November 2023 — Literature
Christa Baumberger is a Swiss curator, publisher and director of Litar Foundation Zurich. Together with Rémi Jaccard of Strauhof Zurich and in dialogue with partners from various African countries, she conceived and curated the exhibition trilogy “litafrika” (2022-2024) dedicated to literatures from the African continent. Christa will undertake a research trip in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire from 13-27 November 2023 to lay the foundation for longer-term collaboration that will continue the “litafrika” programme focus beyond 2024 between Litar and LOATAD in Accra and 1949 in Abidjan.
The research trip aims to deepen Christa’s relationships with the two directors Sylvia Arthur (LOATAD, Sylvia visited Litar during her 2021 research trip in Switzerland) and Edwige-Renée Dro (1949), and for Christa to immerse herself in the literary life of Accra and Abidjan and establish contacts with the local literary scenes and authors through these institutions. In the sense of “mutual learning”, Christa hopes to gain insight from the two young, but already established literary institutions that pursue similar goals as Litar in Switzerland. The intended outcome of the trip is to develop concrete collaboration projects for the future in the fields of literary translation, exhibitions and archives.
In addition to exploring possibilities for future collaborations, the research trip is also closely linked to the third and final edition of the “litafrika” exhibition trilogy, which will be shown at Strauhof Zurich from June to September 2024. Continuing the previous exhibition’s concept of creating “encounters”, it will foster a sustainable dialogue between authors, intellectuals, mediators and literary institutions based in Abidjan, Accra, Bamako and Luanda. Both LOATAD and 1949books are cooperation partners for the exhibition, and during her time in Accra and Abidjan, Christa will examine existing material and produce new video material for the exhibition.
Dr. Christa Baumberger is a curator, author and editor. She is the co-project leader of the exhibition trilogy “litafrika”, dedicated to the literatures of the African continent, and shown at Strauhof Zurich, Switzerland, from 2022 to 2024. From 2009 to 2018, she was curator of collections and head of publications at the Literary Archives of the Swiss National Library in Bern. She curated various exhibitions: “DADA original”, Swiss National Library 2016; “Friedrich Glauser – Ce n’est pas très beau…”, Strauhof Zurich 2016; “Im Fluss”, Forum Schlossplatz 2020. She is the author and editor of various books on Dada, multilingual literature and authors such as Emmy Hennings, Mariella Mehr and Friedrich Glauser. Since 2018, she has been director of the Litar Foundation for Literature and Translation and founder of Galerie Litar in Zurich, Switzerland, which holds literary exhibitions, events and workshops. She is also a jury member of the Swiss Literature Awards.
Founded by the writer and literary translator Edwige Renée Dro, 1949 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, is the library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world. Its mission is to unearth and amplify the contributions of African and Black women in order to inspire present and future generations.
Sylvia Arthur is the Founder of the Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora (LOATAD) in Accra, Ghana, a library, archive, and museum dedicated to collecting the work of African and Diaspora writers from the late 19th-century to the present day.