By ZONGEZILE MATSHOBA
The little literary festival in the middle of Karoo invites you to “come mentally hungry, and go home with lots to chew over”. That hungry mind will be well fed at the upcoming Schreiner Karoo Literary Festival (SKWF) in Cradock from 16-21 June 2022.
The Amazwi South African Museum of Literature will kick-start the SKWF with a Youth Day event on 16 June. The youth will meet the elderly, sharing stories about elderly treatment as part of the World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day commemoration.
Makhanda, the festival city, will feature prominently on the main programme on Friday, 17 June.
Topping the bumper festival’s official opening will be Amazwi director Beverly Thomas, who will affirm the literary museum’s commitment to literary events like the SKWF.
That busy Friday will see the Modjaji-published poets, Crystal Warren, Marike Beyers from Amazwi, and Jeannie McKeown from Rhodes University, all reading from their latest published poetry collections.
Professor Paul Walters and Jeremy Fogg will deliver a missing fragment of Olive Schreiner’s biography by re-enacting the dramatic and amusing story of her rescue from the Zambezi, where she could have easily been swept over Victoria Falls!
Children’s literature for festival
A literary festival is not a fully-fledged one without a children’s programme. Amazwi will bring a dynamic interaction to several Cradock schools. Using the 20 Big Makhanda BookDashX digital books recently produced in association with the Centre for Social Development at Rhodes University, the stories are brought to the young ones in Cradock for the first time.
One title of the 20 stories is by a Cradock local, Charmaine van Wyk, an educationist and a wife to the curator of the Amazwi satellite in Cradock, the Schreiner House. Visited schools will be presented with freely downloadable e-books from the CSD website in a memory stick. Amazwi also encourages grown-ups to read and write children’s literature and actively source books for their children.
Interactive arts installation
Amazwi’s multi-talented Basil Mills will lead the Cross Street Pop-Up Fusion Arts Hub to be installed opposite the Schreiner House. To be opened from 10 am to 4 pm throughout the festival, the arts hub will showcase weeks of preparation by storytellers, poets and artists. They will erect an interactive pop-up experience involving artists Janet Kingwill and Luthando Ndabeni and introduce three young local artists – poet Indi Ndlokova and visual artists Jaco de Waal and Zama Kondlo.
Festival organiser, Lisa Ker, said: “Many people in rural areas make art but seldom visit art museums or galleries to experience art installations up close and personal. So, this will be a rare and delightful experience – underscoring our belief that art is healing, creative and can help bind communities together: one of our cornerstone objectives.”
For more information about the complete programme of the SKWF, kindly contact Lisa Ker (082 410 5596, email@example.com) or Melina Smit (082 092 4770, firstname.lastname@example.org).