For those who are able to attend, we want to let you know that tickets are currently on sale for the 2022 Asmara Addis Literary Festival (In Exile) scheduled to hold from 29-31 May in Brussels, Belgium.
Founded and curated by the award-winning Eritrean-Ethiopian author Sulaiman Addonia, the pan-African-rooted festival “aims to be an international home for ideas that migrate freely and boldly in borderless literary landscapes, and one that reflects and celebrates our societies not as censored but as they exist in reality, with all their diversity, trouble and beauty.”
The festival theme this year is “Say It Loud – An Exploration of the Art of unsubtlety” and explores the possibility in an artistic philosophy that centers exuberance as opposed to restraint. See a more detailed description:
For centuries, writers and artists have been expected to operate under the principle that less is more & to adhere to the power of subtlety. Though this may have produced great art, it might have also inversely led to a loss. As well as exploring what this looks like, the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile), in its third edition, will give a stage to the opposite side of subtlety & restraint: exuberance and loudness.
Say It Loud will invite Belgian-based and international guests to talk about the art of unsubtlety and going against the grain. It will dive deep into the process of creation without filters, speak the unspeakable, break down the doors to all sides of our imaginations, and show us what happens when freedom to make art is bottomless and unrestricted.
The line up of guests invited to explore these ideas is extensive, over 60, 30 of which are international. Some of the international names include Ethiopian-born actor and supermodel Liya Kebede, Ugandan novelist Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Nana Darkoa, Lola Akinmade Åkerström, Kalaf Kalaf Epalanga, the Singaporean poet Alvin Pang, the Vietnamese writer Quế Mai Nguyễn Phan, and more. Among the Belgian guests are Dalilla Hermans, Astrid Haerens, Ria Carbonez, Dutch transgender writer and activist Tammie Schoots, and poet Jay Bernard.
In line with the festival’s core value for inclusivity, it will prioritize platforming the work of many LGBTQ+ artists, African diaspora writers, women artists, and refugee writers from the Addonia-founded Creative Writing for Refugees and Asylum seekers.
The Asmara Addis Literary Festival (In Exile) was founded in 2019 and featured a stellar cast of guest, among which were Maaza Mengiste, Minna Salami, Nadifa Mohamed, Chike Frankie Edozien, Saleh Addonia, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, and a host of others. The 2022 festival is no different. It assembles a brilliant cast of participants and promises to explore and celebrate art in ways that are relevant to our moment.
Get festival tickets here.