FLAM Explores the Impact of Writers in African Society at Marrakech Festival

MARRAKECH — The second edition of the Festival of the African book of Marrakech (FLAM) held on Friday spotlighted the significant role of writers in African society and the profound impact of literature on societal awareness. The conference served as a platform for vibrant discussions on negritude, Africanness, and the symbolic importance of writing as a reflection of culture, values, and societal challenges.

According to Burkina Information Agency, writing represents a highly demanding yet profoundly subjective endeavor that is deeply embedded in cultural, geographical, and social contexts. Chami emphasized that literature plays a crucial role in easing tensions, uniting communities, and fostering better understanding across divides. She highlighted that literature from southern countries often reveals existing societal divisions, the impacts of neoliberalism, and the lingering effects of colonial legacy.

Ivorian writer, academic, and painter Véronique Tadjo discussed how negritude—a concept embodying the cultural characteristics specific to black people—has contributed to the promotion of pan-Africanism and a sense of belonging. Tadjo’s work reflects the shared challenges of African countries and underscores the importance of knowledge exchange despite their differences.

Angolan journalist, writer, and editor José Eduardo Agualusa shared his perspective on writing as a necessity for comprehending his country and its pivotal role. Through his works, Agualusa examines his country’s history, highlighting the significance of literature and language in the fight for liberation and emancipation.

The FLAM, supported by the ‘We Art Africans’ association, is dedicated to celebrating African literature and culture. The festival offers free access to all venues, aiming to bring culture and art closer to the public. This year’s edition features themes that mirror the scientific and editorial developments in Africa, with a special focus on rekindling and strengthening the ties that bind Africans globally. Attendees can enjoy a rich program that includes musical works and poetic readings.

Prominent figures in African literature such as José-Eduardo Agualusa, Leïla Bahsaïn, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Ali Benmakhlouf, Sophie Bessis, Siham Bouhlal, Yasmine Chami, Touhfat Mouhtare, Fanta Dramé, Wilfried N’Sondé, Saad Khiari, and Mia Couto are participating in the festival, contributing to a diverse and enriching cultural exchange.