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Fifty Ways to Free Your Language

Friday Night Unlimited -
Simone Atangana Bekono, Antjie Krog, Mukoma wa Ngũgĩ en Petina Gappah - foto Gaby Jongenelen (Atangana), Ali Ghandtschi (wa Ngũgĩ), Patrick Bertschmann (Gappah)
Simone Atangana Bekono, Antjie Krog, Mukoma wa Ngũgĩ en Petina Gappah - foto Gaby Jongenelen (Atangana), Ali Ghandtschi (wa Ngũgĩ), Patrick Bertschmann (Gappah)


How do writers relate to decolonizing language and literature, not only in their subject matter but also in the form of their poetry and stories?

During the Friday Night Unlimited program, several events will focus on the decolonization of the mind. How free is our mind, what does freedom mean, and are we truly free, or caught in the framework of our culture, society and history? This theme is partly based on the essay collection Decolonizing the Mind by the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o, in which he discusses colonized language and how its influence is still notable. Since he believes that language plays a constructive role in culture, history and identity, he argues for "linguistic decolonization".

This first program will be opened with a speech by writer Mukoma Wa Ngugi (USA, and son of Ngugi wa Thiong'o); then Simone Zeefuik discusses this subject with him and with poet Simone Atangana Bekone (Netherlands), poet and writer Antjie Krog (South Africa) and writer Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe).

Tip: Petina Gappah also appears at Opening Night - A Free Mind on Wednesday, 15 January, at Theater aan het Spui; Antjie Krog appears at Saturday Night Unlimited, 18 January, and during the Winternachten New Year's Concert on Sunday afternoon, 19 January, at the Zuiderstrand Theatre.