Litafrika: Artistic Encounters II exhibition for Zurich

Litafrika: Artistic Encounters II exhibition for Zurich

The Litafrika: Artistic Encounters II, curated by Zukiswa Wanner, will be hosted in Zurich, Switzerland from June 16 – September 3, 2023.

“Litafrika” is an open archive literary exhibition project in three parts (2022-2024) organised by Swiss partners Litar Foundation and Strauhof Zurich. It revolves around the central questions: “How do we read and narrate ‘Africa’ – a continent and its cultural diversity?” The exhibition trilogy follows a participatory process, where each edition will incorporate the themes and results from the previous edition to set a new focus. The project aims to be an intercontinental platform for a long-term dialogue with African and European authors, translators and publishers.

The first exhibition, “Poetry of a Continent” from 3 June – 4 September 2022, was curated by Christa Baumberger and Rémi Jaccard, in dialogue with partners from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and other countries. It set out to contextualise the European perspective on African literatures. The starting point was the monumental anthology Afrika im Gedicht (Zurich 2015) edited by Al Imfeld (1935–2017). The book covers the period from 1960 to 2014 and contains more than 550 poems from all parts of the African continent. Imfeld had a lasting influence on the promotion of African literatures in Switzerland over decades. His articles and appearances introduced countless writers from Africa to German-speaking readers and he helped set up a range of funding institutions. Although the anthology grew from a Eurocentric starting point, it was largely the writers themselves who selected the poems included.

The second exhibition “Soundscape Africa” in summer 2023 presenting current developments and tendencies curated by Zukiswa Wanner, kicks off on Saturday, June 16. Dubbed “Artistic Encounters” it aims to be an intercontinental platform for a long-term dialogue with African and European authors, translators and publishers. Wanner responds to the first part of the exhibition series with eight prose texts by contemporary authors. She shifts the emphasis from postcolonial poetry to contemporary novels to foreground the diverse stories of a younger generation of writers and artists. The featured artists are;

  • Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone): Radiance of Tomorrow (2014) x          Shafik Manzi (Rwanda): visual artist
  • Virgília Ferrão (Mozambique): Os Nossos Feitiços (2022) x          Jussara Camblé (São Tomé and Príncipe): actress
  • Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria): Season of Crimson Blossoms (2015) x          Maïmouna Jallow (Gambia): actress
  • Angela Makholwa (South Africa): Critical But, Stable (2020) x          Michael Soi (Kenya): visual artist
  • Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Uganda): The First Woman (2020) x          Ntombephi Ntobela (South Africa): visual artist
  • Yara Nakahanda Monteiro (Angola): Essa Dama Bate Bue (2018) x          Zubz the Last Letter (Zambia): musician
  • Fiston Mwanza Mujila (DR Congo): Tram 83 (2014) x          Prudence Katomeni (Zimbabwe): musician
  • Ondjaki (Angola): Os Transparentes (2012) x          Sereetsi & The Natives (Botswana): musician

The exhibition launches on Saturday in Zurich with the following program;

Artistic Encounters

16 June – 3 September 2023

Venue: Strauhof Zurich

Vernissage 16 June Programme:

12:30 pm – Welcome and guided tour by Zukiswa Wanner

5–6 pm – Welcome by Zukiswa Wanner (curator), Christa Baumberger (Litar) and Rémi Jaccard (Strauhof). Talk with the authors Virgília Ferrão (Mozambique) and Ondjaki (Angola, joining online), moderated by Zukiswa Wanner

6.30 pm – Guided tour by Zukiswa Wanner

For the full program please click here.


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