Fortunate Traveller is a Nigeria-based travel journal that publishes and promotes itinerant narratives. We believe travel can be much more than just being away or on vacation; and we would like to hear more of black flaneurism and stories of travellers of all types. We want to curate an online travel masterclass based on these mission statements to engage seasoned travel writers and a new generation of travel writers, who will do new and exciting things to travel writing and travel culture.
Travel writing is many things to different writers; but what does it mean to actually travel and explore both landscapes and people, how does a writer bring back a narrative from their journey and set it down thoughtfully and ethically; what opportunities are in the genre and how can a writer harness them? Can travel writing tell the stories of the dispossessed and those who have little say over where they travel, as well as the stories of those who are privileged to travel where they please? These and many more questions peculiar to the genre of travel writing are what our facilitators will be discussing in our online travel writing masterclass.
The masterclass is open to writers, artists and interested public who are looking at travel writing as a form for cultural, social and economic engagement. The facilitators include renowned travel writers, travel scholar and photographer:
Emmanuel Iduma, the author of A Stranger’s Pose, a book of travel stories, which was longlisted for the 2019 Ondaatje Prize, and The Sound of Things to Come, a novel. His stories and essays have been published widely, including in Best American Travel Writing 2020, Aperture, LitHub, The Millions, Art in America, and The New York Review of Books Daily. In 2017 he was awarded an arts writing grant from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation for his essays on Nigerian artists. He divides his time between Lagos and New York, where he teaches at the School of Visual Arts.
Rebecca Jones has a PhD in African Studies from the University of Birmingham, where she researched the history of southwest Nigerian travel writing in Yorùbá and English. At the Crossroads: Nigerian Travel Writing and Literary Culture in Yoruba and English is the title of the book she wrote on the research. She is the co-founder of Fortunate Traveller and editor of Africa in Words.
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is a Nigerian linguist, writer, scholar, and language advocate born in Ìbàdàn, Nigeria. He was educated there, in Kenya, and in the United States. His debut collection of poetry Edwardsville by Heart was published by Wisdom’s Bottom Press, Oxford, in 2018. He has also worked as a literary translator from English to Yorùbá and from Yorùbá to English. His language advocacy earned him the Premio Ostana in 2016, a prize given by Chambra D’Oc in Italy, for work and advocacy in the mother tongue, becoming the first African so-honoured. He’s currently a Chevening Research Fellow at the British Library in London.
Ranjit Hoskote (born Bombay, 29 March 1969) is a contemporary Indian poet, cultural theorist and curator. Some of his collections of poetry include Zones of Assault, The Cartographer’s Apprentice, The Sleepwalker’s Archive, Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005, Central Time, Jonahwhale, and The Atlas of Lost Beliefs. His translation of a 14th-century Kashmiri mystic’s poetry has appeared as I, Lalla: The Poems of Lal Ded. Hoskote was curator of India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011). He has been honoured, by India’s National Academy of Letters, with the Sahitya Akademi Golden Jubilee Award and the Sahitya Akademi Translation Award.
Kene Nwatu, born in Enugu, Nigeria, is a Nigerian filmmaker and photographer exploring the themes of individual identity through psychological critique, sub-culture communities and music. He expresses stories from his trips through the mediums of photography, film and music. The work he creates convey a sense of curiosity and self-awareness, capturing moments that live on.
The sessions, across the three mediums of nonfiction, poetry and photography, will be run concurrently for three weekends on Zoom starting from June 6, 2020. The schedule is as follows:
Non-fiction Masterclass: June 6, 2020
Emmanuel Iduma – 10am (UTC: +01:00) West Central Africa
Rebecca Jones – 2pm (UTC: +01:00) West Central Africa
Poetry Masterclass: June 13, 2020
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún – 10am (UTC: +01:00) West Central Africa
Ranjit Hoskote – 2pm (UTC: +01:00) West Central Africa
Photography Masterclass: June 20, 2020
Morning and afternoon sessions
Kene Nwatu – 10am & 2pm. (UTC: +01:00) West Central Africa
All interested participants should signify and book a place for the masterclass(es) they would like to join by sending a mail to [email protected]; the subject of the email should be tagged ‘Narrating the Elsewhere Workshop’ with the masterclass they want to join. Though it is all free, each masterclass has limited space on a first-come basis. And bear in mind the class is informal so it will be fun.