Tuesday, May 26, 2015

African Crime: Fiction and Facts- an event at The Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala

Last Thursday (21 May) I was in Uppsala Sweden as part of a full day event looking at "African Crime: Fact and Fiction" held at the Nordic Africa Institute. The first half of the day was mostly focussed on the factual/ research side with a researcher looking at policing in Africa and another speaking about "Improvisation as detection in African crime fiction". The time after lunch was about African crime writing and included discussions with author Helon Habila from Nigeria, Margie Orford from South Africa, and myself.

After the event at the Nordic Africa Institute, the Botswana Embassy in Stockholm held a reception at The Institute. The writers then headed for a short discussion at the public library in Uppsala.

For me, it was a crazy trip having missed my connection from Joburg to Frankfurt because President Mugabe was visiting Gaborone and all flights were delayed. I ended up arriving on the day of the event, a few minutes late, literally walking from the plane to the stage. I arrived in Sweden on Thursday and came home on Saturday. A very long flight there and back with so little time in the middle is something I advise you never to do. I've made a vow never to do it again myself. From Joburg to Stockholm is twelve hours on a plane and I still had another 45 mins to Gaborone. Just too much for a human body. I have real empathy for flight crew on these airplanes who do this all of the time. But it was an interesting trip.

Below are a few photos from the trip. I realised when I got home that I took a very odd collection of photos. I blame it on sleep deprivation.

The people in Uppsala love riding bikes. They are everywhere!

The other thing I found interesting was that they didn't ride mountain bikes or bikes with many speeds. Most preferred these old fashioned, one speed bikes.

A church in Uppsala

This is a photo from the Botswana embassy's reception after the event. It was in their library. The man to the left is Tshepo Mogotsi, the Minister Counsellor from the Embassy.

Flowers in the park

Food at the reception

Nigerian writer and Caine Prize winner, Helon Habila. At the back you can see a friend who visited me in Botswana about a month ago, Pekka Peltola. He is from Finland and a researcher with The Nordic Africa Institute.

Helon and the director of The Nordic Africa Institute, Iina Soiri. If you look closely, you can see Iina is carrying my short story collection, In the Spirit of McPhineas Lata and Other Stories. :)

The river in Uppsala

A building in Uppsala with a tunnel under it.

Flowers on the bridge

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