More than 100 writers have been assembled for the 25th edition of the Time of the Writer festival that will be presented online for the third consecutive year by the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities from 14 to 21 March 2022.
The theme of the festival is Beyond Words: Memory, Imagination & Conscience. Inspired by Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chief Albert Luthuli, it will honour his legacy and commemorate the 60th anniversary of his autobiography, Let My People Go. Participants will also reflect on whether Luthuli’s vision for a better South Africa has been served or betrayed.
Writer, academic, producer and broadcaster Dr Nokuthula Mazibuko-Msimang will deliver the keynote address at the festival’s opening.
‘Dr Mazibuko-Msimang’s incredible writing talent in print and for film covers a diverse range of social issues. She is a formidable South African writer and public intellectual,’ said CCA Director Dr Ismail Mahomed.
The featured author is South African poet and cultural activist, Mr Mandla Langa, whose novel The Lost Colours of the Chameleon won the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
The daily prime evening slot at 7pm will feature authors whose recent publications aim to make sense of state capture, corruption, racism, gender-based violence and several other challenges to South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
This year’s festival will bring writers together in a lively and more relaxed discussion during which they will share anecdotes from their lives and careers as well as snippets from their writings. Other highlights are the heartbeat of the isiZulu language, creative writing and skills training and a series of one-on-one interviews with leading South African authors.
During the festival, the organisers will announce an annual literature champion, in which they honour an individual or organisation at the coalface of broadening access to books.
On Monday 21 March, the Festival will present a special programme to mark UNESCO’s International Poetry Day and Human Rights Day in South Africa.
The Time of the Writer festival was the first South African festival to venture into the virtual space in March 2020, two days after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced national lockdowns to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CCA scooped two nominations and an award in the Best Digital Creations category at the 2021 National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences Awards ceremony.