Doek! is proud to announce the Doek! Literary Festival, in partnership with the University of East Anglia’s International Chair of Creative Writing. It will take place from 21-23 April 2022, at the Goethe-Institut in Windhoek, Namibia.
The festival, a celebration of Namibian and African literature that connects Namibian readers and writers with their counterparts in Africa and the African diaspora, will be the first of its kind in Namibia. It seeks to nurture and grow the country’s literary culture while providing a creative and immersive space for encountering the works of Namibian and other African writers.
The festival’s principal sponsor in 2022 is the world-renowned creative writing programme at the University of East Anglia, whose graduates include the Nobel Prize winner Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, the Booker Prize winners Ian McEwan and Anne Enright, and acclaimed African writers including Ayobami Adebayo.
Rémy Ngamije, Doek!’s founder and chairperson, said: “In partnering with the UEA’s International Chair of Creative Writing, headed by acclaimed Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga, Doek has been provided with the funding, conceptualisation resources, planning capacity, and organisational support needed to make this milestone event possible. UEA is an institution whose influence in literature and creative writing is felt around the world, and to have their support in this project reaffirms the work we do at Doek. It also hints at future growth possibilities for our emerging literary scene. I am thrilled that UEA’s ICCW decided to focus its attention on Namibia and Namibian writers in 2022.”
The Doek! Literary Festival will be held every two years. Each edition will focus on a different mode of literary creation; in 2022 it will be fiction in the novel and short forms.
“Partnering with the UEA’s ICCW allows the festival to have an international profile from its very inception, with some of the most well-known writers in Africa forming part of the festival’s lineup alongside emerging writers from the local literary scene,” Ngamije added. “This first iteration of the festival will surely enrich the Windhoek and Namibian literary scene and pave the way for more literary events for years to come.”
Professor Jean McNeil, who is in charge of UEA’s International Chair programme, commented: “It is a great pleasure to be able to contribute to a vibrant and growing literary community in Namibia, working with Rémy and Doek. Doek embodies the values our programme seeks to uphold: initiative, innovation and a belief in African stories and voices. We are immensely proud to support the first ever festival of literary writing in Namibia.”
Unique learning and creative exchange opportunities through workshops, readings, panel discussions, and musical performances will form part of a programme that will be shared on the festival’s website in the coming weeks.
Each edition of the Doek Literary Festival is led by a design partner that creates the experiential aspects of the festival. Doek chooses a design partner with a proven track record of working with or promoting the arts in Namibia. The 2022 Design Partner is Turipamwe, an award-winning design and communication agency based in Windhoek.
The festival will be hosted at the Goethe-Institut. Its location in Windhoek’s city centre—with easy access to accommodation facilities, supporting services, and other cultural institutions—and extensive media networks make it a preferential venue partner for the 2022 Doek Literary Festival.
• Monday, 14 March 2022: announcement of the festival’s featured writers
• Monday, 28 March 2022: announcement of the festival program
• Thursday, 21 April—Saturday, 23 April 2022: Doek Literary Festival in Windhoek, Namibia
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA’S INTERNATIONAL CHAIR OF CREATIVE WRITING
Created by the University of East Anglia (UEA), the International Chair of Creative Writing (ICCW) offers five prominent writers, over five years, in five global regions, a year-long remit to help find, nurture, and promote new and emerging writers. In 2022, the ICCW embarked on its Africa Year with its inaugural chair Tsitsi Dangarembga, the Zimbabwean playwright, filmmaker, and critically acclaimed author of Nervous Conditions, The Book Of Not, and This Mournable Body.