The 24th Edition of the Time of the Writer International Festival will begin on March 15 and end on March 21, International Poetry Day. The festival will take place virtually on social media.

The theme for this year’s festival is “The Writer: Witness, The Canary in the Mine or Testifier?” It takes inspiration from the essay, “Writer as Witness” by Daisy Hernandez in which she writes,

While it may well be that no book has ever prevented genocide or fascism, we still have a necessity for literature to testify to the political conditions of our lives—not only so that we might have a record of those we have lost, but also that we might have a reason to gather with others to read and to continue resisting.

South Africa’s leading novelists, poets, and scholars will engage in public discussion of compelling topics such as whistle-blowing, migration, decolonization, sexual identity and gender-based violence.

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The 2021 line-up of speakers includes Fred Khumalo, Abi Daré, Athol Williams, and Helen Moffet among several other notable thinkers. One of the highlights of the program is that Brittle Paper’s African literary person of the year Zukiswa Wanner is presenting the keynote address.

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