What will humanity be like in 50 years? How will machines relate with people? and how much of an impact on the future has been determined, today, by people like Elon Musk and his band of co-travellers?
Will Nigeria (and Nigerians) own the next decade?
These issues are top of the agenda for the 24th edition of the Lagos Book Art Festival (LABAF), which comes up from November 14 to November 20, 2022, in Lagos, Nigeria.
The weeklong event, most of which will hold at the Freedom Park on Lagos Island- with a session each at the Goethe Institut and the Terra Kulture-will largely examine texts in 15 different books to imagine ways out of the dissonance in many societies today.
“Are we headed in the direction of increasing dystopia?”, asks Jahman Anikulapo, LABAF’s main organizing faculty and the programme chair of the Committee for Relevant Art (CORA), the culture advocacy group which curates the festival.
As a theme of LABAF’s 2022 edition, Pathways to the Future is a natural outgrowth of the themes of the last two editions
“Discourse around Pathways to the FUTURE, is meant to figure a way out of the State of Flux (the theme for 2020), which led us to a Fork in the Road, (the theme for 2021)” says the intro in the Festival brochure.
The festival calls up voices of the authors o in the 15 chosen books to attempt “to imagine the society we are going to build at the end of this messy journey”
What’s there on the bookshelf to lift one out of these disorienting details of daily living in Nigeria?
We know that this argument has been in the discussion halls forever, but we still ask: How will
Nigeria and Nigerians Own the Future?
Which is why the following books are the Books of the Festival this year:
- Mo Gawdat: Scary Smart: The Future of Artificial Intelligence & How You Can Save
- Ian McEwan: Machines Like Me and People Like You
- Abdourahman Waberi: The United States of Africa;
- Paul Morland: The Tomorrow’s People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers
- Ayodele Arigbabu: Lagos 2060
- Itse Sagay: All Will Be Well
- Yemi Ogunbiyi: The Road Never Forgets
- Lawson Omokhodion: Powered by Poverty
- Muyiwa Kayode: Brand Nation
- Sunday Akande: SoroSoke
- Babatunde Olaide-Mesewaku ‘Vothuno‘ by (Winepress, Ibadan)
- Ashlee Vance: Elon Musk- Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
- Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power,
Prosperity, and Poverty Paperback
- Olutayo Irantiola: Okeho Exodus
THE SOYINKA RETROSPECTIVE
- Wole Soyinka: Of Power and Freedom Vol. I & II, by Bookcraft Publishing Africa;2022)
- Wole Soyinka: Selected Poems 1965-2022: A Retrospective; Bookcraft Publishing Africa, 2022
LABAF is a comprehensive, week-long culture picnic that has run annually since September 1999. It features reading sessions, conversations around ‘content and context of books’, art and craft displays, kiddies’ art workshops, Publishers’ Forum, Writers’ Workshops and Book Trek, Book exhibitions, Drama skits, Live music and dance. It is an art festival with high book content