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For black bodies and grey matter, Ake Festival returns


At Ake Festiva

The 2019 edition of Ake Arts and Book Festival themed, Black Bodies and Grey Matter will hold from October 24 to 27 at the Alliance Francaise, Mike Adenuga Centre in Ikoyi, Lagos.

Like prior editions, this year’s festival will feature panel discussions, workshops, book chats, plays, poetry, events and performances which explore the nexus between the mental and the physical and examine specific phenomena such as scarification, body image, tattoos, stereotyping, gender nonconformity, colourism and mental health.

Speaking to the festival theme, founder Book Buzz Foundation and Ake Festival Convener, Lola Shoneyin said that the festival this year will explore and examine the trauma and triumphs of the black body but most importantly focusing on mental health and how Africans address the challenge.


“Ideas and ideals abound on the shape and form of the African body, but these are rarely formulated by those to whom the bodies belong. At Ake Festival this year, we shall examine the physical, mental and emotional violence that has been and is being inflicted on black bodies, particularly those of women through conflict, colonialism, patriarchy, our cultural practices, and our attitudes,” she disclosed.

Shoneyin added that Ake Arts and Book Festival is “a creative hub and gathering of African creatives, where they can talk, network and think about other exciting ideas. The new addition this year is the children’s corner which will feature art classes to get children engaged with books and culture as much as possible.”

Notable poets, bestselling writers, speakers and guests that include Mo Abudu, Ade bantu, Nadine Ibrahim, Nadine Dennis-Benn, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Leye Adenle, Niyi Okeowo, and Dakore Egbuson-Akande, will be permanent fixtures at the four-day festival.

With visitors from across the globe, Ake Festival has become a leading cultural and literary festival on the African continent as it creates an open environment where art lovers, culture enthusiasts, intellectuals and thinkers come together to discuss various issues facing Africans locally and abroad. Sterling Bank Plc is sponsoring the festival for the second consecutive year.


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