Highlights Of JBF 2017

Since 2013 the JBF has invited the public to participate and host events at the Festival. This year, 60% of the total 160 events in the JBF programme, is hosted by the public. The range of events is breath-taking, and indicates a vibrancy within the city, often dispersed and concealed in local communities and townships, and therefore the JBF platform is wellreceived. Participants have also ensured that women are visible in all events, including the Spelling Bees, literature, workshops, art and photography and live music. The 5-a-side soccer pitch, ‘a first’ for JBF, named after Portia Modise, the Bafana Bafana captain, is also a space for all ages with no regard to gender.

The programme is about more than just the representation of women, it reflects a substantial approach to shape the Festival from the point of view(s) of women. The programme will provide for a broad range of interests for everyone in the family/household.

Guests of the Fair

The JBF’s Guests will participate in a number of activities at the Fair. Kopano Matlwa will discuss the Status of Women and Girls in South Africa with Pali Lehohla (Stats SA). She will also converse about her books Coconut and Spilt Milk and discuss the theme of the Fair, Women and Literature in a Roundtable discussion. Kopano will also be in conversation with members of the Gauteng Community Health Workers Forum about the National Health Insurance and the future of healthcare for South Africans, taking into account her book, Period Pain.

Shailja Patel will perform her work, Migritude, on both Saturday and Sunday, she will also participate with young women poets and will also participate in the Roundtable discussion on White Monopoloy Capital: what future for South Africa.

The JBF has ensured that the books of both Guests, Coconut, Spilt Milk and Period Pains by Kopano Matlwa and Migritude by Shailja Patel will be sold at very low prices to ensure affordability for communities. Thanks both publishers, Jacana and Kaya Press, respectively. Both Guests will also be available for book signings in the Exhibitor Tent.

Meet JBF’s young school authors!

Congratulations to the JBF 2017 School Authors, the winners of the Schools Short Story Competition! This is a special highlight of the Fair, and goes to the very heart of JBF, the creation of young writers in all our languages. This is an important milestone for the JBF, and confirmation of our strategic focus on children and youth. The 10 best stories from the Competition will be published as: Unbreakable and other stories – the women we live with. The Book Launch and Conversation with the 2017 school youth authors will take place at the Fair on Saturday, 2nd September at 11.am. We encourage everyone, especially youth to attend.

For & By women

There are a number of thought provoking discussions and workshops for women, by women: Decolonising Science (including women’s role with Christa Kuljian), Creativity Workshop with Joan Rankin, Dance Meditation with Buni Matlanyane Sekswale, and Writing to Heal with Mmatshilo Motsei. The Stats SA’s Pali Lehohla will lead the discussion on the Status of women and girls in SA (Stats SA). Other seminars will focus on discussing the ‘struggle within a struggle’ in India (with Nalini Wayar), and Black Girls Fat Girls Magazine focuses on how black women are portrayed in the media and their responses to this. Ilze Wolf, architect, discusses the construction of ‘coloured’ identities in Rex Trueform, a factory in the Western Cape; and Phindile Xaba highlights Pioneer Women in the Media (includes and exhibition). Sharon Groenmeyer will host the seminar on Women, poverty, patriarchy and the informal sector.

Authors & Artists

Besides our Guests of the Fair, the JBF has a wide range of authors, poets and performers participating in this years Festival. Individually and collectively they provide a wide range of issues that inform the theme, Women and Literature. The authors include: Lindsey Collen (Mauritius), Cray Francis (USA), Malin Persson Giolito (Sweden), Mohale Mashigo, Malebo Sephodi, Marah Louw, Thandeka Gqubule, Pregs Govender, Reneilwe Malatji, Christa Kuljian, and Jayne Bauling. Poetry is prominent in this Fair. Besides the Guest, Shailja Patel, there is a wide range of poets that include Diana Ferrus, Khosi Xaba, a line up of exciting young women poet performers, Xongani Maluleka, Mendisa Ngalo, Indigene Corfio, Saneliswe Yekani, Ashley Zizipho Mzati; and legends James Matthews and Poet Laureate, Keorapetse Kgositsile. They will provoke, delight, engage and inspire a broad range of people, including children, youth, women and men.

Current Debates

There engaging Roundtables and seminars: topical discussions on White Monopoloy Capital and the Future of South Africa; the Political Re-alignment of Politics on the eve of the 2019 elections (Steven Friedman & Oupa Lehulere), Women and the Book (the Bible, the Koran and the Torah) and the Crisis of Feminism. Other interesting discussions focus on ‘Time for a one state solution in Palestine?’ with Ronnie Kasrils, Suraya Dadoo and Haidar Eid from Gaza.

