Earlier today, we shared the news of Binyavanga Wainaina being beaten up by a taxi driver in Berlin [read here if you missed it].

Binyavanga, who was in Berlin as a DAAD artist-in-residence, was assaulted right outside his apartment with his neighbors looking on without attempting to defend him in anyway. News of the incident sparked outrage in various literary communities.

DAAD has just released a statement condemning the incident. DAAD is an academic exchange organization based in Berlin. It isn’t clear what Binyavanga thinks of their statement. He shared the statement on Facebook with the noncommittal tag “DAAD comments.”

We appreciate DAAD being all apologetic, but, to be honest, that means little in the face of this kind of violence. The question on everyone’s mind is: can the taxi driver be fished out and prosecuted?

Read the full statement here.
Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 12.08.31 PM“The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program has noted with deep consternation, that its current guest, Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, has been beaten by a taxi driver in Berlin. We strongly condemn this assault and feel ashamed that such a violent act could occur in our country. The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program stands for a culture of welcoming, for tolerance, international artistic dialogue and the absence of difference. We are all strangers encountering different cultures and bringing these together. This is the only way that a true dialogue can take place. The DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program is in close contact with Binyavanga Wainaina and stands in this situation firmly by his side.”


I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “DAAD Condemns Attack on Binyavanga | “We feel ashamed that such a violent act could occur in our country”” Subscribe

  1. Adefemi Adejola 2016/06/03 at 11:21 am #

    This comment and apology from DAAD is a step in the right direction. Beyond words however, DAAD should explore all possibilities in its power to redress the violent assault and ensure that justice is served. The taxi driver should be duly punished. This will not only serve as a deterrent to others with similar racist inclinations, prosecuting the abusive taxi driver will also be an authoritative statement of the German government current stance on racism. This is Year 2016!

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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