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Visitors at the 2017 Ake Festival. Credit: Ake Festival Media Team.

The Ake Arts and Book Festival has announced its 2020 theme: “Black Magic.” Founded in 2013 by BookBuzz Foundation director Lola Shoneyin, the festival is the biggest annual gathering of writers in the continent, with panels, performances, book launches, and film screenings taking place over four days. Supported by Sterling Bank, the 2020 showpiece, the event’s eighth, will be its second year in Lagos, since being moved from Abeokuta. It will be held from 22–25 October.

“Whilst envisioning a proud and powerful resurgent identity, we shall explore the expansion of black imagination and black consciousness,” the announcement tweet read. “AkeFest2020 will be an unapologetic reclamation of cosmologies, mythologies and belief systems that have sustained Africa and her Diaspora through millennia of disruption and change. We also seek to celebrate the magic of black people as a locus for interrogating cultural memory, as well as notions of black excellence, resilience and resistance. Our literary focus will be children’s writing and political memoirs.”

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The festival’s last two themes were “Black Bodies | Grey Matter,” in 2019, and “Fantastical Futures,” in 2018.

Visit the Ake Festival website.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction 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 Curator at 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 work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. 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 has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “The 2020 Ake Festival Is Themed #BlackMagic, to Focus on Political Memoirs & Children’s Writing” Subscribe

  1. Okusanya Collins January 25, 2020 at 1:41 pm #

    Well, this Recent Fesitival is a good one and it will do us(Africans) good and even the upcoming children who will be interested in Literature especially about Africa. This will make them know about how Africans had explained their culture and values.

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