Habila Helon. Photo/Heike Steinweg mail@heikesteinweg.de

Helon Habila is Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin 2024 Curator in Residence

Helon Habila will be the Curator in Residence of the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin 2024 which runs in Germany from September 5 – 18, 2024.

The Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin (English: International Literature Festival Berlin) (ILB) was founded by Ulrich Schreiber who directed it until 2023 when he was replaced by Lavinia Frey. Its broad stylistic and thematic spectrum is unique and brings the entire literary wealth of our time to Berlin, Germany with prose, poetry, nonfiction, graphic novels, and children’s and young adult books.

For 2024, organisers decided to collaborate with a Curator in Residence who would be responsible for events and invitations and would work together with the festival director and the team to develop a guiding theme. This curator was selected by a committee consisting of the Board of the Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kunst und Politik e.V. Barbara Wahlster and Prof. Johannes Kister, Festival Director Lavinia Frey, Litprom-Jury member Timo Berger, author Priya Basil, FILBA Festival Curator in Buenos Aires Victoria Rodriguez Lacrouts, Ake Festival Director Lola Shoneyin, and translator and former Director of International Literature at S. Fischer Verlag Hans Jürgen Balmes.

The curator in residence will be writer Helon Habila who is a Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University in Virginia, USA. He is the author of four novels: Waiting for an Angel (2002), Measuring Time (2007), Oil on Water (2010), and Travellers (2019); the nonfiction book, The Chibok Girls (2016), and edited several anthologies. His work has been shortlisted or won several awards such as the Winham Campbell Prize and his essays, articles, reviews, and short stories have appeared in Granta, VQR, the UK Guardian, The New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, AGNI, Guernica, Transition, Reportagen, among many others.

Festival Director Lavinia Frey said, “Helon Habila is an outstanding writer and connoisseur of international literature. His curiosity, dedication to literature, which he teaches as a Creative Writing professor, and his knowledge of the literary scenes will change the program and the way we work together.”

Habila said on his appointment, “I think the ILB’s decision to appoint a Curator in Residence shows its genuine desire to collaborate with writers regarding the vision and the direction the festival should take. The ILB has always been international, but appointing me, a Nigerian writer, as the first curator in residence shows that the festival is taking a bold step to further burnish its international credentials and to welcome all writers to Berlin on an equal basis. My duty as a curator is to make this vision possible.”

The festival schedule runs as such;

Evening program: Sept 05 – 14, 2024
Young program: Sept 09 – 18, 2024

For more information on the happenings in Berlin, please click here.

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