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Youth are rising at this year’s Jozi Book Fair

The Jozi Book Fair is back for four packed days of literary events from Thursday to Sunday featuring established and rising stars. The best part is it's still free to attend.

The Jozi Book Fair is a fair for readers and writers promoting all languages; an educational and cultural festival, where the public also hosts about 50% of events. The fair is co-hosted by Khanya College and Wits University.

Entrance to ALL Events is FREE

This year JBF’s jam-packed programme has more than 150 events for people of all ages, varied topics and interests, and all art forms. Exhibitions include Soweto 1976 (photos), Publishers and NGOs, and Architecture. See Full programme on website: http://jozibookfair.org.za/content/programme-2016

Given the theme, Youth Rising, the fair showcases the exceptional talent of South Africa’s youth in all art forms: literature, poetry, music, theatre, performance and dance.

The highlights of/for the youth participation include:

  • Book Launches: this includes Batjha Kaofela: Youth Rising – Ten (10) teen authors from different township schools launch their short stories in English. Others
  • The Orphans of Qumbo, set in the Karoo, with the cast of JBF’s inner-city youth, and young musicians from the Moses Taiwa Molelekwa Art Foundation. The Orphans is based on Michael Williams’The Secret Song & directed by Itumeleng wa Lehulere)
  • Poetry – readings by 20 poets, book launches, poetry meets art and workshops with Diana Ferrus and live performances.
  • # Pass on the Word, a series of publications for youth to commemorate Soweto 1976, with with author/activists whose work is largely out of print. Cry Rage by James Matthews, The Thunsil (Mischiefmaker) by Ronnie Govender and The Young are no longer young by Keorapetse Kgositsile. Book Launch & Live Performances.
  • Panel: History, Influences, challenges and opportunities for YOUTH RISING in Jazz with Kgositsile and Fitzroy Ncgukana and Tumi Mogorosi.
  • Theatre productions by youth – The Creature about street kids in Johannesburg (directed by Feeya Asmal), Shiwelele (directed by Palesa Oliphant) about #Feesmustfall, Clutter (directed by Searatoa van Driel) & Tembisa Musical.
  • Live Jazz Sessions include: Tumi Mogorosi, Bokani Dyer Trio, Babes Ndamase Quartet, Yonela Mnana, MomentozSA, from Central Johannesburg College and Tshwane Music School.
  • Film screening of Action Kommander, (director, Nadine Cloete) about the killing of Umkhonto we Sizwe guerrilla Ashley Kriel in Cape Town & Book Launch, Wankie 1967, with Nicky van Driel and Trevor Oosterwyk.
  • Roundtables: #Feesmustfall & the Future of the Student Movement with student activists and Decolonisation, Art and Artists with Zakes Mda and Guests.
  • Workshops – over 20 skills empowerment workshops for youth related to ‘the word’, on Social media, Poetry, How to Blog, Publish your ebook, Photograpy with your cellphone, Philosphy for youth and Meditation for youth.

Guests & Participants

The award-winning Guests of the Fair, Kemang wa Lehulere (Deutsche Bank Artist for 2017) and Mohale Mashigo (Black Porcelain & author ofThe Yearning) will be in conversation about their work and on several panels.

The programme has conversations, roundtables and performances with illustrious authors & artists – Zakes Mda, Joan Rankin (illustrator), Keorapetse Kgositsile (poet laureate), James Matthews (poet), Ronnie Govender (playwright), Sylvia Vollenhoven (journalist & film-maker), Susan Booysen, Diana Ferrus, Justice Malala, Jacklyn Cock and Adekeye Adebajo, Chris Landsman, Mbe Mbhele, Rami Chuene, amongst others.

The Fair is also a platform for intergenerational engagement to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Youth Uprising, and connect to youth today. This includes:

  • A Roundtable discussion on Conditions of Youth in South Africa, with Statistician General, Phali Lehohla, wa Lehulere and Mashigo and youth.
  • A Encounter on the Meaning of Soweto 1976 with school youth and Kgositsile, Mda and others (1-2 September);
  • Conversation on The Influence of Soweto 1976 on literature, art and liberation – with Mandla Langa, Wally Serote, James Matthews and others (4September)

Other Roundtables on topical issues

  • Where is the ANC Going? with Justice Malala, Ranjeni Munusamy and Dale McKinley
  • Local Government elections: a new political landscape? With Steven Friedman and Oupa Lehulere
  • What is the future of Labour in SA? With Zwelinzima Vavu and Suraya Jawoodien and Ighsaan Schroeder
  • Food crisis and hunger in South Africa with Jacklyn Cock, Vanessa Pillay.

Children (Saturday and Sunday)

Activities to encourage children to ‘play with language’ and learn each other’s languages. The Poetry Buddies will launch two books, Poetry for Friends 2 and 3 and perform their poetry. Thus far, 100 children’s poems have been published. Other books to be launched include: Penny and Puffy (in isiZulu with Zakes Mda), Pitsa Ya Mehlolo (The Miracle Pot) by Tsepo Mohale. British Children’s author, Alan Durant, will tell his favourite stories.

Bring your gumboots and learn gumboot dancing with Buddies from Bophelong.

Book launches

The year’s 15 book launches by local authors and self publishers affirms the JBF as a space to grow a movement of readers and writers in all South Africa’s languages.

Important additions:

Jozi House of Literature and Reading Architecture – This year’s ‘new focus’ is to ‘read buildings’ and understand ‘space’ which governs all aspects of our lives. There is an interactive workshop with youth to Design Jozi’s first House of Literature, a seminar on Housing in South Africa that includes Wits Black Studio (students), academics and activists, and an Exhibition on Architectural projects in Gauteng.

See the Programme: http://jozibookfair.org.za/content/programme-2016

For more detailed information on the Fair, visit www.jozibookfair.org.za



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