Have a look at the Festival’s line-up here. Tickets for all events are available via our webshop.

Freed Admission to Tête-à-Tête – Interviews with 21 festival authors. Please find the timetable here.


THURSDAY, 26 APRIL 2018
Roundtable Discussion “Writing in Migration” – Leading African writers discuss personal experiences and perspectives of writing in or about migration.

Thursday 26.04.2018
16:00-18:00
Kino 1
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

 

TICKETS

Guests:
Chika Unigwe

Jude Dibia
Yewande Omotoso
Moderation: Olumide Popoola

Although migration is certainly the buzzword of our current European time, being on the move, being in movement is as old a metaphor for our lives as life itself. How do writers negotiate the changes that come with displacement, forced or chosen? What do they leave behind, how does their voice change? What does it mean when things are in the “wrong” place, in the “wrong” language? Do we disappear when language is no longer at our disposal and we have to learn to speak (again)?
Acclaimed author and curator of the festival Olumide Popoola invites three award-winning writers for a round table discussion to talk about personal experiences and new perspectives on migration through literature.

Gefördert durch Engagement Global mit freundlicher Unterstützung des


Opening Ceremony
Dinner is served! Opening of the Buffet: The literary meaning of the salmon roll

Thursday 26.04.2018
19:00-20:30
Kino 1
Admission: € 5,- 

TICKETS

mit:
Olumide Popoola
Chris Abani

Moderation:
Jana Pareigis

Opening of the buffet with:

Jerry Hoffmann, Marcus Peter Tesch, Thorbjørn Uldam, Cristiana Burcea

Afterwards Wine&Books* in the Foyer

 Foto: Marcus Höhn  Foto: Laurent Codaccioni

Foto: Ute Langkafel

Writing in Migration is the first African literature festival in Berlin. For three days, curator Olumide Popoola and the literary agency InterKontinental bring leading African authors to Berlin. On 26th of April the festival will celebrate its official opening. Be part of it, when headliner Chris Abani, award-winning author and poet, speaks about creativity and resistance. Learn which books are written by the most visionary of the continent and set trends internationally. Writing in Migration is inspiration, entertainment and intellectual exchange. The festival offers all book lovers three exciting days of readings, discussions, lectures as well as concerts, poetry and theatre performances.
On the occasion of the opening of the first African Book Festival Berlin Jerry Hoffmann will open the buffet and present the traditional delicacy salmon roll, which must not be missing on any well-equipped German buffet table and which has been the perfect accessory for evening dress and stimulated-shallow party smalltalk since the late ’50s. For a long time, however, the salmon roll has been relegated to hunger-seeking casualness – its towering, pre-eminently and identity-defining significance for German literature and the German reality of life was completely misunderstood, even devalued as a triviality. To counteract the creeping process of flooding German buffet tables with exotic specialties such as hummus-paprika canapés or peanut chicken slices, the good reputation of the salmon roll is to be solemnly rehabilitated this evening. The cultural value of salmon rolls is unchallenged.
The salmon roll remains without alternative!


FRIDAY, 27 APRIL 2018
A Compact Vision – Renaissance of the Short Story?
©Emily Baxter

Friday 27.04.2018
14:00-15:30
Kino 1
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Guests:
Lesley Nneka Arimah

Igoni Barrett
Henrietta Rose-Innes
Moderation: Jörg Petzold (Flux FM)

*The event will be translated into English-German.

Lately, there is a renaissance of the short story that is propelling the genre into a new limelight internationally, putting the novel (in the true sense of the word) into the shorter form. Short stories are full of surprises and long-lingering impact that can sweep readers of their feet. They are snapshots that resonate deeply because they penetrate all by showing so little. Three leading writers discuss their work and why they think short stories are the compact vision with a big impact.


Always on the Move – African Identity and African Writing? Identität & afrikanisches Schreiben?

Friday 27.04.2018
15:30-17:00
Kino 1
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Guests:
Leye Adenle
Clementine Burnley
Romeo Oriogun
Moderation: Sarah Ladipo Manyika

*The event will be translated into English-German.

