Litfest to Celebrate Resilience of Arts

Organisers of this year’s seventh edition of the international literature festival, “LitFest Harare”, have announced theme and dates for the extravaganza.

The festival which is running under theme “Ars Longa, Vita Brevis — Art is Long, Life is Short”, will run from November 25 to 28 and will be held virtually, with a few in-person.

In an interview with The Herald Arts, LitFest director poet Chirikure Chirikure said this year’s festival will be hosted virtually to accommodate those who can’t attend.

“The festival theme was also carefully chosen to acknowledge the Covid-19 challenges, but also to celebrate as well as reflect on the resilience of the arts and artists in such difficult conditions. The theme is a saying from Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician and philosopher.

“The events, streamed online, will feature discussions, readings, recitations and performances by various local and international participants,” he said.

Chirikure said the full programme, with details of the sessions and participants will be announced in due course.

“The onset of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have seen many practitioners in the arts and culture sector lose revenue streams, sources of livelihood or even loved ones.

“Through all this, most artists have shown great resilience and continued to move forward, adapting and daring to keep creating works of artistic expression. We have to salute that resilience.

“The pandemic had a lot of ripple effects in societies and households around the globe. In particular, gender based violence cases are reported to have increased since the lockdown,” he said.

Chirikure said, as such the festival will focus on issues related to violence and peace trans- formation.

“Art, and literature in particular, has to contribute to the dialogue around social challenges and their effect.

“The ability to stay firm under difficult conditions and to interrogate the challenges, are the stamina that keep us going. The passion and purpose to create works is noble because our art will live forever, and help shape the future,” he said.

LitFest Harare is an annual festival that celebrates literature, arts and culture by bringing together authors, artists, academics, students and the public to share knowledge, collaborate, as well as showcase and enjoy talent.

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