Artistic Encounters and Strauhof Zurich

Strauhof and the Litar Foundation are dedicating the exhibition trilogy “litafrika” (2022–2024) to literatures from the African continent. The first exhibition “Poetries of a Continent”, based on the anthology “Afrika im Gedicht” (Zurich 2015) by the Swiss literary mediator Al Imfeld, stages a selection of exemplary poems in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic from postcolonial classics to the current slam and spoken word scene.

The second exhibition came about after I visited “Poetries of a Continent” and wrote “Artistic Encounters” which features eight scenes from contemporary African literatures. In it I stage encounters between current novels and performance, music or visual art. Across national and linguistic borders, the exhibition sheds light on a generation of writers who are well connected and internationally active. As a continuation of “Poetries of a Continent” (2022), I put the emphasis on novels instead of poems, focal points instead of abundance – and above all on the diverse stories of younger authors instead of the postcolonial classics: what topics do contemporary literary figures deal with today? How do artists stage the selected passages?

The selected artists and texts are;

  • Ishmael Beah (Sierra Leone): Radiance of Tomorrow (2014) x         
    Shaffik Manzi (Rwanda): visual artist
  • Virgília Ferrão (b. 1986, Mozambique): Os Nossos Feitiços (2022) x         
    Jussara Camble (São Tomé and Príncipe): actress
  • Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria): Season of Crimson Blossoms (2015) x         
    Zikhona Sodlaka (South Africa): actress
  • Angela Makholwa (South Africa): Critical But Stable (2021) 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         
    Seeretse (Botswana): musician

The exhibition can be viewed in Zurich from June 16 until September 03, 2023. Please click here for more information.

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