How do we write about Africa today, about a continent and its diversity? Which images and stereotypes, which colonial and national ideologies define literature about Africa and are shaped, disseminated, or deconstructed by it in turn? The first event of the virtual series ›Narrating Africa #StepTwo‹ will begin on 7 May at 18:30 (CET) with words of welcome by Petra Olschowski (State Secretary of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research, and Art), Nelson Mlambo (Senior Lecturer at the University of Namibia), Annette Bühler-Dietrich (Professor of Modern German Literature and Drama at the University of Stuttgart), and Sandra Richter (Director of the German Literature Archive Marbach). Our first panel guests are Penda Diouf, Rémy Ngamije, and Sylvia Schlettwein, who will discuss ›Diversity in Namibian Literature‹
In her autobiographically inspired monodrama Pistes (2021) Franco-Senegalese dramatist Penda Diouf draws connections between the discrimination she herself experienced while growing up in France and the history of violence in the former German colony German South West Africa. Diouf works with numerous French theatres and her plays Pistes and La Grande Ourse (2019) have been translated into German.
In his first novel The Eternal Audience Of One (2019, 2021), Rwanda-born Namibian writer and photographer Rémy Ngamije explores questions of migration and the search for belonging and home. The novel is set in Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa and belongs to a tradition of pan-African and transnational literature. Ngamije was nominated for the prestigious AKO Caine Prize for African Writing 2020 as well as the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He is the chief editor of Doek!, Namibia’s first online literary journal.
Writer, translator, and teacher Sylvia Schlettwein has lived in Namibia’s capital Windhoek since 2003. Previously, Namibian-born Schlettwein lived in South Africa, France, and Germany. She writes poems and short stories in German, English, and Afrikaans. In 2010 she received the Highly Commended Award in the Commonwealth Short Story Prize competition and in 2013 she was nominated for the AKO Caine Prize for African Fiction. Together with Erika von Wietersheim she is the editor of Hauptsache Windhoek, a collection of short stories published in 2013.
Sulaiman Addonia, Oladipo Agboluaje, Penda Diouf, Nuruddin Farah, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Ildevert Méda, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Rémy Ngamije,Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Sylvia Schlettwein, Sami Tchak, Uwe Timm, and others will discuss the following questions: writing without referencing that which has gone before and without positioning oneself in relation to the outside world is impossible – how do we narrate ›Africa‹ today? Which stories, narratives, and myths do we feel connected to? In what ways do African authors in the twenty-first century draw on – African and European, written and oral – traditions and incorporate them into their works? Which modes of narration influence texts?
The first step of the open-space exhibition ›Narrating Africa‹ (on display at the Museum of Modern Literature until 19 September 2021) focused on German-language canonical texts as well as library and archive material; at the centre of the second step are texts written by African writers. Originally planned to take place in June 2020, the ongoing pandemic required different solutions and so StepTwo has been partly realised virtually (https://www.literatursehen.com/projekt/narrating-africa/). In 2021, we will continue StepTwo with a virtual event series (7 May–18 June).
In co-operation with the University of Namibia and Annette Bühler-Dietrich (University of Stuttgart). The open-space room was developed together with the Uli Cluss class (State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart) and designed by Abdelhamid Ameur and Sonja Schwarz.
The virtual series opening begins on Friday, 7 May at 19:00 (CET):
Meeting-ID: 926 7782 3337
Oder telefonische Einwahl nach aktuellem Standort:
+49 69 7104 9922 Deutschland
+49 30 5679 5800 Deutschland
+49 69 3807 9883 Deutschland
Meeting-ID: 926 7782 3337
Ortseinwahl suchen: https://zoom.us/u/abmGCIIG51
Guided tour: Stefanie Hundehege (German Literature Archive Marbach) will give a virtual tour of the open-space project (18:00–18:45). All are welcome to join (see link above).
Please note that the event on 7 May will take place in English.
Sponsored by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research, and Art.
Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach
Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Telephone +49 (0) 7144 / 848-601
Telefax +49 (0) 7144 / 848-690
(Monday to Friday)