Abuja Literary and Arts Festival 2021 Set for September

Now in its fourth year, ALitFest has become a landmark of Abuja’s cultural scene. The theme this year is “Making Art Work.”
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Abuja Literary Festival 2019. From alitfest.com

Abuja Literary Festival 2019. From alitfest.com

The Abuja Literary and Arts Festival (ALitFest21), presented by the Abuja Literary Society (ALS), is set to take place from 25 September to 2 October, 2021.

The ALitFest is an annual celebration of the arts and literature from across the country and the continent. Panelists have included Helon Habila, Edwige Dro, Sawad Hussain, Dike Chukwumerije, Kola Tubosun, Tsitsi Dangaremgba, Toni Kan, Dapo Olorunyomi, Chika Oduah, Segun Adeniyi, Ayodele Olofintuade, Chuma Nwokolo, Chris Ngwodo, Abdulkareem Baba Aminu, Editi Effiong, T.J. Benson, Eketi Edima Ette, Osasu Igbinedion, Tunde Leye, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Esther Mirembe, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Layla Ali Othman, Odafe Atogun, Edify Yakusak, and Bash Amuneni.

Now in its fourth year, ALitFest has become a landmark of Abuja’s cultural scene. The 2018 theme was “Nigeria to the World”; 2019: “Arts and Social Consciousness”; and 2020: ”The Art of Empathy.” The theme this year is “Making Art Work.” We invite speakers and attendees to explore tools, systems, and institutions that will help creatives generate sustainable livelihoods from their art while using it to promotes community values.

Festival Director Teniola Tayo said, “We would like to take things a step beyond conversations, so the idea behind this theme is to programme the festival around finding solutions to the challenges facing the literary space in Nigeria and in Africa.”

ALITFEST 21 official poster
ALitFest21 official poster.

Last year, the festival was held virtually and extended its shores beyond Nigeria to other parts of Africa, and the rest of the world. This was a necessity in view of the global pandemic. We were also able to include the African diaspora in our conversations, with crossover panels that included Africans and African Americans. The results far outweighed our expectations, and this year, we will host a hybrid festival scheduled to be both virtual and physical.  

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The physical space, which will follow COVID-19 protocols, will be in Abuja and will require a token donation for tickets, which can be gotten via Afritickets.

The virtual space will be on Zoom. Registration links will be shared on the festival website: www.alitfest.com; and on its social media handles (Twitter: @alitfest; Instagram: @alitfest_; Facebook: @Abuja Literary and Arts Festival).

Activities on the festival’s program include panel discussions, poetry for stage, a festival anthology, a roundtable on creating a bestsellers list in Nigeria, art exhibition, fiction, poetry and script writing workshops, language translation competition, secondary school debate competition, outreach at camp for Internally Displaced Persons, intensive boot camp for creatives, book chats, poetry grand slam, writing competitions, a book and arts fair, as well as a closing music concert.

Pre-festival activities include a three-day virtual writing workshop, which seeks to empower participants to take their craft to the next level with quality writing, networking, publishing, and earning. Another is a book drive, during which donated books will be distributed to families at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp in Abuja. The books will be received at RovingHeights Bookstore, CVS Plaza, 145 Adetokunbo Ademola Cres, Wuse 2, Abuja.

The festival is grateful for the partnership of South Africa-based Geko Publishing. For partnership enquiries, please email teni@alitfest.com.

Abuja Literary and Arts Festival
The Abuja Literary and Arts Festival is an initiative of the Abuja Literary Society. For the past twenty years, the society has developed events which are held every almost Friday night and ranges from Open Mic Nights where writers, aspiring or established, present their pieces to members of the audience and receive constructive feedback; the ALS Book Club where the book for the month is discussed with in-depth analysis; and Book Jams where diverse authors are invited to speak ok their books and share their literary experiences. Other than the regular weekly events that are held, ALS also hosts a Poetry Slam quarterly where cash prizes and other additional benefits are awarded to the top three winners of the spoken word contest as well as the monthly Teen Talk which engages young adults on modern contemporary issues whilst encouraging their creative development.

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