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«To-gather» Contours Literature

To-gather: litafrika | Artistic Encounters

Artistic Encounters

6 June - 3 September 2023

Venue: Strauhof Zurich

Vernissage 16 June Programme:
12:30pm – 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

See the full programme

In “litafrika: Artistic Encounters” opening on 16 June 2023 at Strauhof Zurich, curator Zukiswa Wanner stages eight scenes from contemporary African literature through encounters with music, performance and visual art. Across national and linguistic borders, the exhibition sheds light on a pan-African generation of writers who are increasingly networked and internationally active.

This is the second edition in the “litafrika” exhibition trilogy (2022-2024) dedicated to the literatures of the African continent by Swiss partners Litar Foundation and Strauhof Zurich together with South African/Kenyan writer, editor, and publisher Zukiswa Wanner. The project aims to be an intercontinental platform for a long-term dialogue with African and European authors, translators and publishers.

In “Artistic Encounters”, Zukiswa responds to the first part of the exhibition series with eight prose texts by contemporary authors. As a continuation of “Poetries of a Continent” (2022), she shifts the emphasis from postcolonial poetry to contemporary novels to foreground the diverse stories of a younger generation of writers and artists.

For “Artistic Encounters”, artistic partnerships have been created that transfer literature into videos and artworks and at the same time deepen the dialogue between language regions through text translations. The exhibition is designed to be shown on the African continent as well.

Zukiswa’s selection includes both well-known names and those she hopes people will be thrilled to discover through the exhibition. “The exhibition comprises some of the most gifted contemporary authors, musicians, actors and visual artists of my generation from English, French and Portuguese-speaking Africa,” she explains. “The countries represented in this exhibition make only 25% of my Africa’s nations but as a pan-Africanist, I choose to disregard the borders and prefer to focus on how our stories, sounds, expressions and art that you will see here resonate across the world’s second largest continent.”


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


With curator Zukiswa Wanner, Virgília Ferrão and Ondjaki
Fri 16.06: 12–8pm

Found in Translation
Edwige-Renée Dro and Sandra Tamele on the difficulties and the pleasures of translation, moderated by Zukiswa Wanner
Online, event in English
Thurs 29.06: 12.15pm

“litafrika” in Brazil
Daniel Martins on the special “litafrika” issue of the online journal “Periferias”
Online, event in English
Tues 11.07: 5pm

Silent Reading Rave
Reading together alone. Take a book(with you) and start reading!
Sun 23.07: 2–4pm

The Art of Reinterpreting Words
Prudence Katomeni and Maïmouna Jallow on their experience with artistic encounters, moderated by Zukiswa Wanner
Online, event in English
Thurs 17.08: 12.15pm

Half-time “litafrika”
Christa Baumberger (Litar) and Rémi Jaccard (Strauhof) on the exhibition trilogy
Thurs 24.08: 12.15pm

Reading Group “Tram 83”
Discussion on Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s novel “Tram 83” (2014)
At the Galerie Litar (Registration via info@litar.ch)
Tues 29.08: 7–9pm

Zurich’s Long Night of Museums
Readings (in German) from Yara Nakahanda Monteiro’s “Essa Dama Bate Bué!” (2018) and Ishmael Beah’s “Radiance of Tomorrow” (2014).
Sat 02.09: 6pm–1am

Upcoming maintenance work

The application portal myprohelvetia will be updated from 1.1.-7.1.2024. Due to these changes, open applications must be finalized and submitted via the current online portal (myprohelvetia.ch) by the latest 23:59 on 31 December 2023. Until this date, the deadlines and criteria outlined in the current guidelines and calls for applications apply. New applications can be created and submitted in the application portal as of 8 January 2024.