to. She feels alone in her big house and is thinking about selling it and removing to her native home in the south of Germany. In the radio she hears of ADOPTED and is contacting the agency.

The film depicts the life of the protagonists, their journey to West-Africa and a process of anticipated closeness and inevitable misunderstandings.

~ By Ekenyrengozi Michael Chima

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