* The project will generate conversations between
writers working in different languages, authors who publish in various
contexts and come from different cultures.
It will bridge the current distances between authors writing in the various
South African languages and contribute to cultural debate in an open society.
It will follow in the footsteps of the 2004
Young Voices Online Writers’ Conference on LitNet, which
brought more than fifty writers, publishers and editors of 35 years
and younger together on LitNet for a historic multilingual conference,
which was opened by Nelson Mandela in October 2004 and ran until December
The concept is simple:
- Writer A sends five e-mail questions to writer B. When the answers
come in, LitNet publishes the questions and answers on the Chain Interview
- Writer B now interviews writer C in the same way.
- Writer C then moves on to interview writer D, etc.
Writers may conduct interviews or answer questions in the languages
of their choice, even in more than one language.
The Chain Interview will be an ongoing conversation or online colloquium.
LitNet’s readers will be invited to comment on the interviews in
our letters column.
Hopefully strong issues will be raised, for example, the responsibility
of the author, the state of South African writing, the problems with
publishing and development of new voices, the language issue, reading
trends, the training of new writers, etc.
The LitNet newsletter will call attention, on a regular basis, to
developments in the chain of voices.
All LitNet’s material is archived and this ongoing seminar
will be a valuable resource for researchers and readers.
Etienne van Heerden