Image Afrique Stadtsprachen is a multilingual literature program held as part of the 2017 Image Afrique festival.
Two reading sessions offer a unique voyage of discovery into the world of contemporary African literature, as well as the opportunity to engage with exceptional writers.
The Image Afrique festival advocates for cultural exchange and seeks to convey a contemporary view of Africa. Stadtsprachen is also concerned with cultural diversity - a festival and literature magazine from the Berliner Literarische Aktion e.V. that offers a platform for the multilingual, contemporary literature of Berlin.
Image Afrique brings Stadtsprachen to Basel with the help of Literaturhaus Basel. Six writers with African backgrounds living in the German-speaking world present both well-known and previously unreleased works from their literary canons, read in the original languages. To conclude the event, actors will read the German translations of the texts; some of which have been translated specifically for this performance and will be heard here for the first time in German.
The readings are conducted in Tswana, Yoruba, Kiswahili, Songhai, English, French and German.
The readings are moderated by Acèle Nadale, literary scientist and founder of Afrolivresque, and Martin Jankowski, Berliner Literarische Aktion e.V., writer and editor in chief of Stadtsprachen magazine.
Mohomodou Houssouba, Mali/Switzerland
Mohomodou Houssouba (*1965) is from Gao, northeast Mali. He studied different languages and literatures in Mali and Illinois (USA). He writes his texts in Songhay, French and English, and considers multilingualism as fundamental to living together in harmony and to intercultural dialog. Therefore, he is engaged in working towards documenting and modernizing the Songhay language, particularly through the translation of a diverse body of texts. He has been living and working in Basel since 2001.
Steve Mekoudja, Cameroon/Germany
Steve Mekoudja is an art director, author and blogger. In March 2015, he was awarded the Prix Stéphane Hessel de la jeune écriture francophone at the Salon du Livre de Paris, the biggest book fair in France for his debut novella Tala Ngai, which broached the issue of women's mass rape in the Congo, was awarded. Currently, he studies Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin.
Tala Ngai. Novella. Self-published online, http://stevemekoudja.com/fiction-tala-ngai-prix-stephane-hessel-de-la-jeune-ecriture-francophone-2015/ 2015
Henri Michel Yéré, Ivory Coast/Switzerland
Henri Michel Yéré is an Ivoirian poet born in Abidjan in 1978. He holds a BA degree in history from the University of Cape Town and an MA degree in African Studies from the University of Basel. In 2010 he obtained a PhD degree from the University of Basel with a dissertation on Citizenship, Nationality and History in Côte d’Ivoire, 1929-1999. He is currently Senior Diversity and Inclusion Partner for Novartis Switzerland and a lecturer at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. He published two poetry books in 2015: Mil Neuf Cent Quatre-Vingt-Dix (Panafrika) and La nuit était notre seule arme (L’Harmattan), both of whom won literary accolades. Yéré now lives in Basel with his wife and two sons.
Presentation: Acèle Nadale and Martin Jankowski
Acèle Nadale, Cameroon/Germany
Acèle Nadale was born in Cameroon but emigrated in 1995 to pursue her studies in Computer Science in Germany. Her passion for literature inspired her to found the online literary magazine www.afrolivresque.com. In addition to editing the magazine, she moderates workshops and seminars, as well as advising authors, publishers and literary event organizers in web marketing, among other subjects. She is currently working on the implementation of a training course for the effective use of web tools.
Martin Jankowski, Germany
Martin Jankowski, born in Greifswald, East Germany in 1965, is a Berlin based writer who started his career in the 1980s as a singer-songwriter in Leipzig's oppositional movement. Despite his texts being banned in East Germany, his songs and poems were popular. Since then he has published, among other things, songs, books of poetry, short stories and a novel. His works have been translated into 17 languages and won numerous awards. Since 2017 he has been the project manager of PARATAXE and editor-in-chief of stadtsprachen magazin.
Rabet oder Das Verschwinden einer Himmelsrichtung. Novel. München 1999.
Detik-Detik Indonesia. Poems. zweisprachig. Magelang, 2005.
Seifenblasenmaschine, Berliner Szenen. Novellas. Hamburg 2005.
Der Tag, der Deutschland veränderte. Essays, Leipzig 2007.
Sekundenbuch, gedichte & gesänge. Poems. Leipzig 2012.
saskananas, gedichte & notate. Poems. Leipzig 2015.