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Friday, 16 November 2012

CORA Launches the 14th Lagos Book & Art Festival (LABAF)


Toyin Akinosho, Publisher of Africa Oil & Gas Report and Secretary General of the CORA Art & Cultural Foundation has announced the dates for the 14th Lagos Book & Art Festival. The festival would hold from the 16th – 18th November 2012 at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos Island with a pre-event Publishers’ Forum and Cocktail holding on the 15th. A theme has also been announced for the Festival: The Narrative of Conflict-which focuses on how the written word and the literacy it engenders interrogates the different conflicts that surround our current existence and recent past. The festival is dedicated to the veteran artist Bruce Onabrakpeyawho turned 80 this year and whose work and dedication to the arts continue to be a source of inspiration to generations of Nigerians.


TheLagos Book & Art Festival, or LABAF as it’s often called, is a landmark event on the nation’s culture calendar with sprawling book displays,exhibitions, live music and drama performances and of course, nuanced literaryevents that take time out to dig deep into the content of books. Says Akinosho-“LABAF is self-styled as Africa’s Biggest Culture Picnic because we don’t just put together a book fair, a performance concert, a literary festival or an art expo, what we do is a healthy fusion ofall four in a festival atmosphere, and for the past 14 years, the festival hasbecome an important destination for families, literary and art enthusiasts, cultureproducers, children and even lovers. We have had people who came as childrenyears ago still attending now as young adults. We have also had people who metat the festival grounds for the first time years ago, still attending asmarried couples. What keeps them coming back is the way the festival allowsthem to engage with culture in a fun atmosphere, that is why it is Africa’sBiggest Culture Picnic.”

Set to hold this year from the 16th – 18th November atFreedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, Lagos Island, LABAF will feature over 10 bookevents, 3 music concerts, 2 theatre shows, 11 workshops for children and 2visual art exhibitions. There are over thirty books being discussed at thefestival including Fela: This Bitch ofa Life by CarlosMoore, Catch a Fire: The Lifeof Bob Marley by TimothyWhite. Power, Politics & Death by Segun Adeniyi, Bitter-SweetMy Life with Obasanjo by OluremiObasanjo,  A Measure of Grace by Akin Mabogunje, Bomboy, by YewandeOmotosho, Voice Of America, by E. C. Osondu, Stealth Of Nations: The Global Rise Of The Informal Economy, by Robert Neuwirth, Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson, Open Graveyard by Wale Osun, Out of theShadows by Kayode Fayemi, Roses and Bullets by AkachiAdimora Ezeigbo and Witness ToJustice by Bishop Mathew HassanKukah. Because the LABAF book events usually engage with books at a deeperlevel beyond the star power of the authors that produce them, most sessions areusually driven by robust discussion panels, some of the writers and thinkersconfirmed for these panels include: Sola Olorunyomi, Bisi Arije, Femi AkintundeJohnson, Toni Kan, Femi Aisida, Toki Mabogunje, Odili Ujubonu, Tolu Ogunlesi,Wale Ajao, Derin Ajao, Tunji Lardner, Niran Okewole, Tade Ipadeola, LayiwolaAdeniji, Eghosa Imasuen, AnwuliOjogwu, Kayode Komolafe amongstothers.

But LABAF is not just about heavy book events to getyou giddy with book knowledge. The Childrens’ Programme coordinated by ChildrenAnd The Environment (CATE) usually draws children in their thousands and willfeature loads of activities, workshops, talks and performances centered aroundthe festival theme of The Narrative of Conflict while marking the National CreativityDay and UN Child Rights Day.

In a tightly packed performance bouquet, The Crown Troupe of Africa would bestaging Zainabu Jallo’s ‘Holy Night’ while the internationally acclaimedRenegade Theatre will also be taking the stage during the course of thefestival. Add to that a Jazz Concert produced by Inspiro Productions,storytelling, spoken word, music and reading sessions produced by Pulp Faction,Image & Heritage and Laipo, a return of CORA’s Great Highlife Party in thebiggest Highlife Concert in a long while, all rolled into a scenic venue with acaptivating history then you know why Freedom Park is the place to be from the16th – 18th November at the 14th Lagos Book& Art Festival!


Formore information on the festival and to contact the organizers, please visit: www.coraartfoundation.com

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