Achebe Center Director and Pilgrimages Director
Binyavanga Wainaina is a Kenyan author, journalist and winner of the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing. He is the founding editor of Kwani?, a leading African literary magazine based in Kenya. He has written for The EastAfrican, National Geographic, The Sunday Times (South Africa), Granta, the New York Times and The Guardian (UK). Wainaina has taught at Union College and Williams College, and is currently the Director of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Literature and Languages at Bard College.
Achebe Center Program Manager and Pilgrimages Project Manager
Thomas Burke is the Program Manager of the Chinua Achebe Center for African Writers and Artists at Bard College. In the past he served as Director of Summer Literary Seminars in Kenya, Assistant Director of SLS in Russia, and as the Event and Promotions Manager at Words without Borders, an online magazine of international literature in translation. He received an MFA from UMASS Amherst and his work has appeared in Tin House and The Brooklyn Rail, among other places, and is forthcoming in the St. Petersburg Review.
Pilgrimages Creative Director and Founder of Chimurenga
Cameroonian born journalist and respected DJ, Ntone Edjabe is the founder and editor of Chimurenga, a non-profit journal of writing, art and politics. Edjabe’s writing, mostly on arts and culture, has been published in newspapers and magazines in South Africa and abroad. Currently a resident of Cape Town, he also co-presents Soul Makossa, on Bush Radio 89.5, a progressive local radio station. Edjabe is also the co-founder of the Pan African Market, a trade/cultural centre in the heart of the city. At night, he is a DJ and a member of the Fong Kong Bantu Soundsystem, a DJ collective.
Jesse Weaver Shipley
Pilgrimages Creative Partner and Blogger
Jesse Weaver Shipley is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and artist who is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College. He has written on performance, music, popular culture, theatre, and politics in Ghana, South Africa, and the United States. He is completing two books both due out in 2011. Speaking Freedom examines theatre and political history in 20th century Ghana. Living and Preaching the Hiplife explores hip hop/hiplife music as a genre in urban Ghana and among Africans abroad. Shipley’s feature documentary film “Living the Hiplife” (Third World Newsreel 2007) has featured at numerous film festivals around the world. It chronicles the dynamic influence of African Diaspora popular music in West Africa. His new film “Is it Sweet?” examines African musicians journey to the Bronx. He is currently working on a documentary called “Black Star: the People’s Game” following the 2010 World Cup in South Africa through the eyes of Ghanaian and West African artists, media personnel, fans, hairdressers, and players.
The Tuttle Fund through the Hurford Humanities Center at Haverford College has helped fund the project.
Pilgrimages Web Editor
Olufemi was born in Sierra Leone and grew up in Nigeria, Britain and Cote d’Ivoire before attending University in New York City. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa, where he writes fiction and works as a freelance writer, analyst and editor of African political and economic trends.
Farafina Pilgrimages Editor
Simi is the Managing Editor and Chief Operating Officer of Kachifo Limited, publisher of Farafina Books in Lagos, Nigeria. She is the author of a children’s book, Beem Explores Africa (Farafina 2009). Prior to joining Kachifo she worked as a freelance editor and researcher for several organisations and individuals across Africa, and completed a Masters in Gender Studies at the African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town, in 2007.
Renee Akitelek Mboya
Kwani Pilgrimages Editor
is a Kenyan writer based in Nairobi. Having started out as a legal drafts man (person), she now writes short fiction and has a weekly column in the Standard Newspaper (EA). She has been on the Kwani
Trust editorial team since January 2010.
Of Guinean heritage/descent, Aicha Diallo was born and raised in Berlin. Based in Cape Town and Berlin, Aicha Diallo is an educationist, PhD candidate, performance and video artist. Her latest work is video “HOMEMADE” in collaboration with filmmaker Zara Zandieh. Diallo was a founding member and creator of Black German Theatre company “LiberatioNoire / Label Noir”, and is one of the artistic and curatorial members of the artists’ collective “Never Quiet Collective”. Currently living in Cape Town, Diallo is researching arts and performance by exploring the links between peace psychology and migration in post-apartheid South Africa. Thematic leitmotifs in her work are hybridity, border/line-s, identity, postcolonial theory and peace psychology.
