African Literary NGOs: Power, Politics, and Participation by Doreen Strauhs

By Doreen Strauhs

Featuring the unconventional idea of the "literary NGO," this learn combines interviews with modern East African writers with an research in their expert actions and the cultural investment region to make an unique contribution to African literary feedback and cultural experiences.

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Okurut’s picture in the FEMRITE office marks the FEMRITE offices as women’s territory, a space where women rule,70 and to every visitor, this also acknowledges FEMRITE’s feminist mission. Like FEMRITE, Kwani Trust started with a dream. In 2002, Binyavanga Wainaina came back to Kenya after having spent ten years in South Africa. Like many Kenyans of his generation who could afford to, Wainaina had moved there after high school in order to study, for Kenya in the early 1990s was on the brink of an economic and social collapse.

As is common for NGOs, the LINGO’s organizational structure is also characterized by flat hierarchies and a great number of volunteers. African Literary NGOs (LINGOs) O 25 2. LINGOs as Literary Institutions Although various interpretations are possible of what comprises a literary NGO, this study proposes the term literary NGO O explicitly for those NGOs that have the production and promotion of literature, most notably fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, at the core of their interests and that also use creative writing as their major tool of expression.

Apart from a few exceptions such as Isegawa or Mutahi, many writers from the region were, however, writing largely out of the public eye from the late 1970s up to the 1990s. Due to the sociopolitical circumstances, as well as the lack of publishing outlets and frameworks conducive to furthering creative writing, the Anglophone writing scene in the region for many years hardly managed to gain attention beyond the region. CHAPTER 2 African Literary NGOs (LINGOs) A Model for African Literary Criticism and Cultural Politics Introduction T he global spotlight returned to the Kenyan and Ugandan literary arena when Kwani Trust and FEMRITE started to gain worldwide recognition through their prizewinning contributors with the onset of the early 2000s.

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