Following COVID-19 Crisis, Wole Soyinka International Cultural Exchange (WSICE)with the theme, ‘I AM because YOU ARE’ will be holding digitally this year for the first time in its 11 years of inception.
“Due to the peculiar circumstances of the pandemic, the WSICE will not be able to hold in a physical setting. But as is becoming the new normal, we will be operating in the digital space,” explained a statement from the organisers.
To take place online from July 12 to 14, the 2020 WSICE will feature the usual essay competition involving students of secondary schools and tertiary institutions, a cultural advocacy session and symposium on humanity.
The Advocacy session, according to the organisers, will run for two days and focus on ‘Pandemic: Pursuit of individual Happiness and our common humanity’.
Executive Director of the Chinese Studies Institute at San Diego State University, Lilly Cheng, will deliver the main conference paper on the central theme ‘I AM because YOU ARE’ on July 12. She would be supported by Dr Li Michael, an educator specialising in the teaching of the Abacus.
Other speakers at the first session, who would be responding to Prof. Cheng’s presentation include Trinidad and Tobago’s Shabaka Thompson who has extensive experience in the carnival, event management and production; Brazilian curator, writer, singer and shaman, Keyna Eilson, and French journalist, Lucile Huguet.
Co-executive producer of the WSICE and theatre scholar, Professor Segun Ojewuyi, will deliver the lead paper entitled ‘Reimagining Our World After Covid-19’ on the second advocacy day. This will be followed by five contributing papers by eminent culture researchers and scholars including Catholic priest and professor in the Department of Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Joseph Brown; Spanish teacher and educational researcher, Cristian R. Aquino-Sterling and Nigerian, Dr Ngozi Nwaneri.
Submission of entries for the essay competition for both junior (12-17) and senior (17-22) categories are ongoing and will close on June 26.
A winner and a runner-up will emerge from each of the five linguistic zones– English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. A global winner will also appear in the two categories.
Good luck as they battle to win international acclamations at one of the most important cultural convocation of our time.