I will always be partial to Africa and everything in between but the fact that there is conflict and intermittent bombings going and they still pulled off a festival of literature deserves a mention on this platform. I’m always late at talking about this things but here goes…
Now in its 9th year, The Palestine Festival of Literature which took place between May 21 – 26 2016 seeks as its principal aim to break the cultural siege imposed on Palestine by the Israeli occupation. By day, the international participants took politico-historical tours and meetings with artists, authors and activists. By night, the authors staged free, public readings. This year is the biggest and this literary stars were present in full bloom.
In no particular order, the following stars performed free public events in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Haifa and Nablus: Ali Abu Ajamieh, Mahmoud Abu Areesheh, Amina Abu Safat, Asmaa Azaizeh, Ahmed Azem, Jehan Bseiso, JM Coetzee, Ben Ehrenreich, Inua Ellams, Mohamed Elshahed, Nathalie Handal, Saidiya Hartman, Amer Hlehel, Anjali Joseph, Remi Kanazi, Majd Kayyal, Muqata’a & Haykal & Julmud, Yasser Khanjar, Tarek Khateeb, Laila Lalami, Rickey Laurentiis, Barry Lopez, Ghiath Al Madhoun, Ahmed Masoud, Colum McCann, Ali Muassi, Ben Moser, Hisham Nafaa, Mostafa Qossoqsi, Jack Shenker, Bhakti Shringarpure, Ahdaf Soueif, Basima Takrori, Hzar Yousef & Haifa Zangana, JM Coetzee, Colum McCann, Laila Lalami, Saidiya Hartman, Remi Kanazi and Barry Lopez.
Image credit: palfest.org
*BM is neutral and neither supports nor advocates for any of the sides reported in this post. Just talking from a literary angle.