The country’s first ever feminist and femininity art and book festival is set to take place from November 23 to 24 in Lilongwe.
Organised by Story Club Malawi, the event whose theme is The Pursuit of Happiness seeks to celebrate femininity, promote feminism and discuss gender issues through art and book talks.
In an interview, Story Club Malawi’s Shadreck Chikoti said they have a deliberate focus on feminism and gender, hence, engaging artists to bring out awareness and positivity on the subjects.
“We want to achieve this by making art that is deliberately aware and geared towards bringing out change of perception. Especially knowing that as a country we are very patriarchal in our approach to social life,” he said.
Chikoti has admitted that the country has made strides in promoting feminism, but there is need to double our efforts especially through artistic creations and in spaces such as workplaces.
He said the event will be held in Lilongwe at three different venues; namely Story Club Café, Madsoc Theatre and Crossroads Hotel to give audience variety.
Zimbabwean renowned author Tsitsi Dangarembga will headline the event, which has also attracted Kenya’s Zukiswa Wanner and James Murmo, Elizabeth Chilufya from Zambia and NiqMhlongo from South Africa.
Locally, the platform will be graced by actress and spoken word artist Lily Banda, musician George Kalukusha, Cindy Chilimampunga, Dr Asante Ntenje and PhinduZaie Banda, among others.
In an interview, Lily Banda paid tribute to the work Story Club for helping to improve literary contributions of artists by creating competitive platforms.
“Although it is a book festival, they have included a rich variety of performances. I am really honoured to be part of this and people should expect high energy musical experience and an introspective poetic experience,” she said.
Some of the books expected to get special focus are Nervous Conditions, This Mournable Body by Dangarembga, Writing Off Patriarchy by Zukiswa Wanner and Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone by NiqMhlongo.
The event will also be accompanied by an art exhibition, film screening and live music performances by Daughters Band, Lily Banda, George Kalukusha and Music Crossroads. It will also feature Chitenje Changa Monologues.