Long gone are the ideas of fixed traditions. Or are’nt they? How do writers approach the constant flux of place, and identity? Are we still bound by tradition or being truthful to notions of an “African Identity”? How are our identities shaped and shaping a new literary vision? Are unheard voices entering the conversation as disruptive or welcome additions?


Beyond „We Should All Be Feminists“: New Nigerian Gender Roles in the Making?
© Ayotola

Friday 27.04.2018
17.00-19.00 
Kino 1
Admission free (Registration here)

Guests:

Ayòbámi Adébáyò
Olumide Popoola
Elnathan John
Moderation: Michaela Maria Müller

*The event will be translated into English-German.

The self-confident commitment to feminism of writers has contributed positively to the perception of Nigeria abroad. But how are gender roles in Nigerian society defined between religious influences, traditional and cosmopolitan values, and booming megacities? We want to discuss these questions with three Nigerian authors and also shed light on how literature influences and can take on social debates.

In partnership with:


Between Myth and Trauma – How to write about the unspeakable?

Friday 27.04.2018
19:00-20:30
Kino 2
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Guests:
Brian Chikwava
Chinelo Okparanta
Michael Goetting
Ayobami Adebayo
Moderation: Arlette-Louise Ndakoze

© Ayotola

Four leading writers deal with issues of trauma as well as playing with perceptions, myths, fables and those things that are there, yet not entirely graspable. What is the function of the mythical place, the unexplainable? And how does it relate to how we experience and deal with trauma? How does one write the difficult, the unsee-able?


Poetry & Spoken Word

Freitag 27.04.2018
21:00-22:30

Kino 2
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Performing Artists:
Linda Gabriel

Musa Okwonga
Nick Makoha
Moderation/Host: Maroula Blades

Poets are the chroniclers of our times, sometimes lamenting, sometimes praising but always reaching across with voices that are entertaining, joyful and sad at times. Join us for an evening of poetry and spoken word with four outstanding stars of poetry from Africa.


SATURDAY, 28 APRIL 2018
Curating the Conversation. Influencing the Agenda. How do publishers and promoters of literature open the Gates?

Saturday, 28.04.2018
11:00-12:30
Kino 2
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Guests:
Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (Cassava Republic Press)
Anita Djafari (Litprom)
Zukiswa Wanner (Autorin)
Moderation: Sharmaine Lovegrove

It is an exciting time for literature from Africa. The voices, and the call for them, have never been more diverse, more daring. Smaller presses and literary initiatives are pushing the agenda, carving out a space for new writing that breaks with fixed ideas of what African writing can or should be. Are African publishers, editors, curators and promoters of literature looking towards Europe or the US, or are they establishing an unapologetic and independent African writing market? What’s the reaction of the German market? How do they bridge the gap between writing on the continent and the diaspora? And what are the visions for the future?


The language question – Writing outside a colonial legacy?

Saturday, 28.04.2018
12:30-14:00
Kino 2
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Guests:
JJ Bola

Helon Habila
Bernardine Evaristo
Moderation: Abdilatif Abdalla

In 1986, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o raised the question how to escape the grip of colonialism if the African writer is using the language of the coloniser. A hot topic that bears no universal truth as there is no essential “African Identity”. But how do writers approach the language question now, in 2018? Three acclaimed authors discuss how to use and form language, in the end to write against and outside of a colonial legacy.


Decolonizing the Mind

Saturday, 28.04.2018
14:00-15:30
Kino 1
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Guests:
Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ
Minna Salami
Moderation: Andreas Bohne
(Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Afrikareferat)

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is one of the most important writers of Africa. In his essay collection, Decolonising the Mind (Heinemann Educ Books) from 1986 he analyses the consequences European colonialism, the suppression of local languages and the destruction of culture, have on the “African mind”. How do European languages, the European gaze, still influence history and self-awareness of many Africans today? How relevant is Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o´s call for a liberation from colonial and power structures through the use of „African language”?
These questions are addressed by Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ, writer and author of a foreword to the recently published German issue of Decolonising the Mind (Unrast, 2017) and Minna Salami, feminist author and owner of the blog MsAfropolitan. Moderation: Andreas Bohne (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation).

