In Cooperation: poesiefestival berlin 2012 – The Nile – Africa’s Lifeblood

The Nile is the lifeblood of Africa. It connects vanished civilisations with teeming modern cities of millions of inhabitants, war-ravaged regions with tourist oases. On Mon. 4 June 2012 at the poesiefestival berlin, some of the most exciting poets from the countries along the Nile will be telling the story of the river at Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg. Their poems deal with flight and misery, with rebellion, conflict and protest, but also with beauty and hope. The writers will be talking about the diverse poetic landscape of East Africa, and about the role of poetry in a world shattered by crises, and of course they will also be reading and performing their poems. They include Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi (Sudan), Euphrase Kezilahabi (Tanzania)Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (Kenya)Micere Githae Mugo (Kenya)Fatima Naoot (Egypt) and Hama Tuma (Ethiopia).

“Since the revolution, Ethiopians have stopped smiling,” poet and lawyer Hama Tuma wrote after a woman was convicted for having criminal thoughts, because she was caught smiling. Three Ethiopian governments have expelled him from the country. He continues the fight against the wars in his country with satire and a pointed pen.nMicere Githae Mugo is one of the major voices in Kenya and is known far beyond the country’s borders. She was arrested and expelled from the country in 1982 under the dictatorship of Daniel Arap Moi for her campaigning for human rights. On the role of poetry, she has written, “Writing can be a lifeline, especially when you’re denied your existence, especially when you’re pushed to the margins, especially when they try to crush your life and growth.”nAl-Saddiq Al Raddi sets the rich spirituality and visionary power of his mystical and fantastical verse against the merciless day-to-day life of Sudan with its narrow horizons and cruel poverty. He has initiated a project in which writers from Sudan in the north and writers from English-speaking South Sudan translate each others’ work, a project of huge political relevance in this divided country ravaged by civil war.

The 13th poesiefestival berlin is taking place from 1st – 9th June 2012 in the Academy of Arts, Hanseatenweg 10. More information at 

The poesiefestival berlin is sponsored by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds and takes place in cooperation with the Academy of Arts.

Mon. 4 June 2012, 5 pm
Poetry Discussion: Poetic Floods – Kenya & Tanzania

Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Featuring: Euphrase Kezilahabi (writer, Tanzania), Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (poet, Kenya),
Moderated by: Uljana Wolf (writer, New York and Berlin)

Mon. 4 June 2012, 6.30 pm
And when the war was over..?

Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Discussion with Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi (poet, Sudan), Fatima Naoot (poet, Egypt), Micere Githae Mugo (writer, Keny and USA), Hama Tuma (writer, Ethiopia and France)
Host: Maureen Maisha Eggers (Professor of Childhood and Difference: Diversity Studies, Magdeburg-Stendal University)

Mon. 4 June 2012, 8 pm
Sound Ensemble Nile

Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Reading by: Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi (poet, Sudan), ), Euphrase Kezilahabi (poet, Tanzania), Fatima Naoot (poet, Egypt), Ngwatilo Mawiyoo (poet, Kenya), Micere Githae Mugo (writer, Kenyaa and USA), Hama Tuma (writer, Ethiopia and France)
Moderated by: Laura López CastronPlease note that Micere Githae Mugo will also speak at the AfricAvenir Dialogue Forum on: “Offering Libation to Africana Women Freedom Fighters across his/herstory” on Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 19h, GLS Sprachenzentrum.
Moderation: Prof. Maureen Maisha Eggers (Professor of Childhood and Difference: Diversity Studies, Magdeburg-Stendal University)|+| read more

Enquiries and information:
Boris Nitzsche/Jutta Büchter Press & Publicity,
Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, Tel: 030. 48 52 45 

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