Portrait

Litar – a place for literature and its promotion. Zurich’s Galerie Litar hosts regular exhibitions and events on literary topics. We also produce publications and projects in the fields of literature, translation and the media.

Litar aims to spark ideas, discover new things and start conversations about rarely raised subjects. To do so, we work with programmes that run for several years and encompass a range of formats. We run our projects ourselves or in collaboration with other institutions.

The Litar Foundation is a non-profit organization; it does not accept funding applications.

 

Newsletter

Thank you for your interest in Litar. Our newsletter is published in German and informs readers about our current projects and upcoming events. It is sent out four to six times a year and can be cancelled at any time.

Sign up for our newsletter (in German)



Programmes

Litar works on thematic projects that run over several years. Our objective is to explore literary content off the beaten track. In a fast-moving world, Litar takes the time for an in-depth examination of a subject, allowing it to develop on a regional, national and international basis and take effect far beyond the scope of the original programme. 

litafrika
Exhibition Trilogy 2022–2024
Litar | Strauhof Zurich

Litar and Strauhof Zurich are dedicating the exhibition trilogy “litafrika” (2022–2024) to the literatures of the African continent. A step-by-step approach to ‘Africa’ from a diverse range of perspectives and in close dialogue with partners from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and other countries.

Poetries of a Continent
Strauhof Zurich, 03/06–04/09/2022

The starting point for the first exhibition is the monumental anthology “Afrika im Gedicht” (Zurich 2015). Edited by Al Imfeld, the book covers the period from 1960 to 2014 and contains more than 550 poems from all parts of the African continent.

“Poetries of a Continent” showcases a sample of poems in their original languages and German translation. The selection spans a wide variety from post-colonial classics to the contemporary slam and spoken-word scenes. The poets themselves also take the stage, giving insights into their work and rendering Africa’s literary and linguistic diversity visible. The exhibition also addresses the promotion and reception of these poetries in the German-speaking world and the ambivalence of the Swiss perspective.

Al Imfeld (1935–2017), the poetry collection’s editor, had a lasting influence on the promotion of African literatures in Switzerland over decades. His articles and appearances introduced countless writers from Africa to German-speaking readers and he helped set up a range of funding institutions. Although the anthology grew from a Eurocentric starting point, it was largely the writers themselves who selected the poems included.
 

Strauhof Zurich
Augustinergasse 9, 8001 Zurich
Fri 3 June to Sun 4 September 2022

Curation: Christa Baumberger and Rémi Jaccard
Curatorial assistance: Nicole Schmid
Design: Rahel Arnold
Assisted by: Léa Gbeassor, Philip Sippel and Käthe Wünsch
External consultants: Zineb Benkhelifa, Chudi Bürgi, Ana Sobral, Zukiswa Wanner

In cooperation with Strauhof Zurich
Supported by Pro Helvetia, Ernst Göhner Foundation

The second exhibition in 2023 will be curated by Zukiswa Wanner (South Africa/Kenya).

Download: PDF Flyer (in German)
 

Exhibition “litafrika – Poetries of a Continent” 2022, photos: Zeljko Gataric | Design and photo “Afrika im Gedicht”: Rahel Arnold


litafrika 2022–2024

The exhibition trilogy “litafrika” addresses the literatures of the African continent from a range of perspectives. It is conceived and created by the Litar Foundation and Strauhof Zurich, in conjunction with partners from several African countries. Following a participative process, each part takes the outcome of the previous exhibition as its launching point for a new focus. The second exhibition in summer 2023 will be curated by Zukiswa Wanner (South Africa/Kenya) and presents current developments and tendencies. The third exhibition in 2024 will be developed jointly in the course of the project.


Pro Helvetia “To-gather” 2022–2024

The Swiss arts council Pro Helvetia will be supporting “litafrika” for its entire length as part of its ”To-gather” programme. This funding structure enables new intercontinental collaborations and the establishment of long-term networks. The objective is to make dialogues between cultures more equitable and sustainable, and to try out new forms of collaboration.


