The Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), housed within the College of Humanities, will host the 19th Time of the Writer Festival from 14 to 19 March in Durban, under the theme Decolonising the Book.

This theme aims to interrogate the central question of how to go about decolonising literature in South Africa.

In order to provide a platform for conversation and debate on this issue, the Festival will gather the leading voices from literature in the areas of writing, editing, publishing, translation, marketing, bookselling and promotion (including events), to deliberate on the issues of transformation and growth in literature in South Africa. 

Another aspect of the Festival will be the Conversations that Matter event, a daytime programme of roundtable discussions led by experts across the various fields of literature, which provide a space for people to share and contribute towards this vital topic. Nightly evening panels will then feature a summative discussion on the day’s deliberations.

The Festival partners with the eThekwini Municipality Libraries department in whose libraries the day programme will take place. This year’s edition of the Festival features a shift in venue for the evening panels as each day the Festival will take place in a different location across the surrounding areas of Durban. Venues are located in Clermont, Cato Manor, Umlazi, Inanda and KwaMashu.

Festival Manager Ms Tiny Mungwe said: ‘We are very excited about the programme for this year’s Festival, which came about as a result of a growing call from within the literary world and South Africa as a whole for increased diversity, access and inclusiveness. The Centre for Creative Arts would like to acknowledge one of South Africa’s leading writers Thando Mgqolozana who has been very vocal about change in our society and has assisted in the programming of this edition of the festival,’ said Mungwe.

‘The change is very big for us and by breaking from years of tradition we will have another set of operational challenges, but it is something we believe is absolutely crucial for the Festival and for the face of literature in South Africa if we are to effect some kind of shift in our thinking.’

All events are free for library or student cardholders. For members of the public without either card, a nominal fee of R20 will be requested at the door.

For more details about Time of the Writer, visit the Festival web page  or phone (031) 260 2506.

*Organised by UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts, the 19th Time of the Writer is supported by the City of Durban, the National Department of Arts and Culture, the Goethe-Institut and Alliance Française de Durban.  The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the College of Humanities at UKZN and is a special project of Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Cheryl Potgieter.

 Melissa Mungroo