‘It’s all about trust’: Open Book Festival promises a diversity of storytelling

2019-09-03 12:06

A host of authors, poets and creative minds is set to descend upon some of the Mother City’s most popular literary spots including the Fugard Theatre and the Book Lounge.

Tomorrow marks the first day of the ninth Open Book Festival, taking place in Cape Town from September 4 to 8. This four-day event is set to promote the diversity of writing and storytelling in a spectacular way.

This year the festival is set to host 150 events, making it the largest Open Book Festival to date.

“We are now in a position where not only do we have regular sold out events, but we are seeing audiences that speak to the city we live in. Those who join us are young, from diverse backgrounds and passionate. The level of trust people now have in the festival is something we are very happy about,” Frankie Murrey, festival coordinator told City Press.

Included in the lineup this year is the Comics Fest, where illustrators and comic artists will be showing off their skills, #CocreatePoetica, which showcases the collaboration between rap, poetry and the spoken word, and a youth programme. There is a host of new events, such as virtual reality experiences, workshops on how to create your own Gif and poetry and ice-cream pairing.

International authors who will be attending the festival include Chigozie Obioma (An Orchestra of Minorities) and Oyinkan Braithwaite (My Sister the Serial Killer), both of whom have been longlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.

“The festival also welcomes back Nicole Dennis-Benn (Patsy) who was a crowd favourite in 2018. She is joined by, among others, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black), Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties), Elisabeth Åsbrink (Made in Sweden), Saidiya Hartman (Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments) and Dutch poets Simone Atangana Bekono and Radna Fabias,” Murrey said.

Local favourites include Rekgotsofetse Chikane (Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation), Haji Mohamed Dawjee (Sorry, Not Sorry), Caryn Dolley (The Enforcer), Zimitri Erasmus (Race Otherwise), Ishay Govender-Ypma (Curry: Stories and Recipes from Across South Africa), Kelly-Eve Koopman (Because I Couldn’t Kill You), Funeka Soldaat (Uhambo), Jonny Steinberg (One Day in Bethlehem), B Camminga (Beyond the Mountain) and Refiloe Moahloli (Yes Yanga!).

This year, a call was made for writers to submit their own stories about Cape Town, which has resulted in the culmination of the #WritingMyCity anthology.

“The top entries will be published in the anthology to be launched at the festival,” Murrey said.

 Read: Book extract: The day I died

On Wednesday, contributors to the hugely popular anthology, New Daughters of Africa, such as Nadia Davids and Sarah Ladipo Manyika, will be in discussion with Mandisa Haarhoff about the idea of African writing at the Fugard Theatre from 10-11am.

For more information visit https://openbookfestival.co.za/

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February 23 2020