Writivism takes fifth anniversary celebrations to the United Kingdom

The Kampala-based Writivism Literary Initiative has announced a five-day tour of English cities and universities, to celebrate five years of promoting Africa-based writers. The celebrations will kick off at Sussex University in Brighton on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, as part of the 7th African Popular Cultures Workshop themed: East African Literary Cultures: From Writivism to Kintu and beyond. The event will include the screening of the fifth anniversary documentary on social media and creative writing, “The Real Writers” and a conversation with Jennifer Makumbi, winner of the Windham Campbell prize for Literature and author of Kintu.

The tour will continue to London on Thursday, April 12, 2018, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where in collaboration with Royal African Society’s Africa Writes, Writivism will screen the anniversary documentary, and present the anniversary anthology of short fiction by emerging Ugandan writers. Dr. Lizzy Attree, Nick Makoha, Sumayya Lee, Nancy Adimora, and Henry Brefo are among the speakers at the event. The tour’s stop-over at the University of Birmingham will be on Friday, April 13, 2018, and it will proceed to the University of Bristol on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Launching Odokonyero: A Writivism at 5 Anthology of Short Fiction by Emerging Ugandan Writers

Cover of Odokonyero: A Writivism at 5 Anthology of Short Fiction by Emerging Ugandan Writers

The anthology, which includes short stories by eighteen young Ugandan writers, will be officially launched at the University of Bristol event. It was published by Black Letter Media and is already available for purchase on Amazon. According to Amatoritsero Ede, Poet and, Assistant Professor of English, Woosong University, South Korea, as well as publisher & managing editor of the Maple Tree Literary Supplement:

… this anthology represents life in Uganda in its complexity, richness and contradictions. The country painted on this canvas is one in which tradition and modernity vie with each other in the lives of the well-realized characters. As first-time efforts there is much promise in these pages; it is Ugandan literature moving gradually towards a renaissance.

Esther Mirembe and Maria Kakinda, two of the authors will be on the tour. Madhu Krishnan and Billy Kahora, who edited the anthology will join them at the Bristol event. Copies will be available for sale, as well as those of previous anthologies by the initiative, t-shirts and bookmarkers at all the four events, during the tour. Roland Byagaba, Writivism Director said:

“As we celebrate five years, we hope to move towards a self-sustaining future as an initiative. This tour aims at introducing our work to new audiences in the United Kingdom, widening readerships and markets for Africa-based writers.”

‘The Real Writers’ Documentary

DVD Cover of ‘The Real Writers’ Documentary

The documentary, supported by the University of Sussex, consists of interviews with five prominent names in Ugandan literature; Nyana Kakoma (founder, Sooo Many Stories), Ernest Bazanye (writer), Stella Nyanzi (academic), Jennifer Makumbi (novelist) and Acan Innocent Immaculate (short story writer). The five address questions around: the definition of a writer and good writing, social media as a genre of writing and the economics of social media writing. The film premiered in Kenya at the Storymoja festival on October 1, 2017. The short documentary film explores the ways in which social media has disrupted the traditional ways of publishing and circulating African Literature.

Key Dates and Venues

City Date and Time Partner Venue Address
Brighton April 10, 2018, Tuesday, 14:00 – 19:00   University of Sussex Fulton 103, Fulton G15, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RH
London April 12, 2018, Thursday, 18:00 – 20:00 Royal African Society Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG
Birmingham April 13, 2018, Friday, 17.30 – 20:00 University of Birmingham John Lee Lecture Theatre, Birmingham & Midlands Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham B3 3BS.


BRISTOL EVENT POSTPONED: It is with sadness that we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone this event. We will be rescheduling for the early autumn and will share the details here once they are all confirmed. Apologies for any inconveniences.

Featured Speakers during the Tour

Jennifer Makumbi, John Masterson, Kate Wallis, Henry Brefo, Lizzy Attree, Nick Makoha, Sumayya Lee, Nancy Adimora, Rebecca Jones.

Dates for the Ugandan launch of both the anthology and documentary will be announced here soon.

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