The South African Book Fair sessions are available to watch until the end of September. The fair, which took place on the weekend of the 11th to the 13th of September, featured local and international authors and industry experts. You can access them with a once-off ticket at R50.
The programme for the fair was divided into three days.
The session that took place on 11 September, talked about integral issues that surround the book industry such as the the South African children’s book market, how authors contract and copyright their work, the value of university presses, the place that e- books currently hold in the readers’ consciousness, and writing for a Pan-African audience.
The session also featured poetry hosted by Mutinta Bbenkele, African stars Bokgang Maragelo, Mongane Wally Serote, Yomi Ṣode, Zizipho Bam, Khadija Tracey Heeger, and Aja Monet.
The session on 12 September featured discussions by African women, who discussed their works, science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism genres, and the place of African stories in the future. Additionally, the session also addressed ways to create economic opportunities in South Africa, issues of white privilege, feminism, masculinity, misogyny and African psychology. Additionally, the session unpacked the role of literary journals in offering multidimensional perspectives and analysis on a piece of work, as well as the successes and failures of the South African constitutional law in delivering justice.
The final session of the Book Fair, on 13 September, touched on the Black Lives Matter movement as well as African centric social issues that African authors face, such as that the need for the ownership of the continent’s narrative can be taken by African writers, encouragement of diversity from coloured perspectives, patriarchy, the role of women in liberation struggles in history and the journey of the queer community.
Through the platform provided by the South African Book Fair, authors and experts across diverse spectrums coalesced to discuss issues surrounding a written piece of work, and accompanying solutions that could be formulated going forward. Aside from reading a written piece of work, the Book Fair provided a dearth of knowledge in the form of literary discussions to inform readers of multidimensional perspectives that accompany a piece of work.