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Pushing back on suppression of minority writers and artists: activities to watch out for at Ibom Art and Book Festival

© Mbiata-Abasi Inyang

All hands are on deck in preparation for The Ibom Art and Book Festival. The maiden edition of the festival sets a bold focus on the continuous underrepresentation of minority writers and artists in global creative discussions, despite how promising and important the works from such groups have consistently proved to be. “The cultural identities, languages, histories, traditions, and creativity of minority writers and artists in countries worldwide, are often suppressed in mainstream literature, films, and international media representation.” The weekend-long event which is set to hold from Thursday 28th to Sunday 31st July attempts to push back against this ill-suited reality.

Keynote Speeches

Each of the first three days will be highlighted by a keynote speech on Inclusion, Representation, Diversity, and Collaboration. The keynote speakers are writer Igoni Barrett who will speak on Diversity on the first day, novelist Nadia Hashimi who will speak on Representation on the second day, and artist Burns Effiom who will speak on Inclusion and Collaboration on the third day.

Rofo Rofo Fight by Burns Effiom

Panel Discussions

The panels are a major highlight of the festival, bringing voices of experts and thought leaders to important conversations around the event’s theme, discussing not only the challenges but also the way forward and practical insights on solutions.

A panel with Kiki Mordi, Inibehe Effiong, Idede Oseyande, and Joanne Joseph will focus on exploring the mainstream path for underrepresented voices. Another panel with Paula Akpan, Jamil F. Khan, Bura-Bari Nwilo and Fragile Dogubo will focus on writing about minority characters. Other panels include discussions around the creativity business, living and surviving in a challenging economy as an artist, representation of selves in culture and art, and exploring forms and politics in diverse art.

Book Reading

Watch out for book reading and signing with authors Igoni Barrett, Roland Watson Grant, Iquo DianaAbasi, Idede Oseyande, Bura Bari Nwilo, and Namse Udosen.

Workshops

The line-up of art and writing workshops includes a beginners fiction workshop with Namse Udosen, an advanced fiction workshop with Bura Bari Nwilo, non-fiction with Roland Watson-Grant, a poetry workshop with Iquo DianaAbasi, a digital illustration workshop with Francis Onuk, a pottery masterclass by Zorbari Dinee-Laago, beginners photography workshop with Chris Isaiah, and painting workshop with Godwin Sunday.

Visual Screening

The festival will feature visual art, photography and film screening of works by Chris Isaiah, Francis Onuk, Wes Gama, Burns Effiom, Mbiata Inyang, Tim Kakandar and Michelle Isaak.

Other activities include an exclusive school tour with selected guests, book fair, cultural, dance, music, poetry, and theatre performances. 

Register and plan for the event. Nothing beats an in-person experience of everything at the festival as it unfolds.

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