Saturday, August 15, 2015

International Festival Faribault, August 22

August 22, 2015, the International Festival Faribault will take place in Faribault, Minnesota. This will be the 10th year of the festival, which brings together the various nations represented in Faribault, to share their cultures and foster mutual understanding.

I have already signed up as a participant. I will have a table where I will display my books and talk with people about my work as an educator, writer, and cultural consultant. I consider events of this kind an extension of my classroom, whose spirit of give-and-take is highly rewarding. What I learn on these occasions enriches my teaching in various ways.

The International Festival Faribault is an opportunity to meet people from different parts of the world and to see the cultural items and other things they display, watch their performances, and sample their foods. Year in and year out, I have found the conversations with different people enlightening.

This year, I will also talk about a documentary film on Ernest Hemingway titled Papa's Shadow, produced by Jimmy Gildea, a 2014 alumnus of St. Olaf College, who was one of the students who came to Tanzania in 2013 on my Hemingway in East Africa course. The documentary features me in conversation with Patrick Hemingway, the only remaining child of Ernest Hemingway, born in 1928. We are talking about Hemingway's life, travels, and writings, especially those concerning East Africa.

Hemingway was an avid world traveler, who was genuinely interested in, and respectful of, other cultures. As an African, I like sharing my great admiration for Hemingway's lifelong fascination with Africa, an aspect that is not well acknowledged by readers and scholars alike. Indeed, Hemingway exemplified the kind of spirit the International Festival Faribault stands for.

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