All the things we’ve learnt from colonial times and the colonial experience need to be expressed differently. If we continue to write only in colonial languages, it almost fossilises our own languages. They stay put and don’t move on. So, that’s also one of the aims of the festival – to bring this discussion to the table. First of all, I want to emphasize that I consider this literature series a necessity. It is not just an event for a small group of people who have a weakness for literature from the African continent. It‘s really about getting African voices heard. And getting our voices heard is absolutely necessary if we want to save our cultures going into the next century.
More than 33 contributors - authors, translators, academics and creative artists – from 19 countries in Africa and the African Diaspora will present their work and participate in readings, performances, workshops and discussions for four days in the heart of Cologne at Neumarkt. They will discuss topics such as multilingualism and literary & cultural translation with the audience, providing them with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the art of African poetry and storytelling. Among others, the festival hosts the Nigerian publisher and guest curator Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, as well as Boubacar Boris Diop (Senegal), Susan Kiguli (Uganda), Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Kenya), Zukiswa Wanner (Zambia), Ebisse Rouw (Ethiopia), Sarah Ladipo Manyika (Nigeria) and many more. Discover the world of African mother tongues, the art of translation and the beauty of the literary voices of Africa.