“Writing in Migration”

African Book Festival Berlin: We Celebrate African Authors

June 05th, 2018
Berlin Global, News from Berlin
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Berlin’s inaugeral InterKontinental Book Festival celebrates Writing in Migration, the first African literature festival in Berlin.

From April 26th to the 28th, Berlin hosted the big names of African literature from countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, as well as numerous authors from the African diaspora living in England or the United States. Around thirty authors are expected to this event, which is organized by the literary agency Interkontinental. Interkontinental’s goal is to represent African authors to German editors.

The festival was presented by Olumide Popoola, a German-Nigerian author and curator of the exhibition. The festival explored the themes of transnationality and transculturality and was dedicated to migration and the concept of "being in motion". This culminated in three days of fiction, poetry, lectures, and podium discussions that examined the theme of African life.

The guests at the festival explored the following questions: How do you write after forced or voluntary immigration to Europe or the United States? How do African writers deal with the question of identity? Are there obligations to "African traditions" or to an "African identity"?

The Writing in Migration Festival was directed by Karla Kutzner and Stefanie Hirsbrunner, founders of the Interkontinental Literary Agency, with the Artistic director Olumide Popoola (UK/NG/DE). It was supported by the German Federal State Foundation for Culture and Senate Administration for Culture and Europe. The festival brought authors across continents to Berlin, whose books are literary visions and set international trends. Together, with Olumide Popoola, they challenged their audience to read outside the box.

List of the participating writers:

Chris Abani (US/NG), Abdilatif Abdalla (KE), Ayňbámi Adébáyň (NG), Leye Adenle (NG/UK), Lesley Nneka Arimah (UK/NG), Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (NG),  A. Igoni Barrett (NG), Maroula Blades (DE/UK), JJ Bola (DRC/UK), Clementine Ewokolo Burnley (UG/DE), Brian Chikwava (ZW/UK),  Jude Dibia (NG/SE), Bernardine Evaristo (UK), Anita Djafari (DE), Linda Gabriel (ZW), Michael Götting (DE), Helon Habila (US/NG), Jessica Horn (GH), Elnathan John (NG/DE), Sharmaine Lovegrove (UK), Nick Makoha (UG/UK),  Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (UG), Sarah Ladipo Manyika (UK/NG), Niq Mhlongo (ZA), Arlette-Louise Ndakoze (DE),  Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ  (KE), Irenosen Okojie (NG/UK), Chinelo Okparanta (NG/US),  Musa Okwonga (UK/UG), Yewande Omotoso (ZA),  Romeo Oriogun (NG), Yvonne Owuor (KE), Jörg Petzold (DE), Henrietta Rose-Innes (ZA), Minna Salami (NG/FI/SE),  Chika Unigwe (US/NG), Zukiswa Wanner (ZA). 


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