national Arts Festival Banner

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Time of the Writer 2009 came to a rollicking conclusion in Durban.

The finale was a performance entitled I Write And Draw What I LikeM – inspired by Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like – the central thread of the discussion was on freedom of expression in South Africa.

Overall, it was a powerful week for literature in Durban with six well-attended evenings of discussion and dialogue at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. The success of the evening performances was mirrored in the vast day programme. Conducted at various tertiary campuses and community centres, and stretching from Caversham in the Midlands to Luthuli Museum on the North Coast, these events elicited high-levels of audience participation. A core element of Time of the Writer is the stimulation of a culture of reading and writing amongst the youth and the schools visiting programme reached approximately 4,000 learners from 30 schools during the festival week.

The day-long Publishing Forum focused on a variety of topical issues such as book promotion, independent bookstores, literary journals, graphic novels, self-publishing and genre writing. The festival also hosted four book launches and a unique live cartooning session. The thematic focus of the festival was overwhelmingly on African issues, a distinguishing feature of Time of the Writer that continues to set it apart on the South African literary calendar.

Principal funding partners of the 12th Time of the Writer festival were the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS), French Institute of South Africa, Stichting Doen and City of Durban.