AS activities wrap up for the 25th edition of Lagos Book and Art Festival (LABAF 2023), festival goers will continue to savour the rich cultural feast of life and ideas they experienced. This is just as events lined up for the festival’s closing will also engage those who have kept faith to the end today, Sunday, November 19, 2023 at festival’s traditional home, Freedom Park, Lagos. The festival’s theme ‘The Reset: History and the Darkling Plain’ has been reflective of Nigeria’s troubled history and the possible paths that it needs to take to dig itself out of the hole it seems trapped. There have been scintilating panel discussions, engaging book chats or book trek, amazing children’s sessions throughout the festival.
Lagos: The Birth of a City of Style 1861-1967, a documentary film, will take the audience on a journey through time in the life of the city of Lagos. It will kicks off at 11 am with a captivating film screening at Kongi’s Harvest Gallery. The documentary will take attendees on a mesmerizing journey through the transformation of Lagos. Directors Emeka Ed Keazor and Muni King-Keazor, along with executive producers Ugoma Adegoke and Bloom Art, masterfully capture the city’s evolution from a humble Awori farming settlement to a colonial pearl and, finally, its current status as a dynamic economic and cultural powerhouse.
There will be more intellectual engagement, as a seminar on CORA & LABAF’s Journeys
follows the film screening also at Kongi’s Harvest Gallery. It will delve into the rich history of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA) and LABAF. Led by anchor Segun Aribisala, members of the CORA Volunteers Corps will review the festival’s 25th edition, reflecting on its impact on the literary and cultural landscape. The session will also give room for contemplating the future, as CORA Volunteers Corps Booktrek takes place at 2 pm, as CORA Volunteers Corps explore the theme ‘Contemplating the Future’. Young literary activists will engage with texts such as Sycamore by Betty Zainab and The Sun Shall Soon Shine by Adejoke Ajibade-Bakare, and foster discussions on the prospects of Nigeria’s literary future.
A seminar on ‘Keys to Knowledge Economy’ will follow later in the day at Kongi’s Harvest Gallery. Attendees will participate in readings and discussions around Lawson Omokhodion’s compelling narrative, Powered by Poverty: A Story of Adversity, Ambition, Diligence and Triumph. Poetry, literary masterclass and culture sector analysis will continue the cultural extravaganza with a diverse array of events, including a Booktrek session at CORAVille featuring the poets Usokun Boy and Joshua Omeke. Omeke is also to conduct a masterclass for young writers, providing insights into developing skills for a literary career.
A pivotal moment will happen at 5:30 pm with the “Art Stampede” at the Food Court. Stakeholders in the culture sector will dissect the current state of the Nigerian creative economy, offering blueprints for maximising gains and opportunities. The festival’s plenary wrap-up will feature heads of artists’ organizations, guilds, cohorts, advocates, and activists.
And as the clock approaches 8 pm, LABAF 25.0 will stroll into history on the wings of poetry at the Food Court. The festival’s closing glee, led by the CORA Volunteers Corps, marks the end of a vibrant celebration of literature, art, and culture, leaving attendees with lasting memories of a remarkable milestone in LABAF’s legacy.