The Jozi Book Fair

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The Jozi Book Fair is celebrating its 10th annual festival this year,  making it one of the longest running book festivals in South  Africa, and the longest running book festival outside the  Western Cape. In partnership with the  City of Johannesburg, the  Festival will run from 30 August – 2 September 2018, at Mary  Fitzgerald Square, Newtown.

This festival is a celebration of year-long educational programmes, designed to create readers and writers of the working class.  Our programmes are directed towards youth, schools, children and working people. Basically, this is a festival for everyone. This is the only fair where the public hosts events, entrance is free of charge and books are sold at discounted prices. The Festival will have specifically designed entertainment by children and youth for children and youth.

See Full programme on the website:

The JBF will be opened with the  Photography Exhibition, The Cordoned Heart, by Omar  Badsha, on 30 August, at Museum Africa. First commissioned for the Carnegie Commission on Poverty (1984), this exhibition captures the theme of the  JBF, Literature and Working People,  and the current context of working people in South  Africa.

This year’s theme ‘Literature and  Working Peoplehighlights the literature of the working class, often ignored and disregarded, negating its impact and influence. While the stories that have a lasting literary influence in South  Africa (and internationally) are about the working class, ironically, this literature is often not read nor shared by the working class.  With this theme, the  JBF strives to bridge this gap by making literature accessible to people; and providing a programme to introduce and explore the theme. Bheki  Peterson (Wits) provides an overview of Worker Art and Worker Culture in SA and the thematic thread runs through a number of activities at the Festival.

Some Highlights of this  year’s Festival include:

Some authors at the Fair: Lindsey Collen,  Jacklyn Cock, Jolyn Phillips, Luli Callinicos, Motsoko Pheko,  Farayi  Matondo, Oscar Banda,  Brian  Unmaki, Hertha Nekwaya, Janet Smith and Rabbie  Serumula

Legends, Patrons & Internationally acclaimed authors: Lindsey Collen, James Mathews, Wally  Serote, Diana  Ferrus  & Ronnie  Govender.

International Authors

Lindsey Collen  (Mauritius), and four worker poets  from Sweden: Emil Boss (supermarket worker), Magnus  Gustafson (journalist), Jenny Wrangborg (restaurant worker) and Athena Farrokhzad.

Conversations with authors

Lindsey Collen author of Getting Rid of it will  be in conversation with Searatoa van  Driel (Director of Gibson  Kente  play  at the  Festival, Too Late, Fair),  Jolyn Phillips  will  be in conversation with Nosipho Mdletshe (JBF Coordinator) on her short stories, Tjieng  Tjang  Tcherries, Jacklyn Cock  will be in conversation with Samson Mokoena (Vaal Environmental Justice Alliance) on her book  The Ancient River  and the  Black  Consciousness Reader authors will  discuss  their book  with Janet Smit, Paballo Thekiso, Rabbie Serumula and  Masego Panyane


The Festival boasts over  20 skills workshops which include: Writing (short stories, poetry), Photography, Creativity, Silk-Screening T. shirts, Philosophy for youth and Hockey and Soccer.

Book launches include the  3rd  edition of Batjha Kaofela: an anthology of ten short stories by JBF’s Tsohang Batjha school youth, from township schools; and women worker-writers will discuss their lives in Our Lives,  Our Communities by Gauteng Community Health Workers.

Hidden Voices  (Jacana): Worker leaders and Writers by Alfred Qabula  & Jabu Ndlovu, will be launched together with veteran cultural activists, Ari Sitas and Nise Malange.

Roundtable discussions include: The Future of Worker Literature in SA (Bheki Peterson, Ali Hlongwane, Wally  Serote); The Land Question- Elite project or people’s demand? (with Lindsey Collen,  Gwen Ngwenya and the EFF) and Workers Party,  a political alternative in 2019  national general elections?

The Focus on Women includes, Beyond Policies: feminizing our organizations and our struggles (with Ruth Ntlokotse, NUMSA) and Assessing the  #TotalShutDown march against violence on women and children and feminist struggles in SA (with activists).

There  is a substantial Focus  on Labour & Politics: On the  Making of the Working Class in SA (with Luli Callinicos and Isabel  Hofmeyer); On Neoliberalism, LRA Amendments and worker responses (with Lynford Dor & Zama  Mthunzi); on Marx@200 and colour and class in SA (with Adam  Habib and Oupa Lehulere), The Fourth Industrial Revolution and implications for working People  (with John Appolis) and Assessing the  The Con Court victory and its implications for the  future of casual  workers in SA (with Ighsaan Schroeder); and the  Fractious relationship between unions and social movements (with Zwelinzima Vavi and Virginia Magwaza).

Exciting Exhibitions: Sculptor exhibition – Imbali Yo Mfazi/ The Legend Of Woman by Mazwi  Mdima at Workers Museum.

Music: Jozi Book Fair and Fitzroy Ngcukanawill provide music  at designated time. Theatre: Inner  City Youth  will  perform an iconic street play; Its to late by Gibson  Kente  and

A special tribute to late SA Poet Laureate and  JBF Patron Keorapetse Kgositsile; JBF OPEN  MIC Competition with prizes to publish your work and  tribute performances by James Matthews, Lindsey Collen, Diana Ferrus, Wally Serote and  worker poets.


For interviews contact: Zama  Mthunzi at 071 759 6447

Contact: Jozi Book Fair Team  – 011 336 9190

Fax: 086 566 3891



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Twitter: @jozibookfair

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