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A digital break: Kwago launches a No-Phones-Allowed Book Fair

For better or worse, we have become a slave to our screens. Glued to our phones, keyboard, and gadgets, we rely so heavily on technology for our day to day, it’s almost unheard of for someone to go a day or even an hour without them, whether out of necessity or pure boredom. Kwago bookstore and publishing lab proposes a short respite from this digital domination. This September 17 to 18, 2022, Kwago is hosting AFK Book Fair, a no-phones-allowed gathering, at Molito Lifestyle Center in Alabang.

Co-opting the internet acronym AFK, meaning Away From Keyboard, the event takes the slang away from online chatrooms and out into the open. AFK Book Fair is a two-day gathering of the local creative communities that invites fairgoers to engage with art, storytelling, print, indie publishing and open discourse. The fair will have no phones allowed, encouraging people to rediscover themselves away from the screen.

Since its inception as an independent publishing house in 2017, Kwago has grown into a non-profit organization that strives to nourish creative labor and critical thinking. True to its mission, Kwago has invited different writers, artists, publishing houses, small book stores, and people’s orgs to sell their products and promote their work at AFK. The fair presents a chance for these creatives to display their works away from the confines of cyberspace.

In addition to merchant booths, there will be a variety of programs and activities across the duration of the event. Kwago will be partnering with SSPACE for a pop-up book bar and café that will be serving literature-inspired drinks. Poets and musicians will be performing their pieces and invited to have open jam sessions. There will also be art workshops, interactive exhibits, and open forum conversations on different aspects of cultural work. Kwago will also be setting up its Bawal Mag-Move On Library, a Martial Law library dedicated to preserving history in the face of historical revisionism.

Studies have shown that we reach for our devices over 2,617 times a day. Over the past pandemic, this has only worsened, as we were faced with no choice but to have our lives revolve around our screen. Zoom fatigue, text neck, cybersickness – all signaling a growing exhaustion at having our everyday shaped by the screen. How can we reclaim our sense of self in the face of this digital takeover?

Event page: Door Fee: 200 PHP - regular | 100 PHP - kids & students (must bring an ID) For more inquiries, please contact: Mara Fabella, +639772835103 /


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