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Jalada x “New Voice” global literary project

Jalada x “New Voice” global literary project

Jalada Africa is pleased to announce a new collaboration initiated by One-way Street Journal, a Chinese literary journal owned by OWSPACE, a 19-year-old independent bookstore in Beijing.

The project titled “New Voice” is supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council, with five independent literary journals and platforms as partners organisations: Specimen. The Babel Review of Translations in Switzerland, HEAT in Australia, The Stinging Fly in Ireland, Cardenal Revista Literaria in Mexico and Jalada Africa.

The whole project will last from 2023 to 2024, and in this period, the organisations will be devoted to exploring new approaches to literature and building up a new space for communication through online meetings and workshops in the post-epidemic era.

In the meantime, by collecting representative works in respective languages in three genres, “Short Story”, “Non-fiction Writing” and “Poetry”, and inviting fiction and non-fiction writers and poets at home and abroad, we hope it can jump out of the mainstream mindset and identify new writings in cross-lingual discussions, bringing together a new group of experimental and independent writers, and providing them with support for translation, editing, and publication.

If possible, the New Voice project will invite overseas writers to China for literary residency, and to rejoin face-to-face international cultural activities. The New Voice project aims to supplement, even counter single literary standard, revive communication between different cultures, and restate the spirit of dialogue, cooperation, and solidarity as an indispensable part of human society.

About Jalada Africa

Jalada Africa established itself as a leading literary force on the continent through its influential anthologies. The first, Jalada 00: Sketch of a Bald Woman in the Semi-Nude and Other Stories, is an anthology of short stories loosely themed around insanity, published in January 2014. This was followed by Jalada 01: Sext Me poems and stories, published in June 2014. Readers and critics lauded the anthology for breaking the implicit modesty of fictional and literary boundaries on the continent. The anthology was a central subject of discussion during the 2015 Africa Writes Festival in London, at which Jalada gave a presentation and participated in panel discussions.

Jalada 02: Afrofuture(s) is a collection of short stories and poems centred on the genres of Afrofuturism and AfroSF published in January 2015. The prelude to the anthology featured work by visual artist Wangechi Mutu with an accompanying text by Binyavanga Wainaina. The anthology garnered wide readership and received critical acclaim. Two stories, “eNGAGEMENT” by Richard Oduor Oduku and “A Brief History of Nonduality Studies” by Sofia Samatar, were long-listed for the prestigious 2015 British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Awards.

Content from the anthology was republished as part of the 2015 African Futures festival—Nairobi Edition, a project of the Goethe-Institut South Africa funded by the Goethe-Institut and the TURN Fund of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Jalada participated in the festival with readings and panel discussions around imagining African futures. Additionally, a Spanish translation of select stories from Jalada 02: Afrofuture(s) was published as an e-book by 2709books in Spain.

Jalada 03: My Maths Teacher Hates Me and Other Stories was published in collaboration with the Kampala-based Writivism Literary Initiative and the Center for African Cultural Excellence (CACE).

Jalada 04: The Language Issue (September 2015) was followed by the Collective’s ambitious translation project, Jalada Translation Issue 01, which translated Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s short story “Ituĩka Rĩa Mũrũngarũ: Kana Kĩrĩa Gĩtũmaga Andũ Mathiĩ Marũngiĩ” (“The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright”) into 76 mostly African languages.

Jalada 05: Transition 123, published in partnership with Harvard University-based Transition Magazine, is the collective’s most recent anthology.

Jalada 06: Diaspora (October 2018) was a mixed- media meditation on confounding experiences of loss, scattering and (mis)recognition, and a testament to the possibilities for collaboration and communication that we are afforded as members of diaspora in the digital age. It was developed in collaboration with Australian-based online writers’ festival, Digital Writers’ Festival (DWF).

Jalada 07: After+Life (May 2019) asked probing questions regarding the transmutation of disintegrated flora and fauna and inanimate objects. It wondered at the whereabouts of consciousness and even language after passing. The results were both philosophical and fantastical.

Jalada 08: Bodies (December 2019) was a multidisciplinary project exploring all things “bodies” through an anthology, podcasts and a visual art exhibition. The project received funding from the Hivos Foundation via the ROOM Media Grant.

Jalada 09: Nostalgia (December 2020, February 2021) is an exploration of memory; tradition and modernity, the tactile and the intangible, legacy and erasure, stagnation and evolution, the possible and impossible. Released in two volumes, the issue also marked Jalada’s first foray into ebook publishing with downloadable versions of the anthology.

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