Hausa International Book and Arts Festival (HIBAF) to explore language and identity in the African cultural space using Virtual Reality (VR) with support of ACP-EU Culture Program
Open Arts, the curators of the Hausa International Book and Arts Festival, have announced the second edition of the festival with the theme, ‘Being and Becoming’. This edition will explore language and identity in the African literary space using virtual reality (VR) technology. The festival is one of the winners of the fund for the promotion of West African cultures.
The ACP-EU Culture – West Africa Evaluation Committee selected the Hausa International Book and Arts Festival (HIBAF) as one of the 35 winners who will benefit from the Enhancing Culture Fund to enhance the value of cultural and creative content in West Africa, by promoting support for creation and production, image education and the development of means of dissemination and distribution (physical and digital) of cultural goods. The Hausa International Book and Arts Festival with the theme of ‘Being and Becoming’ was selected out of 176 applications from 15 out of 16 countries in West Africa.
Open Arts will seek to run the Hausa International Book and Arts Festival (HIBAF) for its second edition, while archiving and digitizing all the outputs from the festival and the constellation of activities around it as a digitally reconstructed fusion of art, literature, and performances using VR technology. The festival will be archived as a traveling VR experience in which audiences anywhere can use VR headsets to experience the festival. The VR experience of the project will include the curated festival experience; a feature documentary on identity and language; a photo-essay documenting the vibrant existence of an unbridled literary tradition among women writers writing in Hausa language in northern Nigeria.
Sada Malumfashi, Curator of the festival said, “Knowledge in the field of Hausa origin has been confronted with missing links or gaps, with very little known about the identity of a Hausa person. What language did the ancestors of the Hausa people speak five thousand years ago? These and many of such questions and interceptive queries would be answered in this second edition of the Hausa International Book and Arts Festival (HIBAF22) by linking and connecting arts, language, and identity through analysis of the processes that give birth to experience.
Digital tools, and especially VR technology, offer a new relation to cultural production by recontextualizing cultural products and presenting new experiences that open the way to new types of encounters for different and more massive audiences. The use of VR technology in cultural production will also bring about new jobs in the West African cultural scene.
“This innovative approach will enable and facilitate cross-cultural conversations around shared experiences and divides from the African sub-continent as a crucial step towards decolonization by transporting African conversations by Africans in Africa to the world.”
Being and Becoming will be a movement of returning to language and identity and archiving and digitizing a constellation of activities around it through virtual reality. The festival will be held as a hybrid of virtual and physical engagements from 1st – 3rd December, 2022, in Kaduna, Nigeria.
About Hausa International Book and Arts Festival
The Hausa International Book and Arts Festival is a crisscross festival of arts and language by and for African creatives. It is the aim of the festival to open up discussions about the Hausa language through history, music, and the arts from the past and present to a glorious future to be displayed to a new and exciting young audience.
About Open Arts
Open Arts is a cultural and arts collective committed to promoting the arts and creative endeavors based in northern Nigeria. Open Arts, as a creative organization, touches the expression of passion in the creative arts as part of its mission of making a positive difference in the lives of people in the community through work of arts. Open Arts prioritizes works of art and stories from people whose voices have been excluded from the universal conversation, using arts and culture as narratives to influence and shape the reality of life in northern Nigeria. Open Arts curates the Hausa International Book and Arts Festival (HIBAF), a crisscross festival of arts and language by and for African creatives
About ACP-EU Culture Program West Africa
The ACP-EU CULTURE PROGRAM: SUPPORT FOR THE CULTURAL AND CREATIVE SECTORS IN WEST AFRICA) – AWA (Art in West Africa) is one of the six (06) regional projects selected under the ACP-EU Program Culture, a joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), through the establishment of the new decentralized regional mechanism intended to strengthen the competitiveness of cultural and creative industries in ACP countries. The ACP-EU CULTURE PROGRAM: SUPPORT FOR THE CULTURAL AND CREATIVE SECTORS IN WEST AFRICA-AWA has a double objective, namely: on the one hand, to support the revitalization of the competitiveness of the cultural and creative industries all along the value chain (creation, production, and distribution) in the 16 West African countries, and on the other hand, to help support the development of the digital economy in West Africa by supporting cultural and creative industries actors in their digital transition. The program is implemented over a 40-month period (December 2020 – April 2024) by the consortium Institut français de Paris (IF) and Centre Culturel Kôrè de Ségou (CCK).