Al Imfeld Article Collection

The collection of articles by the Swiss theologian and Africa journalist Al Imfeld contains newspaper articles on the literatures of the entire African continent from 1960 to 2014. The collection can be viewed at Litar by prior appointment. Al Imfeld article collection: Inventory
Contact: info@litar.ch

 

Erased from Swiss history: in the diary (from 1827) of Louis Wyrsch, a Swiss military commander serving in the Dutch colonial army in Borneo, the entries about his local ‘housekeeper’ Ibu Silla were excised. | Digital copy: Bernhard C. Schär, rights: Staatsarchiv Nidwalden

Stimmlos
Literature and (In-)Justice

Which voices do we hear and who is denied a voice? Litar provides a platform for writers who were heard too rarely, for a wide range of reasons. Some were institutionalized or even declared incapable of speaking for themselves. Others withdrew and eventually fell silent. What remains is written traces, stories and novels, documents of their lives and sometimes also visual works. The “Stimmlos” (“Unvoiced”) programme acts as an amplifier, following these quiet voices, providing a space for the unheard and presenting stories that have not yet been written.

An installation at Galerie Litar allows visitors to experience the theme of “Unvoiced” with all their senses. Changing exhibitions are shown in a walk-in cell. Voices sound out, combined with images, photography and film. The cell’s confining walls invite visitors to cross mental boundaries.
 

Exhibitions to date:

Adelheid Duvanels Himmel
Galerie Litar, 30 October to 11 December 2021
More (in German)…

Friedrich Glausers Zelle
Galerie Litar, 28 May to 10 July 2021
More (in German)…

Damian Le Bas, Crisis Time / Refugee Could Be You Could Be Me, 2016 | Photo: Kai Dikhas, Diego Castellano Cano

Weltenweit 
Yenish, Sinti and Roma Literatures

Under the title “Weltenweit” (“Worlds Wide”), Litar has focused since 2019 on Yenish, Sinti and Roma literatures and cultures. Switzerland has recognized the Yenish and Sinti as national minorities since 2016. The Roma are still fighting for official recognition in the country, however. The cultures of these minorities are rich and diverse – and yet barely known. Litar organized the “Weltenweit” Festival at Kosmos Zurich (5 and 6 April 2019) to change that. For the first time in Switzerland, Yenish, Sinti and Roma culture formed the focus of a festival. Since then, Litar has held readings, workshops, teaching events and panels in various places in Switzerland and Austria, on our own or in cooperation with institutions such as RomArchive, Initiative Minderheiten Tirol and Radgenossenschaft.
 

Agenda

Unless otherwise specified, events are listed in the language or the languages in which they will be held.

Fri 3 June – Sun 4 September 2022
litafrika: Poetries of a Continent
Exhibition
Strauhof Zurich

Litar and Strauhof Zurich are dedicating the exhibition trilogy “litafrika” (2022–2024) to the literatures of the African continent. A step-by-step approach to ‘Africa’ from a diverse range of perspectives and in close dialogue with partners from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and other countries.

More…

Mi 17. August 2022 | 12.15 Uhr
litafrika – Poesien eines Kontinents
Führung mit Rémi Jaccard, Co-Kurator
Strauhof Zürich

Der Co-Kurator Rémi Jaccard führt durch die Ausstellung «Poesien eines Kontinents». Ein Rundgang durch Gedichtwelten, die bis heute (zu) wenig bekannt sind. 

Mehr…

Tue 23 August 2022 | 12.15 pm
litafrika – Poetries of a Continent
30 Minutes with Sylvia Arthur
Strauhof Zurich

A conversation with the initiator and director of “Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora” in Ghana. In English.

More…

So 28. August 2022 | 14.00 Uhr
litafrika – Poesien eines Kontinents
Führung mit Christa Baumberger, Co-Kuratorin
Strauhof Zürich

Die Co-Kuratorin Christa Baumberger führt durch die Ausstellung «Poesien eines Kontinents». Ein Rundgang durch Gedichtwelten, die bis heute (zu) wenig bekannt sind.

