One tweet in reaction to the Abantu Book Festival’s opening tweet designed to restart the decoloniality conversation:
Much of Swahili literature, including proverbs and canonical works like Utendi wa Mwana Kupona, denigrate watumwa (slaves) as if blacks were not forcibly captured, raped, castrated, and uprooted from their cultures. The casualness with which slavery is treated, even by progressive poets like Muyaka, is the biggest scandal in Swahili letters.
(Evan Mwangi, in his essay We Need a Slave Rebellion in Literary Studies of Swahili, that reviews two books, The Story of Swahili and The Cultural Politics of Translation: East Africa in Global Contexts)
Updated: Nov 30, 2016
20th-21st Century Turkish Authors
Translations into West European Languages & Chinese
- Hikayeler / Geschichten aus Istanbul
- / Le Samovar
- / Le Café du coin
- / Un homme inutile
- / Un serpent à Alemdag
- / Une histoire pour deux
Pir Sultan Abdal
- Ölmeye Yatmak / Se Coucher pour mourir
“Cassava Republic is taking our literature to the world, as opposed to bringing literature curated by foreign publishers to the continent. This is remarkable,” he says. “I have always said that to correct the narrative about ‘Africa’, to tell our own story, we must be in charge of the production of our narratives, we must own the means of production.
“With Cassava I do not have to worry about a foreign editor ‘whitewashing’ my manuscript for an international audience until it is barely recognisable to the people where the story is set. I know that Cassava knows what I am trying to do and has the same vision for the integrity of narrative as I do.”
(Author Mr. John, cited in an interview about Cassava’s new subsidiary in London, Publisher’s Expansion Brings Nigerian Writers to World Stage)
I will be one of four translators taking part in Speaking in Tongues: The Art and Craft of Translation on Saturday November 26 at the “Georgetown Literary Festival” in Penang. Our panel will be moderated by Gareth Richards, and fellow translators will be Pauline Fan, Jérome Bouchard and Muhammad Haji Salleh.
You can check out the full festival program here.
Intriguingly, the theme for this year’s festival is hiraeth, a Welsh term that Wikipedia defines as:
Homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed . . . a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness . . . for the Wales of the past.
We can assume that the Wales part of the formula won’t be the focal point, since nostalgia for British colonial rule is not a mainstream sentiment here. At least, I don’t think so.
I was pleased to find an essay by Malaysian feminist Zainah Anwar in the first few pages of the handbook, suggesting that this festival is not intended as an ivory tower event for the local intellectual elite. Trump and the Red Shirts of Malaysia both got a mention, for one. Have a read: [Read more…]
Hard times for Africans in Guangzhou amid crackdown. Complains one resident of ‘Little Africa’: It seems they want the Africans to leave this area . . . every month now, I have to go to the police station [to register], every month. I feel like I’m in jail.
The judging panel for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature has announced the 2016 longlist of nine books: Mr. and Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya; The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo; Piggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Toure; The Peculiars by Jen Thorpe; Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John; And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile; Dub Steps by Andrew Miller; The Seed Thief by Jacqui L’Ange, and Nwezelenga: The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni. The winner will be announced in March 2017 and will receive £15,000.
Ethiopia’s internet is among the least free in the world, ranking ahead of only Iran, Syria, and China out of the 65 countries surveyed.
Chinese Literature in Africa: Meaningful or Simply Ceremonial?
Interview with Louise Umutoni, founder and director of Rwanda’s Huza Press. Winner of The Huza Prize for Fiction — short story submissions accepted through end November — will be awarded US$1,000.
Magunga.com: Fledgling Online Pan-African Bookstore
“. . . a society is best when it is fully and truly informed, otherwise an uninformed society is better than a misinformed one.”
(Dr Negeri Lencho, Ethiopia’s new Minister of Government Communication Affairs, speaking in a 2013 interview)