6 festival directors to converge at Aké festival 2023

The 11th edition of the highly anticipated Aké Arts and Book Festival (AABF) promises a unique experience for attendees from November 22nd to 25th, 2023. This year’s theme, “Blood Ties,” say the organisers, will be the focal point of the 2023 Aké Review, delving into the intricate web of family dynamics, relationships, loss and unity.

Shoneyin flanked by the Ake team at briefing

Set against the vibrant backdrop of BON Hotel Ikeja Residence in GRA Lagos, the festival is set to attract a diverse array of talent, with authors, poets, artists, storytellers, dancers, actors, musicians and intellectuals converging for three days of immersive cultural exploration.

At a recent briefing in Lagos, Director of the festival, Lola Shoneyin, expressed gratitude for the ongoing support from partners Sterling Bank and Luminate, emphasising their commitment to celebrating creativity and fostering discussions that empower youth.

“Aké Arts & Book Festival is delighted to partner with Sterling Bank and Luminate who have consistently supported our goal of celebrating and promoting creativity while facilitating discussions that empower the youth,” Shoneyin said.

This year’s edition introduces The Africa Right Forum, a platform aimed at equipping agents and editors in Nigeria and across Africa to navigate the global rights market.

Additionally, Shoneyin stated, three international literary agents, including Stephanie Steiker from the United States, Pierre Astier from France, and Emma Shercliff from the United Kingdom, as well as Lucie Campos, director of the Lyon-based cultural institute Villa Gillet, will engage with writers and artists at the festival.

The Festival Director Fellowship takes centre stage, honouring individuals from The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain and Norway. These esteemed guests, including Willemijn Lamp, Lavina Frey, Kholod Saghir, Estefania Calanes Perez, Angeles Jurado and Teresa Grotan, will contribute to the festival’s rich tapestry

The programme boasts stimulating panel discussions covering a diverse range of topics, complemented by 11 book chats where writers delve into their themes, characters and the enchanting worlds they create. Notable highlights include Femi Adebayo’s conversation with Fadekemi Olumide-Aluko on the creation of Jagun Jagun.

Beyond literary discussions, the festival promises diverse entertainment, including a palm wine poetry night, a concert, an African book quiz, and a special event for women in publishing. This unique opportunity will allow aspiring female professionals to connect with leaders and mentors within the African publishing industry and beyond, fostering growth and collaboration.

Organised by Book Buzz Foundation, the festival has brought over 1000 writers, poets, musicians, actors, filmmakers, artists and thinkers together to celebrate creativity, network and share stories. 

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