Open Book Festival returns with an eight-part podcast series celebrating some of the works of literature to come out of South Africa this year. The festival will run virtually from 8 to 24 November.
Source: Open Book Festival on Twitter
The podcast series, sponsored by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, will kick off with Conversations with Mohale, an annual conversation at the Open Book Festival that will be familiar to festival-goers.
Mohale Mashigo will be in conversation with Shana Fife, Pumla Gqola and Siphokazi Jonas about women in lockdown. For the rest of the series, listeners can expect to hear the writers engage on themes that include queerness, grief, gender-based violence, love and so much more.
All the participants in the 2021 festival are either South African or South Africa-based, a deliberate choice made by the festival team. Given the impact the pandemic has had on writers’ abilities to promote their new books and to drive sales, the festival organisers felt that it is important that all efforts be focused on the local literary landscape.
This year’s participants include Mia Aderne, Gretchen Haley, Siphokazi Jonas, Joanne Joseph, Ashraf Kagee, Bongani Kona, Mandla Langa, Qarnita Loxton, Naledi Mashishi, Mohale Mashigo, Yewande Omotoso and Uvile Ximba. The facilitators of the conversations include Catherine Boulle, Africa Melane, Mohale Mashigo, Chase Rhys, and Koketso Sachane.
Vasti Calitz, festival organiser commented: “Over the years, Open Book has evolved into a space that was inclusive and exciting, and which allowed for difficult conversations to take place safely. That face-to-face platform can’t be replaced but the podcast series allows listeners to engage with the books and ideas in their own time and free of charge.”