Crossing Borders and Beyond: Online Literature Development in Africa
'Crossing Borders' was a distance learning mentoring project that linked 25 mentors in the UK to over 200 African writers over a 5-year programme of development. It established a website that still publishes new work by African writers and led to 'Beyond Borders', the biggest literature festival and forum for discussion held in Africa since the early 1960's. This 30-minute presentation will use audio-visual material to show how the project led to the development of new writing in Africa, promoted cultural exchange, and seeded a major literature festival. It will also focus on current issues in literature development in Africa and discuss how new initiatives developed at Lancaster University are helping the British Council to promote new radio-based initiatives in Africa in English and indigenous languages and how this in turn is developing 'practice as research' in creative writing and international academic links between UK and African Universities.
Keywords: Literature Development in Africa, Distance Learning Mentoring Scheme, IT in Literature Development, Writing for Radio in Africa, Research as Practice in Creative Writing
Dr. Graham Mort
Senior Lecturer, Director of Postgraduate Studies Creative Writing, Project Leader 'Crossing Borders', Department of English & Creative Writing, Lancaster University