Catch up with the 18th Lagos book and art festival (LABAF)

Today, Friday the 11th of November marks the second day of the annual four-day long culture festival, The Lagos Book and Arts Festival (LABAF) – – “Africa’s biggest culture festival”.

As always the festival has kicked off with some pre-festival activities which started on Monday, 7th November with a book trek in the garden of the British Council in Ikoyi. The event had esteemed members of the literary community reading from some of the 31 books featured in this year’s festival.

Yesterday’s day 1 highlight was the usual Publishers’ forum and this year’s theme was: “Raising Standards -rights, distribution and talent in the publishing industry”. The day ended with a session on nurturing editorial talent and continuous education, moderated by Adebola Rayo at the Goethe Institut, Lagos.

The 18th Edition of the festival has bravely taken up a challenging theme that many for a often do not publicly address – “The Terror of Knowledge“. According to the organisers, “The inspiration derives from the immortal words of the Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka that:

“books and all forms of writings are terror to those who wish to suppress the truth”

The belief of its organisers that the only way to translate the teeming population of Nigeria’s youth is to develop their mind. So the festival’s theme will hopefully be translated through a lot of serious discourse and action plans towards achieving this aim. There are adult programmes as well as those targeted at students.

To kick start this feature of the festival, this morning at the Freedom Park by 9:00, award-winning actress and filmmaker, Stephanie Linus will headline the “MENTORSHIP” programme tagged “My Encounter with the Book” sharing the impact of books on her life with children and young adults. The mentorship programme will continue to hold throughout the rest of the festival days.

Today at the festival promises a lot of fulfilling activities for the adults. The first colloquium themed ‘How Did this creep in on us? Breeding fields of terror’ follows right after Stephanie Linus’ session with the kids. It will feature discussions around Yinka Olomojobi‘s ‘Frontiers of Jihad: radical Islam in Africa’ and ‘Eat the Heart of the Infidel: The Harrowing of Nigeria and the Rise of Boko Haram’ by Andrew Walker.

Later in the afternoon, the Authors’ Corner featuring readings fron Nike Campbell-Fatoki’s ‘Bury Me Come Sunday’; ‘Indigo’ by Molara Wood and Razinat Mohammed’s ‘A love like a woman’s and other stories’ will hold at the Food Court, Freedom park.

A jazz night produced in partnership with Ayo Shadare’s Inspiro Productions and featuring young jazz and Afro-fusion artists will wrap up today’s activities proving that while LABAF is book inspired, the festival is a complete celebration of all facets of the arts and culture in Nigeria.

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