Tsitsi Damgarembga is the curator of the next African Book Festival in Berlin. This was announced during a reception at the bookstore InterKontinental on September 25th.
Dangarembga is a novelist, filmmaker, playwright and activist from Zimbabwe. She became known worldwide when she published her debut Nervous Conditions Conditions (Ayebia Clarke Publishing 2004) in 1988 at the age of 25, as the first black woman to ever publish a book in Zimbabwe. As part of an initiative by Kenyan intellectual Ali Mazrui and the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, the novel was chosen by a panel of experts as one of the „100 Best African Books of the 20th Century“ in 2002. It was also included in the list of “100 Stories That Shaped the World” by the BBC earlier this year. Nervous Conditions is the first part of a trilogy followed by The Book of Not (Ayebia Clarke Publishing 2006) and the recently published This Mournable Body (Graywolf Press 2018), which all accompany the protagonist Tambudzai through different stages of her life.
Tsitsi Dangarembga lives in Harare, where she directs her own film production company “Nyeria Films“ as well as the “Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa“ and the “International Images Film Festival for Women“. She studied Medicine and Psychology at the Universities of Cambridge und Harare, but she is no stranger to the German capital. She completed a diploma at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin from 1989 to 1996 and holds a PhD in African Film from the Institute of African Studies at Humboldt University Berlin.
Now, this versatile artist will put her expertise in the fields of African literature and culture to the artistic direction of the African Book Festival Berlin, which takes place 4th-7th April 2019 at Babylon in Berlin Mitte. While this year’s edition of the festival was curated by German-Nigerian writer Olumide Popoola and focused on Nigerian literature under the heading “Writing in Migration“, the coming festival will shift its focus to Zimbabwe and southern Africa under the caption “Transitioning from Migration”.
We are excited and look forward to working with Tsitsi Dangarembga and to the next African Book Festival in Berlin.