Programmes Archive

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

litafrika – 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)