Open Book Festival returns to Cape Town after two-year hiatus
Authors, publishers, academics, economists, readers and inquisitive minds: everyone will be at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre (HCC) from September 2 to 4 for the Open Book Festival.
This year’s edition of the festival is a return to an in-person format, following a two-year interruption because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Event organiser Frankie Murrey said she is excited to again be able to host a festival where people will be able to interact with one another, face-to-face.
“We were lucky enough to run a mini-festival in March. It was incredibly emotional to see the faces of so many people again for the first time in two years. It has also been fantastic to have workshops running outside of the digital spaces. There's something about being able to learn amongst others that I don't think can be easily replaced,” she said.
The festival is a highlight on the calendar for any lover of literature, but Murrey said the event is not only aimed at people who love their books.
“We have selected themes and topics for our event which will generate insightful and important discussions. If you are interested in the world and the things happening around you, then this is the event you cannot miss.
“Our goal this year is the same as every year: to provide people with a safe space where challenging but meaningful conversations can take place. And for those conversations to be accessible.”
The event brings people together for lively conversations with authors and other guest speakers in one central location in Cape Town’s historic District Six. The programme sees a mix of established and debut authors engaging with audiences over three days.
In the past, the festival’s various events were scattered at venues between The Book Lounge and the Fugard Theatre. This year sees almost everything happening at the HCC, the new name for the Fugard. A special event aimed at children will be hosted at The Book Lounge on September 3.
“We tried to reimagine what a festival can look like, to better fit with the times we seem to be living through. The team also worked on putting together other, smaller engagements throughout the year, such as the Workshop Week at the end of July. The idea was to allow multiple but more flexible opportunities for people to gather, speak, and celebrate.”
The full festival programme will be announced in the coming days on the Open Book Festival website. Bookings and ticket sales will also be driven through the website.
A limited number of special complimentary tickets have been made available for students and anyone else who may have difficulty affording the cost of a ticket. This will help in making the event more accessible to more people and requests for assistance can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the topics that will feature prominently in the programme are feminism, gender-based violence, parent-child relationships, the energy crisis and so much more.
“We looked at books that were published this year when we started to draw up our speakers lists. At the same time, we also considered the events playing themselves out around us and this helped in identifying themes around which we built our discussions and sessions,” said Murrey.
“The Homecoming Centre is delighted that we can once again host the Open Book Festival. The subject matter and themes for the 2022 edition are matters that closely align with our mission here at the HCC and we could not be more excited to host discussions and meaningful engagement with the public at large,” said Chrischene Julius, acting director of the District Six Museum.
Article issued by Martin Slabbert (HWB Communications) on behalf of Open Book Festival
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