Writer from Equatorial Guinea to speak

Equatorial Guinean writer Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel gives a talk called The Open Vein of Africa at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, in the Benjamin Mays Center at Bates. Ávila Laurel is one of the few writers in Equatorial Guinea who has resisted government pressure to be silent or leave the country.

The event is open to the public at no cost.

Ávila Laurel’s lecture comes during a weeklong residency at Bates. His talk is sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Multicultural Center, the Division of Humanities and the Office of Affirmative Action and Institutional Diversity.

A prolific novelist, playwright, poet and essayist, Ávila Laurel belongs to an ethnic minority long marginalized by Spanish colonial invaders and post-independence kleptocrats alike. Equatorial Guinea is now the third-largest oil producer in Africa, after Nigeria and Libya, yet is one of the continent’s poorest countries. Ávila Laurel´s independent voice offers his country, and Africa, an example of hope for a civil society that is emerging in a continent portrayed to the world as hopeless.

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