The annual Franschhoek Literary Festival will take place at various venues in Franschhoek from 11 to 13 May 2012, and once again there are controversial themes and passionate personalities to zing up the programme.
Marianne Thamm takes on a trio of legendary media mavericks in On being Bolshy - Gareth Cliff (On Everything), Denis Beckett (Radical Middle) and Martin Welz (editor of Noseweek). Staying with the media, Brett Murray's poster from the eighties says it all: Save The Press. In Freedom of Information Mike Wills conducts what could be a post-mortem with Anton Harber (Diepsloot), who holds the Caxton Chair of Journalism at Wits, journalist Mandy Wiener (Killing Kebble) and SA's sharpest cartoonist, Zapiro.
Harber and Wiener will also take part in Churnalism, where Tim Butcher will chair a discussion of media misdemeanours with them and Fiona Forde, the journalist who penned the Malema biography, An Inconvenient Youth.
Scrutinising the arms deal
On Saturday, satirist and Al Jazeera journalist Azad Essa (Zuma's Bastard) will be having the conversation with his former sociology professor, poet Ari Sitas, that was supposed to take place last year, again titled Holy Cows to Beefburgers.
On a politically challenging note, Tim Butcher scrutinises the notorious South African arms deal in State Secrets, and ask an important question 'Who exactly are our enemies?' of Andrew Feinstein (The Shadow World), Raenette Taljaard (Up in Arms) and security specialist Antony Altbeker (Fruit of a Poisoned Tree).
In Learning from our Mistakes Peter Harris will chair an essential discussion with Moeletsi Mbeki, Andrew Feinstein and Ray Hartley, editor of the Sunday Times. In Endgame, Mbeki will be in conversation with Willie Esterhuyse, author of the book Endgame covering the crucial negotiations that enabled our country to start redeeming itself.
Discussing country's future
Aid to Africa will also be under the spotlight, with Mike Wills talking to Time magazine's Africa bureau chief Alex Perry about his book detailing a businessman's fight-back against malaria, Lifeblood: how to change the world one dead mosquito at a time, with additional input by Zimbabwean activist Petina Gappah.
On an even more positive note, Rolling up our sleeves and...will have John Maytham discussing our country's way forward with Free State University vice chancellor Jonathan Jansen and UCT economist Francis Wilson.
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