Mehr…

Di 30. August 2022 | 19.00–21.00 Uhr
Lesekreis Litar und Viceversa | Kreis #03
«Vom Nachexil»
Litar

Thema des dritten Lesekreises ist Georges-Arthur Goldschmidts autobiografischer Essay «Vom Nachexil» (2020).

Mehr…

Sa 3. September 2022 | 18.00–01.00 Uhr
litafrika – Poesien eines Kontinents
Lange Nacht der Zürcher Museen
Strauhof Zürich

Poesie-Performances mit Ouelgo Téné und Vivianne Mösli; Kurzführungen in der Ausstellung.

Mehr…

Di 13. September 2022
Preisverleihung 
Kulturpreis des Kantons Zürich an Hannes Binder
Literaturhaus Zürich

Der Zürcher Illustrator wird für sein künstlerisches Lebenswerk mit dem Kulturpreis 2022 ausgezeichnet. Herzliche Gratulation!

Hannes Binders Glauser-Zeichnungen waren von Mai bis Juli 2021 in der Galerie Litar zu sehen.

Mehr...

So 18. September 2022 | 14.30–15.30 Uhr
Literarischer Herbst Gstaad 
Femmage Adelheid Duvanel
Gstaad

Der Schlusspunkt des Festivals im Berner Oberland mit Friederike Kretzen und Christa Baumberger.

Mehr...

Di 8. November 2022 | 19.00–21.00 Uhr
Lesekreis Litar und Viceversa | Kreis #04
«Geschichte eines Lebens» 
Litar

Am vierten und für 2022 letzten Lesekreis sprechen wir über Aharon Appelfelds «Geschichte eines Lebens» (2005).

Mehr…

Information on past events is available here.

Galerie Litar

Galerie Litar stages exhibitions and holds events and workshops.

The next exhibition will open in autumn 2022. In the meantime, why not visit our exhibition at Strauhof Zurich: “litafrika – Poetries of a Continent”, 3 June to 4 September 2022.

Galerie Litar 2021, photo: Zeljko Gataric

Previous exhibitions

Adelheid Duvanels Himmel
30 October to 11 December 2021

More (in German)... 

Friedrich Glausers Zelle
28 May to 10 July 2021

More (in German)... 

Contact

 

The Litar Foundation is based at Letzistrasse 23, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland. We host regular exhibitions and events.

 How to get to Litar: 
- Tram 10 from Zurich central station to Letzistrasse (10 mins)
- Tram 10 from Zurich airport to Letzistrasse (20 mins)
- Tram 9 from Bellevueplatz to Letzistrasse (10 mins)

 

Litar © Zeljko Gataric

Litar

Letzistrasse 23, CH-8006 Zurich
Tel. +41 44 291 99 00
info@litar.ch
www.litar.ch

Newsletter

Thank you for your interest in Litar. Our newsletter is published in German and informs readers about our current projects and upcoming events. It is sent out four to six times a year and can be cancelled at any time.

 

Sign up for our newsletter (in German)



Team

Christa Baumberger
Management

Dr Christa Baumberger is responsible for the programme and manages the gallery. A literary scholar, cultural journalist and curator, she has wide experience of managing cultural projects. She has been a curator at the Aargauer Kuratorium (head curator literature; also theatre & dance) since 2017, and a trustee at the Christoph Geiser Foundation since 2021. In autumn 2021 she was a guest lecturer at the University of Basel.

Melissa Caflisch
Coordination and communication

Melissa Caflisch is responsible for Litar’s coordination and communication. After gaining a degree in Japanese studies, she worked in publicity for several cultural institutions, for instance the CULTURESCAPES festival and most recently Festspiele Zurich. Alongside Litar, she also works for the Ethnographic Museum at the University of Zurich.

Nicole Schmid
Assistance

Nicole Schmid is the assistant to the “litafrika” project and for Litar’s general operations. Alongside Litar, she works in the voCHabular initiative and at Schauspielhaus Zurich. During her degree in literary studies, she gained a range of insights into the conception, implementation and communications of literary exhibitions and events at Strauhof Zurich.

Photos team: Ayse Yavas