Story Club Malawi has hailed Zimbabwean writer and film maker Tsitsi Dangarembga for embracing the international literary session held on Sunday at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe where she was one of the key speakers.
Story Club Founde r Shadreck Chikoti said in an interview on Monday that Tsitsi’s presence brightened the event and that she motivated a lot of writers and filmmakers in the country.
“The attendance was impressive and Tsitsi’s presence was a blessing as she commended us for the work we are doing. What is exciting about this space is that it involves everyone, not just writers, we have a variety of people present and all we want is to uplift the arts industry,” said Chikoti, who is also the 2014 Peer Gynt Award winner.
Chikoti said Tsitsi read her works and gave a literary talk on the art of writing, what it means to be a woman writer, on film production and all the things she is involved in.
He said there was also a presentation by Tammy Brown whose paper was on using art as a tool for change and that she highlighted some of the artists who have been able to change society by just using their art.
Having hosted an international session last year which also brought several writers, the Story Club three months ago also hosted South African renowned writer Shafinaaz Hassim before organising this international literary session which ran under the theme Women, Art and Society.
Chikoti said the literary session started with an exhibition by visual artist Elson Kambalu, one of the vibrant artists in the country
“People had a chance to sample art of various forms and see how it connects with the story of life. There were various paintings and artworks that were displayed and people were able to appreciate some fine works done by our own artists here in Malawi,” he said.
Chikoti said after exhibiting different artworks, Kambalu also screened his movie Going South which was followed by a discussion led by writer, producer and curator Michael Mutisunge Phoya.
“What was interesting was how the audience was engaged in the discussion about Kambalu’s movie, asking questions that ranged from the technicalities of production to the interpretation of the characters. Soon after the discussion on Elson’s film, a panel discussion with Tsitsi followed. It was chaired by Dr Timwa Lipenga of Chancellor College and featured politician and activist, Jessie Kabwila and an American writer Brooke Marshall,” explained Chikoti.
He said that the discussion focused much on the issues of feminism and on how Tsitsi’s books, Nervous Conditions and The book of Note, contribute to the discourse on the status of women in society.
There were also performances during the literary session whose master of ceremonies was artist Lily Alex and they included poetry by Chris Msosa and music by George Kalukusha.
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