African Electronic Literature Alliance & African Diasporic Electronic Literature (AELA & ADELI) was conceived on the 17th July, 2020 during the virtual ELO2020 Conference hosted by the University of Central Florida (USA).
These two organisations’ projects seek to bring all African electronic literary works into a single Multilingual African Electronic Literature Database & African Diasporic Electronic Literature Database (MAELD & ADELD) in order to make them available for readers, accessible to researchers, and to preserve them for posterity.
Hence, we define African electronic literature in the purview of the African digital cultural intersections with technologies of literary discourse, as any digital-born literary work imbued with African themes, happenings, happiness, cultural colours, worldview, heritage, storytelling, virtual, mixed, augmented and extended reality (VR, MR, AR and XR) created either by Africans or robots using programming language, digital tools (hardware and software applications), 3D reality modelling, Artificial Intelligence, and/or using digital platforms and devices as its reading media. Reading in this context can include a range of practices, including playing, watching, clicking, executing, interacting, programming, and immersive experience (in the case of virtual, mixed, augmented and extended realities). The MAELD & ADELD two-in-one database is open to all genres of electronic literature such as immersive storytelling/poetry, digital poetry/fiction, hyperfictions, platform-based writing, interactive storytelling, video games, netprov, digital comics, children e-lit, blogs, fanfic, generative text, VR/AR, and other forms of experimental digital writing.
This database is founded by Yohanna Joseph Waliya (University of Calabar, Calabar-Nigeria) in 2020 to gather African Electronic Literature writers, readers, and scholars together. The database currently contains over 300 records featuring works by over 100 artists, in dozens of languages across 32 African countries (and beyond). In 2021, Waliya decided to expand the project to include a board of directors representing digital humanities and electronic literature scholars and artists from across the continent with the aim of making the database publicly available for researchers worldwide.