Pam Dlungwana is a transplanted Capetonian, who spends much of her time behind pink rimmed glasses, tea colored pages and when spoken to speaks of herself in the third person, always. A television writer/researcher and producer (SABC channel hop/ read the credits) she expresses her Swiss cheese opinion best in poetry and has collaborated with visual artists using the medium to educate, liberate and incite. In creative circles she is the Wri-Tist (writer/artist) haunted by a single letters’ ability to melt in languages’ pliable quality to create word-art, visual poetry and video poems. A gender activist and art-tart she’s studied Video Technology (Durban Institute of Technology) and Film Studies (University of Natal Pietermaritzburg) and is currently still studying Chimu’s 1st Edition (Music is the Weapon)
Ingrid Masondo was born and mostly raised in Soweto and Attridgeville. It has been said Masondo is confused about what she wants to be when she grows up, having worked in various fields and capacities in the arts sector for more than 10 years, including artist and live-event management, production and tour management, programming and curating. Masondo blames moving around – having attended more than 10 schools in her life – for her short attention span. Apart from music and photography, Masondo is excited and inspired by images (moving & imagined), dance and the body, books, and of course, travel. Her current gripes are barriers to mobility on the continent for people on the continent – ridiculous flight costs, biased and myopic immigration and foreign policies, inefficient officials and nationalistic zealots! She is currently studying Visual History, and hopes to be a metal- and wood- smith when the itch finally goes!!!
Stacy Hardy is a writer, playwright and critic based in Cape Town. Also a contributing editor and researcher of Chimurenga. Stacy is currently at work on an opera based on Tutuola’s My Life in the bush of ghosts.
François Naudé is an interaction designer, multimedia artist and software developer based in Cape Town.
AfricAvenir is committed to the goals of an African renaissance, that is to root African development on the reality and culture of African peoples and to re-invent and re-construct the African continent according to African priorities and values.
Their overall aim is to contribute to the recovery, rehabilitation and imaginative recreation of African civilisation, culture and history in order to devise new ways of thinking, behaving and organising both the African societies and the emerging ‘Global Village’.
AfricAvenir provided support for the Pilgrimage to Touba
Smart Partnerships in Arts and Creative Enterprise aka SPACE is about reclaiming our space of expression as artists and cultural operators in post apartheid South Africa. SPACE is a network open to reciprocal exchanges in knowledge, technology, finances and infrastructure and since inception has produced music, visual art and film exhibitions, ethnographic and sector research, arts workshops and anti-xenophobia campaigns. Contributing to various SPACE activities are Mpho Sadiki, Thabo Mooketsi, Lee Walters, Karima Effendi, Lyle Britton-Masekela, Ingrid Masondo, Samora Sekhukhune, Rafiq Asmal, Phybia Dlamini, Siya Makuzeni, Nigel Bird, Roshan Dadoo, Brenda Sisane and Thabo Rankoe. Earlier this year we entered a partnership with the South African San Institute to organise and curate the Kalahari Desert Festival scheduled for 2011.
Space provided support to Dead Revolutionaries Club on the Johannesburg Pilgrimage
In each Pilgrimage city the writers will be assisted by guides:
The Dead Revolutionaries Club
The Dead Revolutionaries Club (DRC) was formed in 2007 by Sharlene Khan (visual artist/lecturer) , Fouad Asfour (linguist/editor/writer), Bandile Gumbi (poet/writer/arts administrator), Khwezi Gule (curator/writer) and Kemang wa Lehulere (artist/curator). The DRC was initiated as a group wanting to publish a webzine on artistic and cultural issues in the contemporary South African arts but has also gone on to host free art classes, cultural talks in collaboration with the now-defunct Afrika Art Centre as well as the exhibitions The Gunshot Show (co-curated with Claudia Shneider) and Esikhaleni – Spatial Practices, which was one of the official fringe events of the 2008 Joburg Art Fair. In 2009, the DRC collaborated with Chimurenga as part of the Cape ’09 Chimurenga Library Project and our most recent project was the interactive street project Recess which was curated by Kemang wa Lehulere as part of the Khanya College Book Fair in 2009. Check out the DRC webzine on deadrevolutionariesclub.co.za
Kachifo is an independent Nigerian publishing house. We are the publishers of Farafina Books, Prestige Books and Farafina Magazine. Our mission is to Tell Our Own Stories.
