School of Arts

Time of the Writer Festival Online but still ‘Provocative and Entertaining’

Coming soon to a screen near you – the 2021 Time of the Writer Festival!
Coming soon to a screen near you – the 2021 Time of the Writer Festival!

UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) within the College of Humanities hosts the 24th edition of the Time of the Writer International Festival on the event’s social media channels from 15 to 21 March.
The festival showcases a diverse gathering of leading novelists, social commentators, activists, playwrights, short story writers and poets.

This edition features authors in conversation, panel discussions, a public participation programme, and exhibitions focused on many socially-relevant themes such as whistle blowing, migration, colonialism, gender-based violence and sexual identity.

This year’s festival theme – The Writer: Witness, Canary in the Mine or Testifier – was inspired by an essay written by author Daisy Hernández.

Director of the CCA Dr Ismail Mahomed said: ‘On the opening day of this year’s festival it will be a year since South Africa went into lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Festivals across the globe have adapted in significant ways to the challenges of a lockdown. Last years’ Time of the Writer was the first South African arts festival to go virtual. Exactly a year later we are forced by circumstance to remain virtual but we also remain determined to bring to the virtual community a week of deep engagement, provocation, inspiration and entertainment.’This year’s festival has been extended by a day to mark the United Nations International Day of Poetry and Human Rights Day in South Africa on 21 March.

Said Festival Co-Curator Ms Siphindile Hlongwa: ‘We will provide a platform for poets from across the globe to speak to concerns about human rights violations and a quest for a just society. The poetry programme will also honour the brave men and women who lost their lives in the Sharpville Massacre.’

This year, the CCA celebrates its 25th anniversary of significantly contributing to the creative industry in Durban and South Africa. Time of the Writer has been a consistent feature on the centre’s calendar and it is the first festival the centre will host during its celebratory year.

Time of the Writer is made possible through partnerships between UKZN and the KZN Department of Sports, Arts & Culture; Amazwi South African Museum of Literature; the French Institute of South Africa; Imbiza Journal of African Writing; the STAND Foundation, and the Foundation for Human Rights.

To stay updated follow @Timeofthewriter on Twitter and Instagram or like the festival on Facebook at

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