The JBF is thrilled to announce our new patron, writer and activist, Lindsey Collen. Patrons assist in guiding the JBF through their own artistic and literary work and activism. They also assist the JBF to not only make literature accessible, but to ensure that we read the word and the world and exercise social agency.
Collen was the JBF’s first JBF Guest-of-the-Fair in 2010, chosen for her writing and her activism against oppression and exploitation. Based in Mauritius, Collen is an internationalist who believes that working people must unite, break their chains and free the world in the interests of everyone.
Collen is a storyteller and a prolific writer. Her books weave together the lives of ordinary people in diverse struggles wanting to control and shape their own lives. Her characters are real people – sugar plantation workers, women in prison, unemployed women, a boy who cannot speak – and they struggle to survive, to support each other and participate in neighbourhood struggles. Some of them are also active members of local political parties. The issues Collen discusses in her books are wide-ranging and topical and include climate change, food sovereignty, sugar-cane worker strikes, gender based violence amongst different classes of women, and women’s struggles to control of their own bodies.
Collen has been an activist– in South Africa and Mauritius. Twice, she’s won the Commonwealth Prize for Literature for Africa – for the Rape of Sita (1994) and Boy (2004).
Lindsey Collen was born in South Africa and grew up in Transkei. She attended Wits University and was an anti-apartheid activist. She has lived in Mauritius for more than 40 years with her partner, fellow-activist, Ram Seegobin.
The Jozi Book Fair is proud to provide readers and fans of her work, 50pages of her book Getting Rid Off It. The link is attached for your reading pleasure:Getting Rid Off It: Free Copy (JBF2018)