Madibaland World Literary Festival

Written by on 18th Nov 2020


20th Nov 2020

It always seems impossible…until its done. These immortal words, by Nelson Mandela, inspired the Madibaland World Literary Festival – the world’s largest online literary festival.

The festival, bringing together over 150 writers from around the world from 20 to 28 November 2020, is a partnership between the University of the Western Cape.

There’s something for everyone at the Madibaland World Literary Festival.

Travel writers like Dana Snyman and Obie Oberholzer will share the festival with political figures like Ronnie Kasrils. Journalist Anton Harber (So, For The Record) will explore the era of post-truth, unpacking how newspapers have lied, and why that’s a problem. Foodies and historians alike can enjoy John T. Edge (The Potlikker Papers) discussing the US South, examining a complex history through the region’s distinctive foods. Angie Butler will be giving a talk on all the explorers of Antarctica, and the race amongst the nations of the world to conquer that remote continent.

Local literary legends like Ashwin Desai, Fred Khumalo and Antjie Krog will join Nigerian wordsmith Chris Abani, Dutch writer Gerbrand Bakker (Boven is het stil (The twin) / De omweg (The detour)) and Irish genre-bending bestseller John Connell (The Cow Book). Shilpa Raj (The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter) will explore life as one of India’s untouchables, in a caste system older than apartheid. And UWC’s Diana Ferrus will explore the power of poetry to change the world.

There are musical sessions. Poetry sessions. Panels on politics, and literature, and more. (And that’s just for starters – for a full list, just check out the Madibaland World Literary Festival page.)

Please visit where you will find links for each of the days. Fill out your name and email, and the UWC system will then generate a link for you to click on for that days talks. You will however need to download the Zoom app.

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