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Pilgrimages is a project sending 14 African writers to 14 cities across Africa (and Brazil) to spend two weeks exploring the secrets and complexities of these disparate urban landscapes. Our writers will create 13 nonfiction travel writing books (as well as a feature blog) about their trips, about these cities: captured at a common moment, while Africa hosts its first World Cup, as the whole continent is more visible to itself and to the rest of the world than any other time since independence.
These writers will shift the reportage of the continent. Collected, these 13 books and feature blog will comprise the PILGRIMAGES book series, which will first be published in its entirety—and simultaneously in Lagos, Nairobi, and Cape Town—during the 2012 African Cup of Nations football tournament. Together, the Pilgrimages book series and website will be the most significant single addition to the continent’s archive of literary knowledge since the African Writer’s Series.
Today also marks the launch of the Pilgrimages web site (www.pilgrimages.org.za), which will present blogs, videos and other content from the 14 pilgrims as well as essays from other prominent writers, bloggers and commentators such as Achille Mbembe and Grant Farred. The website will also invite contributions—short essays, letters of support, grammar school football tales, travel pieces—from the general public.
The 14 writers that will participate in the “Pilgrimages” project and the cities they will visit are: Chris Abani (Johannesburg, South Africa); Doreen Baingana (Hargeisa, Somaliland); Uzodinma Iweala (Timbuktu, Mali); Funmi Iyanda (Durban, South Africa); Billy Kahora (Luanda, Angola); Kojo Laing (Cape Town, South Africa); Victor LaValle (Kampala, Uganda); Alain Mabanckou (Lagos, Nigeria); Nimco Mahamud Hassan (Khartoum, Sudan); Akenji Ndumu (Abidjan, Ivory Coast); Yvonne Owuor (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo); Nicole Turner (Nairobi, Kenya);; Abdourahman A. Waberi (Salvador, Brazil); and Binyavanga Wainaina (Touba, Senegal).
More on the website