Lagos Book and Art Festival 2017

Lagos Book and Art Festival 2017

From November 9 – 12, the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) will present the 19th edition of the Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF) at its traditional venue, Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos Island.

CORA is a 26-year old club of culture enthusiasts with the intent to make Nigeria a prime destination for culture tourism by 2018. The theme for this year, ERUPTIONS: Global FRACTURES and our Common HUMANITY, is dedicated to Professor Niyi Osundare, a prolific poet, dramatist and literary critic. The theme is inspired by the sudden but seemingly coordinated emergence of extreme political actors and actions, mostly leaning towards the far right, in the global political and economic landscape, which have mostly led to, or have the tendency to create adverse effects on our collective humanity.

Since its inauguration in 1999, the festival has grown into a world-class cultural event, fast becoming a high point in Nigeria’s culture calendar, giving publishers, adherent book lovers, literary activists and artists an event to look forward to. Conceived and designed as a campaign for literacy and human capital development, this year’s edition boasts of interactive events like; readings; conversations; exhibitions of books, publications and arts and craft; children/students/youth creative workshops; mentoring sessions; live music; drama; dance; and poetry performances.

Every year, LABAF plays host to over 2,000 children and students, who are mentored on a broad range of experiences, through workshops on painting, writing, reading, craft making, drama, dance, poetry and much more but most significantly, discussions around books.

Explaining the theme, the programme directorate of the festival, said: “The theme is primarily inspired by the convulsions in the global political and economic space; the sort of angst that’s led to the emergence of Donald Trump and now upsurge of the ‘supremacist’ and rightist’ movements in the United States; the decision by 17.4million British voters to leave the European Union; the siege on Europe by Islamic militias; the crises in the Middle-east, which has led to millions of refugees besieging Europe; the resurgence of ‘separatist’ rhetoric from some youths in different regions of Nigeria etc. We wish to examine the implications of all these actions on the fundamental rights and privileges of affected people; and in general, our collective humanity.”

Toyin Akinosho, secretary general of CORA, explained why this year’s edition is dedicated to Osundare.

“The 2017 festival is dedicated to the poet laureate, Professor Niyi Osundare, a true national and cultural icon, who has influenced a generation of younger poets and writers, helping them to find their voice and developing their own styles

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