SINCE 2002 the KwaZulu-Natal Literary Tourism project has been quietly archiving writers linked to the province – both past and present.
Students, researchers and academics from different walks of life have contributed to the project over the years. But the organisation is concerned that the archive remains skewed towards writers that are male, white and older.
“Furthermore, the majority of the written works reflected in our archive are English,” says Lindy Stiebel, project head of KZN Literary Tourism. “While KZN Literary Tourism is proud of the writers we have archived thus far, we realise that this is not a complete representation of the diverse literary talent linked to our province.
“Time of the Writer 2016 – which runs from March to 19 in Durban – has opened up a dialogue on decolonising literature and including marginalised voices.
“In the spirit of the festival, the KZN Literary Tourism project is calling on mainstream publishing houses and their fiction writers (who are the linked to the province) to come forward. We’re looking to include profiles on KZN-linked writers that are black, Indian or coloured, female, have produced works of fiction in other languages besides English, and who are contemporary authors.
“Our archive provides an invaluable resource to researchers, writers and lovers of KZN literature [and] we hope that our challenge will be taken up with enthusiasm by all who wish to celebrate our province’s rich and diverse literary history.”
Material or suggestions related to author profiles can be directed to Lindy Stiebel via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
KZN Literary Tourism is a research project that has built an online archive of KZN writers, created literary trails and promoted local literary events. The project defines a KZN writer or author as ‘one who was born in the province, or lived in the province, or who has featured the province extensively in their work/s’.
For more information on KZN Literary Tourism, visit the project’s website at www.literarytourism.co.za The project can also be followed on its Facebook page: literarytourism and on Twitter @LiteraryTourism.