African Artists and Writers Best Placed to Reflect on the Continent’s Future, Says Marrakech African Book Festiva Pres.

African artists and writers are best positioned to contemplate and envision the collective future of the continent, said Mahi Binebine, President of the Marrakech African Book Festival (FLAM).

In an interview with MAP news agency during the 2nd edition of FLAM, Binebine noted that African and Afro-descendant literature stands out for its “shared imagination,” highlighting Africa’s ample resources to craft its narrative and forge a brighter tomorrow through its intellect, cultural richness, and natural endowments.

“I am deeply passionate about African literature. Our shared imagination stems from our shared history, and our objective today is to narrate the past, discuss the present, and, most importantly, contemplate the future,” he added.

In addition to championing African and Afro-descendant literature, this premier cultural event aims to foster a reading culture among Moroccans. Binebine added that this year, an extensive program has been organized off-site, with authors visiting 25 schools to engage with students who have explored their works in the preceding months.

Highlighting the focus on African literature in this year’s event, Binebine underscored the caliber of participating guests, including Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne, who delivered the inaugural lecture, French philosopher and sociologist Edgar Morin for the Grand Entretien, and other esteemed authors such as Raphaël Confiant, Abdellatif Laâbi, and Alain Mabanckou.

Regarding African oral and popular literature, he noted the pervasive influence of orality in the creative landscape of Moroccan and African writers, seamlessly integrated into written forms.

When asked about the connections forged among writers of diverse backgrounds at the festival, Binebine expressed his satisfaction in disseminating African literature both within the continent and beyond through collaborative projects.

“This year, we host some of the most prominent figures in African literature. Their presence and the opportunity to engage with their works constitute a significant achievement,” he declared, emphasizing the festival’s ambition to catalyze evolution within the African cultural sphere and drive the desired transformation.

In addition to his role as President of FLAM and one of its founders, Mahi Binebine is renowned as one of Morocco’s preeminent artists. His literary works have been translated into approximately fifteen languages, while his artworks adorn major museums and collections worldwide.

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