About Us

About Us

Ibom International Art and Book Festival

About Us

Each one of us sees the world through a different lens. That lens is defined by our cumulative life experiences, our gender and racial identities, our personal beliefs. It’s what shapes how we see and experience the world.
We are also humans, and by nature, we gravitate toward great stories told by great storytellers. So more often than not our worldviews will be shaped in part by another, more literal, lens of a camera — and the storyteller on the other side of that lens. But when there is too much uniformity behind the lens, we begin to believe that the image of this world presented to us is the only one: A world from the perspective of the dominant culture. A world in which repeated, limiting and uninformed imagery may often lead to stereotyping of those less represented, which impacts us in ways far greater than we realize – Joe Marchese.

Everyone has a story. The story can be expressed through a narrative or an artistic series of exhibitions. The story can be reflective of multiple coexisting identities, cultural values, and historical occurrences. Most importantly, the story should be offered an equal opportunity for recognition. Books and arts by traditionally and historically marginalized authors and artists are still missing in mainstream arts and books fairs. Ibom International Arts and Book Festival responds to the dire need of identifying, celebrating, and highlighting the literary and artistic creative works of minority writers and artists. As the first international festival of literature and arts for underrepresented writers and artists, Ibom International Arts and Book Festival navigates the US and Nigeria to foster cross-cultural engagement and bridge the gap in the representation of marginalized writers and artists in mainstream books and arts festivals.

Founder and Director

Inyene Adiaha Nsa (formerly known as Kate Ekanem) was born in Etinan, a remote village in Akwa Ibom, a state in the Niger Delta minority region of Nigeria. Inyene grew up in Lagos Nigeria and then in Pennsylvania where she graduated with a BA in Media and Communication, Women and Gender Studies, and Creative Writing from Muhlenberg College, Allentown Pennsylvania. An MA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Publishing from Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre  Pennsylvania.  In 2015, Inyene was competitively chosen, to represent the African Union at the global G(irl)20summit where she collaboratively developed a communique for the G2O leaders in Istanbul Turkey. Inyene is a Ship the start-up Ambassador, Finland,  a Grubstreet Muse Literary Citizen Writer Award recipient, the US, a Deutsche Welle Global Media Award recipient, Germany, a Dalai Lama fellow, the US, and the 2018 overall winner of the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) Empowerment Category, South Africa.  Inyene is a Sojourner Truth Award winner, a Muhlenberg Goodwill Award winner, a  Jim Schneider Award winner for Social Justice, an  Edwin W. Miller Writing Award for Non-fiction, and a 2022 TIAW World of Difference Award recipient. In 2017, Inyene was awarded an Internet Society 25 Under 25 gold medal as a young internet creative self-starter.

Inyene is an author, curator, gallerist, residency producer, festival, and artistic director. She is the Founder of multiple initiatives that empower minority writers and artists including Nsa Artists and Writers Residency, Nsa Kollectif, and Nsa Arts Foundation.