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African conference gets underway soon

For Release Upon Receipt - Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ghanian-born, Emmy award-winning poet, actor, editor, critic and musician, Kwame Dawe is among scores of internationally acclaimed literary practitioners and academics who will assemble in Barbados early next month for the African Theatre Association’s (AfTA) annual conference.

The globally-acclaimed event which starts on the 6th of July will be held under the theme Many People, Many Cultures, One Humanity: Re-Centering the Poet, Poetry and Performance at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination (EBCCI), Cave Hill campus, University of the West Indies.

UWI Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; literary and cultural critic Professor Funso Aiyejina, a UWI professor emeritus; South African lecturer, writer and cultural performer, Phillippa de Villiers and Trinidadian actress, storyteller, poet and playright, Eintou Springer will headline the conference as keynote speakers over the three days.

Deputy Dean of the EBCCI and event organizer Harclyde Walcott noted that the conference, which is in its tenth year, coincides with the tenth anniversary celebrations of the EBCCI where the majority of conference events will take place. He noted that this was the first time the AfTA conference would be held in the Caribbean and the EBCCI was “especially pleased for the opportunity to connect both academics and practitioners from across The UWI community, Europe and Africa”.

“The University of the West Indies recently established official partnerships with two African universities and this conference is an extension of our intention to strengthen the relationship with that continent” he said.

Conference papers will address dramaturgy, music, dance, film, new media, language, nationalism, post colonialism, indigenous, traditional and other models of theatre and performance, among other issues.

Theatre and performance on the African continent have historically been influenced considerably by the story teller, the griot and the poet, who traditionally have been the keeper of the tales, the maker of the myths and the voice of the culture.

AfTA serves as a bridge between African theatre practices and scholarship by bringing academics and theatre-makers together. The Association provides a regular forum for scholars and practitioners to meet andexchange ideas, knowledge and information.

The public is invited to attend the conference which will include the launch of new books, several screenings and performances.


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