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Beyond Borders: Literature Development In Africa
The Beyond Borders literature festival, held in Kampala in October 2005 was the culmination of a five year literature development project, Crossing Borders, funded by the British Council and managed from the Department of English & Creative Writing at Lancaster University. It was created as a means of celebrating the achievements of Crossing Borders and also of looking forward to possible future literature development through consultation with writers, academics, arts workers and audiences.
Held in October 2005, Beyond Borders drew delegates from 17 Anglophone countries across sub-Saharan Africa with Uganda as the hub. The festival was funded by the British Council and led by the British Council team in Kampala. Beyond Borders was conceived as both a celebratory and diagnostic event that could lead to focused discussion on the developmental needs of contemporary African writing. Two delegates were invited from each country and more experienced and well-published writers were paired with emergent writers – several of whom were Crossing Borders participants. Only Nigeria, because of its larger population, and Uganda as the host country, supplied more delegates. The festival incorporated a series of colloquia in the form of public debates and panel discussions that were structured around key ‘research questions’. Rapporteurs were assigned to each public discussion and their reports collated to be written up into a festival report by the Uganda festival manager Julius Ocinyo and the British writer, Sara Maitland.
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