The Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), which organises the yearly Lagos Book & Art Festival (LABAF) has announced the final phase of preparation for the 2019 edition, saying it will take place from November 4-10 at the official home of the festival, Freedom Park, Lagos Island and other venues around the city.
A statement by CORA said this year’s edition, the 21st, is dedicated to the memory of the master artist, Dr. David Herbert Dale, who passed on in the morning of Tuesday, August 6, 2019 following a protracted illness. Widely regarded as a legend of the visual arts, and unarguably, one of the most prolific African artists of the century, as a result of his enormous contributions to the Nigerian, and even global art community, DHD was born in Lagos in 1947 to a Scottish expatriate Produce Inspector father and Nigerian mother of Itsekiri/Ijaw extraction in the Niger Delta region. He studied Fine Art and Art History at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in 1971, specialising in Illustration and Graphic Design.
“This year’s festival theme is “EMERGE… Breaking into the NEW;” and it is a natural sequel to the themes of the past two editions of the festival: ERUPTIONS: Global Fractures and the Our Common humanity (2017) and RENEWAL: Towards a World that Works for All (2018),” said the statement.
EMERGE…, CORA stated, is premised on the notion of breaking free from the shackles of social, political, economic and cultural factors that inhibit the progress of the individual and the nation.
“Ostensibly, the theme will reflect on obstacles to the process of nation building, and human capital development – two concepts central to the philosophy of the Committee for Relevant Art, CORA, and, which have consistently formed the core of the objective of LABAF since its birth in 1999 to mark the return of Nigeria to democratic governance after over three decades of military regimes. The thematic thrust of the 31-odd events that will feature in the week-long festival will thus examine issues around 20 years of Nigeria’s democracy; the shifting political events and discourses around the continent; as well as development in/around global politics”.
Described as ‘Africa’s biggest cultural picnic,’ LABAF is a week-long comprehensive open-air carnivalesque ‘feast of Life and Ideas’ featuring a mix-grill of artistic and cultural events including: exhibitions of books and arts, live reading sessions; conversations around books; seminars on visual, performing and allied arts; displays of paintings, sculptures, mixed media, installations and crafts; children and youths art workshops; live music, poetry, drama and dance presentations among others. Preceding the last three (weekend) days of the weeklong event is a four-day Pre-Festival series of events which include a Publishers’ Forum, Writers’ workshops and Book Treks (writers’ visits to schools and engagement with pupils). Overall, it is a carnivalesque atmosphere created to make books look cool.
More at www.lagosbookartfestival.org.