Malawi art is set to return to the international limelight courtesy of the country’s participation at the Lagos International Poetry Festival (Lipfest).
Award-winning poet Q Malewezi is part of this year’s festival line-up which has attracted artists from different parts of the continent and beyond. Taking place virtually, Malewezi will join the rest of the line-up as he gets featured on October 25.
“Honoured to be doing a virtual performance at the Lagos International Poetry Festival on Sunday 25th October at 21:15 CAT. This is for Malawi,” he said in an interview.
According to his invitation letter, the poet will participate in a dialogue on how art can be a tool for promoting unity.
It reads: “It will be a great honour to have you as a guest at this year’s festival in a reading and conversation on the theme Africa Is a Poem: Exploring Literature, Art, and Poetry as a Mechanism for Pan-African Unity.
“The session will feature writers and poets from across the continent, and is slated for the 25th of October 2020. We’ll be thrilled to have you join us in this regard.”
Signed by the festival’s director, Efe Paul Azino, the letter says this year’s festival will take place virtually due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic while also embracing the opportunity it presents for wider reach and participation.
Said Azino: “It takes place against the backdrop of a global pandemic with the theme Love & Light and Other Clichés, a meditation on the ‘tender gravity of kindness.’
“In a year that reminds us of the fragility and interconnectedness of the human experience, this year’s festival reconsiders the tools available to us in confronting the daily violence of existence.
“It also touches on the limits of bottom-line thinking, and the indispensability of art and poetry in helping us re-engage with a world we take for granted. In response to safety priorities, the Lagos International Poetry Festival will host its first virtual festival.”
The digital experience is a month-long celebration of literary and performance art running from October 1 to November 1.
“This is a reflection of human adaptability, connectedness and innovation. It will feature 25 poets, artists and performers from across the world and will host over 20 events, including performances,conversations, virtual open mics, workshops, and events forchildren,” adds the letter.
Since 2015, the festival has brought poets, writers, artists, and thinkers from across the world to Lagos for a week of conversations, readings, performances, and workshops, establishing itself as one of the continent’s annual art and culture highlights.
The past events of the festival have seen some of the big names in the world of art, including Wole Soyinka, Lebo Mashile, J.P. Clark, and Bernadine Evaristo, among others, being featured.