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Festival To Celebrate Literature and Photography

The 2013 Puterbaugh Festival will celebrate literature and photography, with a spotlight on global women’s issues.

The second week of April, World Literature Today—the University of Oklahoma’s award-winning magazine of international literature and culture—will welcome Ethiopian writer Maaza Mengiste, the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow, as the visiting writer during “Image & Word,” the Puterbaugh Festival of International Literature & Culture (April 9–12, 2013). That same week, internationally renowned photographer Phil Borges will speak at the opening of the exhibition Stirring the Fire: A Global Movement to Empower Women and Girls at OU’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. According to WLT executive director RC Davis-Undiano, the 2013 festival will offer unparalleled insight into the synergy between language and images: “Since the earliest daguerreotypes,” he said, “photographs have transformed the way we see ourselves, one another, and the world around us. Going back millennia, writers have also transformed our ways of encountering the world. Looking through the eyes of writers and photographers, prepare to be astonished by the power of what images and words can accomplish together.”

The week’s events will also include the Oklahoma premiere of the film Girl Rising, which “uses the power of storytelling and the leverage of strategic partnerships to deliver the message that educating girls in developing nations will change the world,” followed by a roundtable discussion on the topic of using art to promote social and political change. Additional roundtable discussions and workshops devoted to photography, literature, women’s empowerment, and human trafficking will round out the week. All events (except for two workshops) are free and open to the public, and the museum opening on April 12 will coincide with the 2nd Friday Circuit of Art, a monthly performance event and walking tour of Norman’s art galleries. For the complete schedule, visit puterbaughfestival.org.