Change on the cards for Time of the Writer


THE 19th Time of the Writer festival in Durban will be hosted at venues around the city from March 14 to 19 and the addition of a special new programme.

Hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year’s theme is Decolonising the Book.

A nationwide conversation on inclusiveness in the South African literature landscape began at the 2015 edition of Time of the Writer, sparked off by South African writer Thando Mgqolozana.

In order to provide a platform for conversation and debate on this issue, this year’s edition of the festival will gather the leading voices from every facet of literature in the areas of writing, editing, publishing, translation, marketing, bookselling and promotion (including events), to deliberate on the salient issues pertinent to the transformation and growth of literature in South Africa.

This theme aims to interrogate the central question of how to go about decolonising literature in South Africa, from writing to readership.

Conversations that Matter is a daytime programme of roundtable discussions, led by experts across the various fields of literature, that provides a space for people to share and contribute towards this vital topic. The nightly evening panels will then feature a summative discussion on the day’s deliberations.

The 19th edition of the festival is presented in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality Libraries department in whose libraries the day programme will take place.

The evening panels will take place in a different location across the surrounding areas of Durban; venues are located in Clermont, Cato Manor, Umlazi, Inanda and KwaMashu.

“We are very excited about the plans for this year’s festival, which came about as a result of a growing call from within the literary world and South Africa as whole for increased diversity, access and inclusiveness,” says Tiny Mungwe, festival manager at the Centre for Creative Arts.

“The Centre for Creative Arts would like to acknowledge one of South Africa’s leading writers Thando Mgqolozana who has been very vocal about change in our society and has assisted in the programming of this edition of the festival.

“The change is very big for us and by breaking from years of tradition we will have another set of operational challenges, but it is something we believe is absolutely crucial for the festival and for the face of literature in South Africa if we are to effect some kind of shift in our thinking.”

The line-up of writers and venues will be announced in a few weeks time.

All events FREE to library or student cardholders. For members of the public without either card, a nominal fee of R20 will be requested at the door one hour before the event.

For more details about this year’s Time of the Writer, visit or call (031) 260 2506

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University KwaZulu-Natal), the 19th Time of the Writer is supported by the City of Durban, the National Department of Arts & Culture, The Goethe-Institut and the French Institute of South Africa. The Centre for Creative Arts is housed in the College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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