The seminar on ’23 years of democracy: national culture or fragmentation’ with Zakes Mda, Hein Willemse and Diana Ferrus also provides for an interesting discussion on the current state of affairs in South Africa. The seminar discussion on Transformation Afrikaans: reclaiming our slave origins and language is bound to provoke much interest as it delves into the history of the language, largely spoken by black (generic) people. What does this mean for an inclusive transformation in South Africa?

Solidarity Networks A broad range of solidarity networks will meet at the Fair, to discuss pertinent issues facing social movements and communities: women worker writers linked to community newsletters like Inkamwa (CERT), Karibu (Khanya College) and community health workers will discuss their work; Oxfam will host a number of activities related to mining and extractives. The Black Women’s Caucus from Wits University will launch their feminist network at the Fair; the Land, Housing and Evictions panel will focus on current struggles and include activists from Freedom Park, the Vaal Economic Justice Network and the Landless People’s Movement (MST) from Brazil. There will also be a worker panel focusing on Worker Unity in the current context of union splits and the casualization of labour.

Workshops & Book Launches There are 20 workshops taking place at the fair for everyone and focus on amongst other things: Philosophy for Teens (Theresa Giorgza), Writing Short Stories (Lindsey Collen), Drama (Ayanda Seoka), Storytelling (Banele Lukhele), writing Personal Narratives (Cray Francis) and art (Sifiso Mokoena). Swedish author, Malin Persson Giolito will host two workshops: Developing believable teenage characters and Writing a crime novel. Giolito has won major Nordic awards as a crime novelist. Both workshops are not to be missed.

There are 15 book launches that range from #Feesmust Fall (3 books), The Metamorphosis (Arcilia Mankoai), Black Consciousness (Sanelisiwe Sifina), and a number of books by CERT, including Re-making the World by Britt Baatjies.

Children (Saturday and Sunday) The JBF’s children’s programme is oriented to ‘playing with language’, games, face-painting and engaging discussions about books with their authors. Every day we will begin the day with do Meditation for Children (15 minutes) with Dale Lambert, a useful tool to help children to calmly focus. This year the City of Joburg will also host puppetry and storytelling.

Penny en Puffy by Zakes Mda and Mpapa Mokhoane, has been translated into Afrikaans this year, a request from the farmworkers in the Western Cape. This book is already available in English, isiZulu and Sesotho. Come and enjoy the storytelling in all these languages.

With Penny and Puffy, the JBF’s intention is to develop common and beloved characters among all our children, in all our languages. The JBF’s Poetry Buddies will perform their poems, tell their stories and perform their gumboots dancing; and Stacy Fru will tell her story, Bob and the Snake. Childline will also host a discussion for children on Saturday.

Zakes Mda will launch his book, Prels of Ukhahlamba and Cray Francis (USA) will launch her book, Honeydew’s Carnival Fever. Our local authors, Elaine Pillay (Zwai), Nalibali, and Marijke Lilleike will tell their stories.

Other Arts

Visitors to the Fair will enjoy a number of theatre productions. This includes: three-20minute sketches by JBF youth: Sizwe Bansi is Dead, The Island and For Coloured Girls. Veteran playwright, Ronnie Govender, will host a stage reading of his play, Botoo about the life of legendary feminist, Dr. Gonum. A number of theatre plays will also be available during the Festival: Pop iCherry, These Days, Desperate Times and The Secrets that Raisins Keep.

The Live Music programme makes provision for hip hop, dance hall and jazz, and many are women bands and starts from 3pm to 9pm on Saturday and Sunday. The line up includes South Western Gauteng College (majority female) band, the Moses Molelekwa Art Foundation, Women’s Voices, Nthabiseng Mokoena and Colours of Africa, Lady Bubbley, Nduduzo Mkhatini Quartet and a Tribute to Ma Brrr, Brenda Fassie.

Exhibitions The JBF is most honored to have a number of exciting exhibitions by local artists, especially prepared for us, an expression of goodwill of everyone at the Fair. The Exhibitions include: 1. A First! – Wooden Sculptures – Imbali Yo Imfazi/ Legend of Women byartist Mazwi Mdima from Alexandra Township (Workers Museum) 2. Photo Exhibition: Four Dilemmas: by women: (Market Photo Workshop) 3. Library Demonstration by City of Joburg Libraries (Museum Africa) 4. A travelling exhibition: “For Future Generations – Hugh Tracy and the International Library for African Music” (Museum Africa) 5. Exhibition: Conditions of Women & Girls in SA By Stats SA (Museum Africa) 6. Photo Exhibition: Women in SA by Peter Magubane (Museum Africa) 7. Photo Exhibition: Pioneer women in Media by The Journalist (Mary Fitzgerald Square)