News

  • “We have as much to teach as we have to learn”

    “We have as much to teach as we have to learn”

    I wrote a short essay for the Pro Helvetia blog on my recent research trip to Switzerland. Click the link below to read:

    “In April 2022, I travelled to Switzerland with a keen sense of purpose and an open mind eager to learn how to better my organisation’s practice. If I’m honest, it seemed odd to be travelling to a European country renowned for its wealth to learn how to run my African library sustainably. After all, how much could the literary scene of an affluent, educated, Central European nation have in common with that of my own?”

    More

  • Talk: A Masterclass on Social Change

    Talk: A Masterclass on Social Change

    September 7, 2022 | 2 pm GMT | University of Ghana, Balme Library
    A Masterclass on Social Change

    From the organisers:

    In partnership with IFED Global, Peace First, a global incubator for youth-led social change, is holding a masterclass designed to ignite the urgency and creativity of young people across Africa towards sustainable community development.

    In the flagship session in Sub-Saharan Africa, we intend to host a masterclass with aspiring and existing changemakers between the ages of 16 -30 in Ghana. The goal of the Masterclass is to activate youth voices, renew the spirit of active citizenship and promote a culture of service within Africa’s Youth.


    Register here.

  • Talk: 30 Minutes with Sylvia Arthur: litafrika

    Talk: 30 Minutes with Sylvia Arthur: litafrika

    August 23, 2022 | 10:15 am GMT / 12:15 pm CET | Online

    litafrika: poetry from a continent
    30 minutes with Sylvia Arthur
    Strauhof Zurich, live broadcast

    The “Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora” (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana, is a library, but also an archive, a museum, a writing residency, and a research facility: It is dedicated to the collection and visualization of authors from Africa and the diaspora from the late 19th century to the present. The director and initiator Sylvia Arthur from LOATAD is on this afternoon and gives an insight into the house and her work. In English; as a live broadcast.

    As part of the exhibition «litafrika: poetry of a continent».

    More…

  • Talk: The enduring legacy of Ralph Ellison

    Talk: The enduring legacy of Ralph Ellison

    August 6, 2022 | 6:30 pm EST | Online

    I’m honoured to be giving a presentation on the enduring legacy of iconic African-American writer, Ralph Ellison (1913-1994) and his contemporary relevance/resonance at The Eighth Annual Ralph Ellison Foundation Gala on 6 August 2022 at 6.30 pm EST.

    The Gala, on the theme “Hope and Healing,” will take place online and will feature talks, readings, and performances from scholars, writers, and artists from around the world.

    Find out more here.

  • “We’re all connected through literature”

    “We’re all connected through literature”

    “We’re all connected through literature; we’re all connected over generations through ancestry, through culture, through history, through so many things. I think when people come here, that’s what they take away most[ly], a feeling of connection beyond anything else. And if that’s what I’ve been able to do, then I’m happy with that for sure.“

    In the Wake of the Library of Africa and the African Diaspora’s inaugural symposium in April, AMAKA speaks to founder Sylvia Arthur to learn about her lifelong love for reading and her unexpected journey from book collector to library founder and activist. 

    Read more…

  • Talk: Global Studies Summit at the Community College of Philadelphia

    Talk: Global Studies Summit at the Community College of Philadelphia

    June 14, 2022 | 2 pm GMT | Online
    “Archiving Global Black Lives”

    From the Community College of Philadelphia website

    With a focus on the upcoming Juneteenth celebration, the Black Studies program will be curating a virtual Juneteenth series focusing on art, culture and resistance within the African Diaspora.

    This series will provide participants with a more holistic grounding in the interconnectedness of global Black identities, the specific and complex issues that various communities face, and how they cultivate Black joy and celebrate Black beauty and life. It also allows for cross-continental conversations and reflections as participants will learn from community leaders, educators, artists, and activists and consider how they can approach similar issues within their own respective communities. Through film screenings, panel discussions, virtual tours, and presentations, participants will explore the themes of Jazz and resistance; food justice, African traditions and foodways; archiving global Black lives; cinema; and Black speculative art with speakers from Philadelphia, Brazil, South Africa, and Ghana.

    Find out more and check out the full programme here.

  • Talk: Literaturhaus Zürich

    Talk: Literaturhaus Zürich

    April 28, 2022 | 10:15 am GMT / 12:15 pm CET | In Person | Venue: Debating Room (3rd floor), Literaturhaus Zürich, Limmatquai 62, 8001 Zürich | Language: The interview will be held in English.

    Gesa Schneider, Director of Literaturhaus Zürich, talks to Sylvia Arthur, who is visiting Switzerland from Accra (Ghana) in April and May as part of a research grant made possible by Pro Helvetia.

    The “Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora” (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana, is a library, but also an archive, a museum, a writing residency, and a research facility: It is dedicated to the collection and visualization of authors from Africa and the diaspora from the late 19th century to the present. Talks, workshops, film screenings and much more are organized. In addition to her work as a culture initiator, Sylvia Arthur is one of West Africa’s outstanding young activists and essayists. This afternoon she will talk to Gesa Schneider about the development of the house and show the challenges and perspectives for the future.

    Book here

  • Talk: TEDx Ashesi University

    Talk: TEDx Ashesi University

    April 9, 2022 | 11:00 am GMT | In Person
    “The People’s Republic of Books”

    I’m looking forward to speaking at #TEDxAshesiUniversity on Saturday, 9 April and sharing some thoughts on the subversive power of books in disrupting notions of citizenship and nurturing transnational identities.

    If you’re interested in attending, you can find out more and register here.

  • Pro Helvetia Research Trip Grant

    Pro Helvetia Research Trip Grant

    From the Pro Helvetia website

    Sylvia Arthur is the Founder of the Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana, a library, archive, and museum dedicated to collecting the work of African and Diaspora writers from the late 19th-century to the present day. During her research trip in Zurich, Switzerland from 14 April to 12 May 2022, Sylvia will visit various Swiss literary institutions located both in and outside of major cities to learn more about sustainability models.

    Sylvia will base her research primarily at Literaturhaus Zürich, where she hopes to learn about building, running, and sustaining a large-scale literary institution with particular reference to funding, branding and marketing, programming, and audience attraction and retention. She will also visit nearby institutions and organisations including Strauhof and Wyborada in St. Gallen, which like LOATAD, have niche literary focuses. Sylvia then also plans to spend a considerable period of her trip at Fondation Jan Michalski, where she is interested in learning about the residency programme and how the organisation operates within the rural context.

    A secondary dimension of Sylvia’s trip is to investigate the role literary institutions play in the placemaking of a town or city, and how such institutions develop meaningful relationships with communities that include local residents as well as attract wider national and international audiences.

    Sylvia says, “My hope is that this trip will mark the beginning of a relationship of mutual learning, support, and exchange between Swiss literary institutions and LOATAD.”

  • Talk: Pan Afrikan Society Community Forum

    Talk: Pan Afrikan Society Community Forum

    March 11, 2022 | 7:00 pm GMT | Online
    “LOATAD’s Women’s Oral Archive”

    “Join us on Friday, 11th March 2022, as we welcome Sista Sylvia Arthur – LOATAD – Library of Afrika & The Afrikan Diaspora to commence our AWHM presentation on “Library of Africa and the African Diaspora Women’s Oral Archive” which incorporates the stories of everyday Ghanaian women into the Library’s archive and restores them to history.”

    To attend, register via Eventbrite here.