The ninth edition of Open Door Series ProjectWS, the annual Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange Project (WSICE84) will take place from July 12 -15 in Abeokuta, Ogun State under the theme: “The Pursuit of Truth (Truth and the National Psyche)”, the producers have said.
The theme in the words of the Executive Producer, Teju Kareem, “is inspired by the observed intense preoccupation of the Nobel Laureate with the devastating consequences of LIE in our national psyche, which also extends to global discourses, especially the invention of the term FAKE NEWS, which now seems to pervade public discourse and information flow”.
Kareem explained that Soyinka’s engagement with the pursuit of truth “has been consistently captured in his latest publications — The two new Intervention series (Vol. 6 &7) and the earlier volume, InterInventions, from which the quote below has been excerpted: ‘My commitment to the belief in the fundamental right of all human beings NOT TO BE LIED AGAINST remains a life obsession… I despise that species of humanity whose stock in trade is to concoct lies simply to score a point, win an argument, puff up his or her ego, denigrate or attempt to destroy a fellow being’”— InterInventions: Between Defective Memory and the Public Lie – A Personal Oddysey in THE REPUBLIC OF LIARS –/ Pg61
A statement from Producer of the event, Haneefat Ikharo, said the programme will feature the annual essay competition with 84 students writing analyses of three of Wole Soyinka’s poems in a reality television-like setting at the 1000-seater amphitheatre situated in the neighbourhood of the laureate’s Autonomous Residency Ijegba (ARI) in the forested part of Ibara Housing Estate, Abeokuta.
In addition, 1000 students from Ogun State schools will join the 84 finalists, where they would participate in workshops to varied creative endeavours. The workshops will be conducted by poets drawn from writers’ organisations domiciled in Ogun State. The students will also be given opportunity to showcase their individual talents and skills during the workshop and a free expressive creative session called DO YOUR OWN THING.
The Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has confirmed his visit to the participants in the course of the second day of the workshop on July 14, where the results of the final essay competition will be announced, and awards (for winners) and certificates will be given to all participants.
The participants will have a one-on-one encounter with Soyinka in a mentoring session that marks a highpoint of events for the students as they can ask the distinguished dramatist, poet, political and literary activist and professor of Comparative Literature any question about his life, career and situations in the local and global polities.
The WSICE84 will also feature guest participants from the Southern Illinois University in the USA, who will also be on a weeklong tour of key culture and tourism facilities around the country,
The WSICE is a yearly programme initiated in 2010 by the management of ZMirage Multimedia Company led by the technical theatre exponent, and businessman, Alhaji Teju Kareem and the US-based GlobalNewHaven headed by the theatre director and culture scholar, Professor Segun Ojewuyi.