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TIME OF THE WRITER FESTIVAL (article first published : 2004-03-22)

The 7th edition of the Time of the Writer festival runs from March 22 to 27 and has an all-African focus which includes themes relating to 10 years of democracy in South Africa. The festival's approach to this milestone includes an exploration of the meaning and implementation of democracy, as seen through the eyes and words of writers.

Participating writers are Leila Abouzeid (Morocco), Kofi Awoonor (Ghana), Unity Dow (Botswana), Helon Habila (Nigeria), Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe) Sonallah Ibrahim (Egypt), Antjie Krog (South Africa), Sindiwe Magona (South Africa), Ali Mazrui (Kenya), Zakes Mda (South Africa), Gcina Mhlophe (South Africa), Yolande Mukagasana (Rwanda), Njabulo Ndebele (South Africa), Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (Kenya), Albie Sachs (South Africa), Elinor Sisulu (South Africa), Veronique Tadjo (Ivory Coast), Jann Turner (South Africa), Pieter-Dirk Uys (South Africa), ), Lye Yoka (Democratic Republic of Congo). Their biographies can be viewed at www.cca.ukzn.ac.za/

Monday, March 22 at 19h30: Welcome by Peter Rorvik; Keynote Address by Prof. Pitika Ntuli and introduction of festival participants. Evita Bezuidenhout speaks out on "Democracy".

Tuesday, March 23 at 19h30: Music Interlude: Indonsa - five-piece singing ensemble; Leila Abouzeid and Veronique Tadjo - Finding Freedom to Write with host Yonah Seleti. (INTERVAL) Gcina Mhlophe and Pieter-Dirk Uys - Between Page and Stage: The Politics of Performance Art with host Zakes Mda.

Wednesday, March 24 at 18h45: Book launch: New Century of South African Short Stories by Michael Chapman, published by Jonathan Ball - Wellington Tavern. 19h30: Music Interlude with Brian Thusi (trumpet). Chenjerai Hove and Elinor Sisulu - Writing & Social Consciousness with host Tembeka Mbobo. (INTERVAL) Kofi Awoonor and Antjie Krog - How Far Have We Come with host Lisa Combrinck.

Thursday, March 25: 19h30: Unity Dow and Sindiwe Magona - Stories of the South with host Margaret Daymond. (INTERVAL) Antjie Krog presents /Xam poetry - The Stars say 'Tsau'. Sonallah Ibrahim and Ali Mazrui - Critique & Contestation in African Writing with host Ashwin Desai.

Friday, March 26: 18h45: Book Launch Writing in Crisis: Ethics and History in Gordimer, Ndebele & Coetzee by Stefan Helgesson, published by UKZN Press - Wellington Tavern. 19h30: Music Interlude - Ndikho Xaba - homemade instruments; School Short-Story Competition Awards; Helon Habila and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor - New Democracies, New Writing with host Ntone Edjabe. (INTERVAL) Zakes Mda and Jann Turner - Revisiting the Rainbow with host Johan Jacobs.

Saturday, March 27: 19h30 - Music Interlude with Marumo Ncube mbira. Lye Yoka and Yolande Mukagasana - Writing in Troubled Times with host: John Matshikiza. (INTERVAL) Njabulo Ndebele and Albie Sachs - Looking Back, Going Forward with host: Michael Chapman.

Apart from the nightly sessions at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the University of KwaZulu-Natal campus a highlighted component of the festival is the two-day Ingede: Negotiating Transformative Spaces of African Scholarship conference that reflects on what constitutes excellence in learning and research in Africa. The conference explores the relationship of embedded scholarship and science with other modalities of expression and knowledge-dissemination, and how the academic community can become an experimental node where writing and critical social practices interact, especially in a province where oral story-telling or orality in all its forms, has been and continues to be a vital social force.

Other activities include a workshop for educators; a forum on publishing issues; links to the African Renaissance conference; book-launches; live music; a schools short-story competition and wide-reaching school visits designed to stimulate a culture of reading and writing.

Ticket prices for the evening presentations are R15 (R8 students/pensioners). Book at Computicket or at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 18h30 each night.

The Centre for Creative Arts acknowledges the sponsors with great appreciation: National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund; French Institute of South Africa; National Arts Council of South Africa; HIVOS; Prince Claus Fund for Culture & Development; City of Durban; eThekwini Municipality; Pro Helvetia Arts Council of Switzerland; Adams Campus Books; University of KwaZulu-Natal; Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre.

For more details contact the Centre for Creative Arts on 031 260 2506; e-mail: cca@nu.ac.za or visit www.und.ac.za/und/carts/




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