The Abuja Literary Society (ALS) is set to host its third annual festival tagged, “The Art of Empathy.”
The three day event tagged ALitFest – Abuja. The Literary and Arts Festival will hold from 13 – 15 of August 2020.
In order to welcome a wider participation of the growing literary community in Africa the festival is going virtual and would be held on the webinar platform Hopin (hopin.to).
“With this, we aim to breach geographical barriers through inclusion and Pan-Africanism” says Teniola Tayo, the newly appointed Festival Director.
To be part of the festival, registration can be done via bit.ly/ALITFEST20. Although the organisers made registration free, they are equally seeking the support of any individuals that may be in a position to do so through paid tickets.
The organisers also added that festival guests that are new and existing 9 Mobile users will have access to a special data package which will drastically reduce the internet cost of joining the three-day festival in acknowledgement of the real financial barriers that impede the movement of interactions to online spaces in the developing world. More information would be provided after registration.
The theme for #ALitFest20 “The Art of Empathy” hopes to highlight the importance, beauty and need for diversity and difference as well as the role of the creative in building bridges within and across societies. As such, the panels and events have been curated to help participants explore several important societal issues such as tribalism, racism, homophobia, misogyny (also misogynoir), classism and other relevant issues.
From the unique perspectives of creative minds, this year’s edition of #ALitFest seeks to help people see the world through the eyes of others. The Festival program includes panel discussions hosted by intellectual panelists from diverse backgrounds including Nwando Achebe, Edwige Dro, Sawad Hussain, Dike Chukwumerije, Kola Tubosun, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Bisi Adjapon, and Chido Onumah. They keynote panel will be delivered by Helon Habila and moderated by Odafe Atogun.
A major highlight of the Festival would be the poetry slam where the winner gets a N200,000 cash Prize. Information on participation at the Slam can be found at: https://alitfest.com/slam-poetry-guidelines/. There will also be a series of workshops on short story writing, poetry writing, and publishing.
Other activities include Panel Discussions, Book Chats, Writing Competitions, Online Festival Book Store, – Online Art Exhibition (with partners), Film screenings and so on. Some of the topics to be explored in panels include mental health and the arts, writing in African languages, the role of empathy in the relations between Black Americans and Black Africans, representations of black hair in history, sexual harassment in women.
The festival previous themes include; “Nigeria to the World” in 2018 and “Arts and Social Consciousness” in 2019. The festival organisers are grateful for the support of partners like the South African based Geko Publishing, the Nigerian PR firm, Phyllion & Partners, Folio Nigeria and, of course, 9Mobile.
Visit alitfest.com for more information or follow the social media handles on Twitter @alitfest and on Instagram on @alitfest_. The organisers can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.