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After more than a year of behind-the-scenes planning, Jalada Africa has announced a mega-step: a mobile literary festival covering five countries in East Africa.
Slated for March 3-31 of 2017, the festival is a hybrid between a traditional place-based festival and a bus tour and will cover twelve towns: Nairobi, Nakuru, Kisumu and Mombasa in Kenya; Mwanza, Arusha, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in Tanzania; Kampala and Kabale in Uganda; Kigali in Rwanda; and Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All that traveling amounts to 4,500 kilometers and possibly interaction with over 10,000 enthusiasts.

Aiming to celebrate diversity and create living connections between writers, artists, and diverse audiences in the big cities and small towns across East Africa, the festival will be presented as a series of full-day events, and will feature an expanded retinue of panel discussions, literary readings and debates, spoken word and theatrical performances, creative writing and translations master classes, poetry workshops, exhibitions, art installations, and film screenings. The events will feature writers and artists drawn from the Collective, and tens of exciting authors, performers, and thinkers drawn from East Africa and beyond, as well as international voices.

The festival will also be incorporating new and imaginative ways of documenting literature and art using mobile-phone mini-documentaries.

Jalada Africa was formed in 2013 by writers from Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Uganda and South Africa, and currently comprises writers and artists of African origin, both from the continent and the diaspora. The Collective seeks to break boundaries by publishing works that stretch the reach of creative writing, expand the range of reading experiences, and diversify audiences for literature.

For this festival, Jalada has partnered with Goethe-Institut Nairobi. The festival is partly funded by the British Council nAnA grant and is supported by a host of cultural institutions across the region.

Visit the festival site for more information.

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Please Note: Brittle Paper is not responsible for the organization or further promotion of this contest, neither do we have a stake in its popularity. Address any inquiry to festival@jalada.org. Thank you.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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