A collection of contemporary writing and art from and about Africa.
Featuring authors: Georges Lory, Frankétienne, Akinwumi Isola, Paulina Chiziane, Ahmad Fouad Negm, Fracis Bebey, Mia Couto, Miram Al-Masri, Scholastique Mukasonga, Breyten Breytenbach, Cedric Nunn, Abdellatif Laâbi, Ernetst Pépin, Aimé Césaire, John Berger, Louis Esterhuizen, Billy Kahora, Corsino Fortes, João Melo, Ali Jimale Ahmed, Hans van de Waarsenburg, Bill Dodd, Ko Un, Birago Diop, Albert Cossery, Athol Fugard, Wole Soyinka; and translators: Jocelyn Spaar, Kaiama L. Glover, Akinloye Ojo, David Brookshaw, Catherine Cobham and Marilyn Booth, Christopher Winks, Jill Schoolman, Melanie Mauthner, Georges Lory, Donald Nicholson-Smith, John Berger and Anna Bostock, Charl J F Cilliers, Daniel Hahn and Sean O’Brien, Peter Boreas, Richard Silberg and Clare You.
Through a collage of poems, essays, fiction, and visual art, Imagine Africa gives us a glimpse of a kaleidoscopic contemporary Africa. The series is published by Island Position, the literary imprint of the Pirogue Collective – the cultural expression of Senegal’s Gorée Institute, which aims to celebrate the diverse voices and imaginations of the continent of Africa and its diaspora through a series of publications, literary festivals, creative workshops, and artist residencies. The collective encourages vital dialogue between writers and visual artists from across Africa with those from other parts of the world. Volume Two of Imagine Africa is now available.
Pirogue’s Georges Lory introduces the second volume’s theme – revolution – in a stirring but clear-eyed piece, “Poets, to your quills, Africa is taking off,” in which he assesses the richness, complexity and paradoxes of the pan-African political and cultural scene today. The volume features writing and art from the continent of Africa, the Caribbean, the Arab World, and elsewhere. Among the contributors: Paulina Chiziane (Mozambique, translated by David Brookshaw), with a caustic moral fable of an African emperor who sends out his warriors out to exterminate the entire species of swallows after one has shat in his eye, allowing his undermanned garrison to be seized by Portuguese colonizers; Abdellatif Laâbi (Morocco, trans. by Donald Nicholson-Smith) with a powerfully imaginative rallying-cry from the exiled “Voice of free Arabs”; Breyten Breytenbach (South Africa) with a group of poems mingling political meditations with dream; Maram Al-Masri (Syria) with crystalline, deeply-moving testimonies to the suffering of children and the slaughter of freedom in her war-riven homeland; Mia Couto (Mozambique, translated by Brookshaw) with a brilliant reassessment of political responsibilities in post-colonial Africa. These are interspersed with the splendid black-and-white photographs by Cedric Nunn (South Africa) and artworks by Breytenbach, Frankétienne (Haiti), and John Berger (UK).