In cooperation with


The F-Word. Women shaping the literary space.
© Courtesy of Bobby Pall for Footprints Press Ltd Saturday, 28.04.2018
15:30-17:00

Kino 1
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)
TICKETS

Guests:
Yvonne Owuor
Jessica Horn
Chika Unigwe
Irenosen Okojie
Moderation: Zukiswa Wanner

Not least since Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie popularised being a feminist – and urging us all to be one – is the f word hotly debated and contested amongst African literati and book lovers. Some claim it is not relevant to the African woman, a Western import. Is there a current common African feminist perspective? How is it mirrored in literary works? How do women writers themselves carry the joys or burden of feminism in to their writing and living? Four leading and award-winning female writers from Africa. discuss those questions.


The Past is Present

Saturday, 28.04.2018
17:00-18:30
Kino 2
Admission: € 8,- (red. € 6,-)

TICKETS

Guests:
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Niq Mhlongo
Chris Abani
Moderation: Elnathan John

When writing stories set in historical times writers are faced with many questions, even obstacles. History itself is not as factual as it is made to be, as universal as we are often made out to believe. What is known, or what emerges from times past depends on what questions are asked, where and how we look for answers. How do writers deal with historical times in their work? And why? Is it to give voice to historical figures, unearthing forgotten or silenced stories? Or to show what has been, imagining the past to understand the present? What strategies are there for envisioning times that have long gone and remain ‘truthful’?


You Think You Know Me – A Play

Saturday, 28.04.2018
18:30-19:30
Kino 1
Admission: 1
0,- €

TICKETS

 

 

 

 

Written and performed by Linda Gabriel
Directed by Zaza Muchemwa

You Think You Know Me, is a gripping one woman play that revolves around the life of one sex worker called Netsy. Through narratives of her life the audience is allowed into many avenues of other sex workers and men who have been in Netsy’s company. Penned and performed by Linda Gabriel the play interrogates controversial themes of transactional sex, religion and other related issues that include Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, Child Labour, Forced Child Marriages, Rape, Corruption, Livelihood, Unemployment, Migration, Discrimination. [/clickandtweet]The play is an adaptation from Linda Gabriel’s poem, ‘Sins of our Mothers’ in which a child chronicles what the mother had to endure for the betterment of the child’s life. This time it is no longer the voice of the child but that of the mother asking the world, ‘You Think You Know Me?`

How much do we know about sex work besides judging it on moral grounds? Women in the Avenues, streets or at organized lodges and some flats, do they engage in it for personal fulfillment or to fend for a whole chain of beneficiaries? “To engage in transactional sex is like going to war. They will be sacrificing for something to happen.” The play leaves you asking yourself whether you know sex workers fully or you are obsessed by the stereotypes you grew up with about transactional sex work.

Linda Gabriel is one of the most exciting performance poets to emerge out of Zimbabwe and one of the few female members of the House of Hunger Poetry Slam in Harare und Johannesburg. A University Of Witwatersrand Johannesburg graduate the 30-year-old powerful orator has been hooked on performance poetry since high school and has since participated in major literary events in Zimbabwe, the rest of southern Africa and Europe. Mostly her work celebrates womanhood and its challenges. Belonging to the so-called born free generation, she uses the stage to tell untold stories and address taboo matters, which reflect a society facing political repression and economic crisis.

 


Closing Ceremony & Conzert 

Saturday, 28. April 2018
20.00-21.30
Kino 1
Admission: 1
0,- €

TICKETS

BBXO (Brixtonboogie x Okwonga) is Musa Okwonga and Krisz Kreuzer combining their unique styles in music and poetry. Brixtonboogie’s instrumentals are a diverse blend of blues, soul and electronica and the perfect foil for the rapped, sung and spoken lyrics of Okwonga. Having crafted a bass-heavy and accessible sound that is urgent, passionate and powerful. BBXO´s songs explore urban socio-political issues of struggle, love and friendship in a distinctive way. Their tunes which travel from soul to dancehall, from blues to grime to pop are suitable for the whole range of moods; the late-afternoon euphoria of a midsummer festival, the quiet evening at home, the lonely but hopeful train journey towards a new adventure.