Farafina Books offer the best in contemporary African writing. Under Farafina, we publish literary and popular fiction, coffee table and general interest books, and children’s and educational books. We have published over 25 titles to date, including prize-winning fiction.
Picha ASBL is an organization based in Lubumbashi specializing in visual arts exhibitions, creative workshops and seminars. Currently, Picha is preparing to curate a biennale in Lubumbashi that will take place from the 13th to the 17th of October 2010 under the presidency of Simon Njami.
In Kinshasa, Picha ASBL collaborates with artist collectives Eza Possibles and SADI, as well as the French Cultural Centre. Eza Possibles’ working and artistic spaces will be utilized as the main base for Pilgrimages in Kinshasa.
Touba Darou Salam
Touba Darou Salam was created in 2001. The organization aims to: develop aid activities, fight against poverty, raise funds in support of women organizations and literacy programmes, advocates on behalf of health organisations and local businesses including local agriculture, dressmaking, tincture and general trading.
Auberge Du Désert
Based in the residential area of Timbuktu, l’Auberge du Désert offers visitors accommodation, meeting and working facilities. L’Auberge du Désert also works to support cultural and artistic ideas and events.
Chimurenga (Cape Town), a non-profit publication of writing, art and politics has been in print since March 2002. The journal is published on the page twice per year, online monthly (www.chimurenga.co.za) and through themed performances called “Chimurenga Sessions.” Other Chimurenga projects include “Chimurenganyana”, a pavement literature project consisting of low cost monographs culled from the journal; “Chimurenga Library” (chimurengalibrary.co.za), an online archiving project that profiles independent pan African paper periodicals from around the world; “African Cities Reader” ( africancitiesreader.org.za), an annual compedium of writing and art on African cities; and “Pan African Space Station” ( panafricanspacestation.org.za), a live music and radio intervention in Cape Town.
Founded and edited by Ntone Edjabe, Chimurenga has featured work by emerging as well as established voices including Njabulo Ndebele, Lesego Rampolokeng, Santu Mofokeng, Keorapetse Kgositsile, Gael Reagon, Binyavanga Wainaina, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Amitav Ghosh, Boubacar Boris Diop, Dominique Malaquais, Goddy Leye, Mahmood Mamdani, Jorge Matine, Akin Adesokan, Greg Tate, and many more.
Odun works with Production and Training in cultural property. Its principles: Comprehension, Organization and Responsibility
Odun is a social enterprise that operates according to Muhammad Yunus’ philosophy on the composition of a social enterprise. Yunus sought to reduce inequalities of race and gender in the context of cultural goods.
Odun works in the cities of São Paulo and Salvador offers training and production in film, theater, literature, music and popular culture with a view to strengthen the African Brazilian culture.
Kwani Trust is a Kenyan based literary network dedicated to developing quality creative writing and committed to the growth of the creative industry through the publishing and distribution of contemporary African writing, offering training opportunities, producing literary events and establishing and maintaining global literary networks.
Our vision is to create a society that uses its stories to see itself more coherently.
Our flagship publication, Kwani?, is a journal founded by some of Kenya’s most exciting new writers and has 5 print editions to date, each containing more than 300 pages of new journalism, fiction, experimental writing, poetry, cartoons, photographs, cutting edge academic papers, ideas, literary travel writing & creative non-fiction.
The Institute for Practical Research Training
IPRT is a non-profit institution founded to promote local initiatives in health, education and good governance. IPRT is registered as a local independent organization in Hargeisa. Friends of IPRT, a sister organization founded to support IPRT, is registered as 501(3c) charity in the United States.
IPRT operates an independent research center where Somali and non-Somali scholars conduct short-duration research on selected post-war reconstruction issues.
ARTEVENTS is located in the heart of Abidjan and specializes in the Design, Promotion and Dissemination of cultural events. This team aims at enhancing the notion of culture in Abidjan and in the rest of the country. To this end , they work closely with artists and culture and tourism professionals.