João Tala was declared the winner of Grande Prémio de Cultura e Artes de Angola 2023, literature category in Luanda on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
The Grande Prémio de Cultura e Artes de Angola 2023 (English: National Prize for Culture and Arts of Angola) is a local government initiative aimed at encouraging the creative ingenuity of young people as well as promoting their participation in the search for solutions to the problems that plague the province. It recognizes the actions of people in the fields of social and economic life in the country, in particular in Lunda Sul, in the categories of Literature, Plastic Arts, Theatre, Dance, Music, Event Promotion, DJs, and Scientific Research. Some of the previous winners in the literature category were Abreu Castelo Vieira dos Paxe and Manuel Mwanza.
The winners were announced on November 7 in Luanda, by the president of the jury, Maria José Faria Ramos with the literature category going to doctor, poet, and fiction writer João Tala. A member of the Generation of 90, which began publishing in the last decade of the last century, Tala stands out in the Angolan literary panorama for his vision anchored in Bantu cosmology, for the way he deals with traditional cultures, especially Kimbundu, Ovimbundu and Tchokwé, for the evocations of the various wars that ravaged the country and, finally, the way he addresses women and women’s issues. He is also known for his brief and experimental style.
Admired and respected in literary circles in Angola and other Portuguese-speaking African countries, as well as in certain Brazilian academic circles interested in Africa, João Tala is little published and known internationally. For some experts in these literatures, this is due to the fact that the respective authors wrote in a more or less peripheral language, from a geopolitical point of view.