Dibuka Library Festival – Not Your Ordinary Book Fest

The Embassy of France in South Africa, the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Alliance Française of Johannesburg are proud to present the newly revamped francophone multimedia library, named after the Setswana word for “books”: dibuka.

Dibuka is today the biggest francophone multimedia library in South Africa with a collection of 17 000 documents, including books, DVDs and CDs. Fifteen years after its creation, the need was felt to reposition Dibuka according to library uses that have evolved over the years. The aim of renovating Dibuka was to come up with an open and welcoming place in which multiple activities can take place and where the idea of meeting and the notion of experience prevail.

The Johannesburg-based design firm Urban Works was commissioned to redesign the
space accordingly. Urban Works is an inter-disciplinary studio that has been involved in
various projects, from city planning for places such as Ivory Park, to smaller scale projects such as the design of the Flame of Democracy at Constitution Hill. Urban Work’s priority is to transform and reinvent existing spaces to fit the evolutions of uses and society. One of the radical changes with Urban Work’s proposition for Dibuka has been to bring more luminosity into the library in order to turn it into a comfortable environment with natural daylight, where one can read, study or just relax. The choice of clear wooden furniture and pastel colour adds to the cosiness of the place while bringing a playful feel to it. Regarding the overall arrangement plan, it allows to highlight Dibuka’s specialised book collection, creating specific spaces for French learning material, children’s literature and bande dessinée1.

Added to that the mezzanine has been transformed into a cinema loft that can
also host talks and panel discussions. Images extracted from the comic strips Aya de Yopougon and Le Monde d’Edena add the final touch, ensuring that the entirely revamped Dibuka multimedia library is an inviting space for all.

Here’s the full program 2018-Dibuka-festival-programme.