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African Writers’ Corner

African Writing Lite

Guest editorial

2009-01-10, Issue 414

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African literature has, like the continent, been Balkanized. Just as the continent was fractured into 50-odd states, the literature of the continent has been sieved and funneled into French, English, Portuguese and other containers.

Of course we cannot blame Berlin for all of this. Africa has two thousand home-grown languages after all. Yet, there is an altogether different stricture that surrounds the modern language blocs. Just as passports are required to negotiate our modern political borders, the modern literatures of Africa seem to grow in hermetic zones, and even with modern communications, the average African is increasingly unaware of the great literatures flowering just across his borders - especially where it is written in an ‘alien’ language.

African Writing magazine, with its 'many literatures, one voice' vision, tries to redress some of this in its print and online incarnations. African Writing Magazine will try to do that little extra, in its new berth in Pambazuka, Africa's electronic brainstorm. We will serve up a literary takeaway - without for one moment suggesting that anything but a savour of literary Africana can be gleaned from here alone. To be sated, one can look forward to the hours of application at the many watering holes of African literature.

In this interview conducted by Jarmo Pikkujamsa for African Writing Magazine, Mamadou N'Dongo, a Senegalese writer and filmmaker and author of Bridge Road and L’Errance de Sidiki Bâ, talks about the roots of Bridge Road in Black American struggles, the art of film in relation the craft of writing, and much more.

Chuma Nwokolo,
Publisher, African Writing.

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ISSN 1753-6839 Pambazuka News English Edition

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