Today, in our Q & A series with previous Writivism festival staff, we speak to Kelsey Claire-Hagen, who joined us for the 2014 festival. She tells us about her experience and hopes.
What pushed you to get involved in #Writivism 2014 as part of the organising team?
I got involved in writivism because I was very intrigued by the work Bwesigye was doing with Flash Theater in 2014. Once I had expressed interest in interning for CACE, Bwesigye asked me to help with Writivism in the summer of 2014. I was so happy to join the team.
What fond memories do you have of the festival?
My favorite times were spent with Bwesigye, Donald and Leo in the OxMak office. I also had a great time getting to know the various talented authors we invited for the festival, as well as the talented and helpful volunteers.
Thinking back now, what could you have done better, regarding the plans and execution of #Writivism2014 festival?
I believe that Writivism was only in its second year when I came aboard. I think there were things I could have done better in terms of managing the finances and our very limited time.
How would you measure the growth of this festival in three years?
I have not been asked back to help with the festival so I am not sure I can adequately measure it’s growth since I was last involved. I am also unable to attend since I live in the United States. From what I can see on Facebook and emails it seems that the support group and attendees has grown exponentially since I last attended. I think that the dedication and passion for literature was always very present among the CACE employees and volunteers, and this has only been amplified by the growing support for the cause.
Are you proud of this baby you nurtured?
Very proud to have briefly been involved in something so much bigger than myself. The works produced by veteran and novice authors displayed at The Writivism Festival are absolutely inspiring. In America, we have a very negative climate when it comes to race relations. Thanks to Writivism, I was able to understand how words can truly change the world and give voices to groups of people who have been put down by capitalism, colonialism, post-colonialism, etc. I really hope that Writivism continues to change people’s perspectives like it did mine. Much love to the team of people and good luck this year! Wish I could be there.
Thank you Kelsey and we look forward to welcoming you back to Kampala in future.