The Abuja Literary Society (ALS), a group of creative minds and patrons of Arts, is set to host its third annual festival tagged, “The Art of Empathy”.
The three-day event simply referred to as ALitFest – Abuja Literary and Arts Festival – will hold from August 13th – 15th 2020.
In order to welcome 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 here
The organizers have strived to make registration free but are equally seeking the support of any individuals that may be in a position to do so through paid tickets.
The organizers also added that festival guests that are new and existing 9Mobile users will have access to a special data package that will drastically reduce the internet cost of joining the three-day festival in acknowledgment 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.
The 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 an N200,000 cash Prize.
Information on participation at the Slam can be found HERE.
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’s previous themes include; “Nigeria to the World” in 2018 and “Arts and Social Consciousness” in 2019. The festival organizers 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.