Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

From L-R: Helon Habila, Yewande Omotoso, Olumide Popoola, Chris Abani, Chika Unigwe, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Ayobami Adebayo, Mukuma Wa Ngugi.

Last month, the Nigerian-German novelist Olumide Popoola, author of When We Speak of Nothing, curated a star-studded festival of African writers in Berlin. The event, held from 26–28 April at Kino Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 3010178, Berlin, was themed “Writing in Migration” and was presented by the literary agency InterKontinental. It was sponsored by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Notable names from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, and Ghana were in attendance for what was the first such gathering of African writers in Berlin.

Through talks, readings and roundtable discussions of prose and poetry works, “Writing in Migration” tackled issues of transnationality and transculturality and interrogated that sense of “being on the move.” What does it mean to live and write after a forced or voluntary move to Europe/the USA? How do African writers process constant movement through spaces and identities? Is there a responsibility towards tradition or even an African identity? These were a few of the questions engaged by the festival.

Other subjects included personal experiences and perspectives of writing in or about migration, the renaissance of the short story form, an engagement with new Nigerian gender roles, writing about trauma and myth, the influence of publishers and literature promoters, engaging the colonial legacy via language, and the leading roles of women in contemporary African literature.

Some of the invited African writers.

The Festival venue: Kino Babylon, Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 3010178, Berlin.

In attendance from Nigeria: Chris Abani, Chinelo Okparanta, Bernardine Evaristo, Chika Unigwe, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Helon Habila, Jude Dibia, Ayobami Adebayo, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Leye Adenle, and Elnathan John. From Kenya: Yvonne Owuor and Abdilatif Abdallah. From South Africa: Zukiswa Wanner, Niq Mhlongo, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Pumla Gqola.

From Uganda: Jennifer Makumbi, Clementine Ewokolo Burnley, Nick Makoha, and Musa Okwonga. From DR Congo: JJ Bola. From Zimbabwe: Brian Chikwava and Linda Gabriel. From Ghana: Jessica Horn. From Germany: Maroula Blades.

Enjoy the photos below, courtesy of Olumide Popoola and InterKontinental. Congratulations to them for pulling this off.

Panels and Readings

From L-R: Mukoma wa Ngugi and Elnathan John.

From L-R: Ayobami Adebay and Stefanie Hirs.

From L-R: Olumide Popoola, Yewande Omotoso, Chika Unigwe, and Jude Dibia.

Lesley Nneka Arimah reads from her collection, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky.

 

Camaraderie

From L-R: Musa Okwonga, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Chinelo Okparanta, Clementine Burnley, Linda Gabriel, Henrietta Rose-Innes, John Matip Eichler.

From L-R: Jessica Horn, Jude Dibia, Chris Abani, Abdilatif Abdalla, Olumide Popoola, A. Igoni Barrett.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young, writer and journalist, is Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies and English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Chimurenga’s Broadcast & Book Launch at The New School (NYC) Will Explore African American Participation in & Cultural-Historical Complexity of FESTAC ’77 | 23-25 October

FESTAC '77 - graph

Press release: Chimurenga at The New School, NYC | 23 -25 October 2019 From 23–25 October 2019, Chimurenga will install its Pan […]

Children of Virtue and Vengeance | Read an Excerpt from the Second Novel in Tomi Adeyemi’s Legacy of Orisha Trilogy

tomi adeyemi- children of virtue and vengeance - graph

A few months back, Adeyemi unveiled the cover for Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the second installment in her Legacy […]

Otosirieze Obi-Young Talks Brittle Paper’s Support for Queer Writers in Literary Hub Profile

Otosirieze Obi-Young

Brittle Paper‘s deputy editor Otosirieze Obi-Young was recently profiled on Literary Hub. The October 3 feature is titled “On a […]

Book Review | Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s The Son of the House | Ikhide Ikheloa

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia - The Son of the House - image from Not Your Normal Lady

Triumphant Tales of Many Daughters in Houses of Hurt The smell of last night’s ora soup had clung to the […]

Jude Idada Awarded 2019 NLNG Prize, for Children’s Novel Exploring Sickle Cell Disease

jude idada wins nlng prize

The Nigerian writer and filmmaker Jude Idada has been awarded the 2019 Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Prize for Literature, […]

Bernardine Evaristo: Your Guide to All Eight Books by the Booker Prize Winner

bernardine evaristo by jennie scott - graph

While better known in the African literary scene as the founder of the massively influential Brunel International African Poetry Prize, […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.