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Erna Brodber to lead Pan-Africanism talks at Zanzibar film fest

Published:Thursday | July 23, 2015 | 1:40 PM

Leading Jamaican contemporary author Erna Brodber will join South African filmmaker Xoliswa Sithole and Tanzanian activist Richard Mabala on what is being billed as a difficult and constructive dialogue on xenophobia in the African diaspora. Taking place during the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), the dialogue is timely, given the recent violent attacks in South Africa and the Dominican Republic's Supreme Court ruling adversely affecting Haitian descendants.

"Pan-Africanism has left us an unfulfilled legacy, this is why we are happy to have Dr Brodber join us," said Martin Mhando, ZIFF festival director. 'Her celebration and creation of 'black spaces'; symbolic places for gathering, education, and healing is just one of the many ways in which she continues to demonstrate how pan-Africanism and its principles are relevant and necessary in Jamaica and beyond."

Brodber is well known as the author of four novels: Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home (1980), Myal (1988), Louisiana (1994), and The Rainmaker's Mistake (2007). She won the Caribbean and Canadian regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1989 for Myal. In 1999, she received the Jamaican Musgrave Gold Award for Literature and, in 2004, she was awarded the Order of Distinction for exemplary public service by the Government of Jamaica. In 2006, the Government of The Netherlands honoured Brodber as the Prince Klaus Laurate. She is currently Writer in Residence at the University of the West Indies.

The dialogue is coordinated by the LAB Community in collaboration with ZIFF, and is comprised of both development practitioners and artists, to support indigenous and practical community lead development. The group will also host a three-day workshop (July 23-25) addressing pan-Africanism and leadership with more than 15 youth nominated by their respective communities in Zanzibar.

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