Programmes Archive

Exhibition “litafrika – Artistic Encounters” 2023, photos: Zeljko Gataric | Art works: Michael Soi, Shafik Manzi, Ntombephi Ntobela | Filmstill: Jussara Camblé | Design: Rahel Arnold

Artistic Encounters
Strauhof Zurich, 16/06–10/09/2023

Eight scenes from contemporary African literatures: curator Zukiswa Wanner stages encounters between current novels and performance, music or visual art. Across national and linguistic borders, the exhibition sheds light on a generation of writers who are well connected and internationally active.

Zukiswa Wanner responds to the first part of the exhibition series “litafrika” (2022–2024) with eight prose texts. As a continuation of “Poetries of a Continent” (2022), she puts the emphasis on novels instead of poems, focal points instead of abundance – and above all on the diverse stories of younger authors instead of the postcolonial classics: what topics do contemporary literary figures deal with today? How do artists stage the selected passages?

“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. 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.” Zukiswa Wanner

For “Artistic Encounters”, 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.

“Some, you will have heard of. Others, I hope you will be thrilled to learn of in this exhibition.”

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


Zukiswa Wanner (b. 1976, Zambia) is a writer and literary mediator; she lives in South Africa and Kenya. Wanner has published short stories, novels, and children’s books and was on the “Africa39” list in 2014; in 2020, she received the Goethe Medal for her services to international cultural exchange.

Strauhof Zurich
Augustinergasse 9, CH-8001 Zurich
Fri 16 June to Sun 10 September 2023

Curation: Zukiswa Wanner
Project Management: Christa Baumberger and Rémi Jaccard
Participation: Melissa Caflisch, Nicole Schmid, Philip Sippel and Käthe Wünsch
Graphic Design: Rahel Arnold

In cooperation with Strauhof Zurich
Supported by Pro Helvetia

Download: Flyer Artistic Encounters

litafrika on Youtube

Selected exhibition contents as well as online events can also be viewed on the Youtube channel @litafrika.



litafrika – Artistic Encounters. 8 Bücher – 8 Begegnungen | Edition Litar 03
Edited by Christa Baumberger, Rémi Jaccard, Nicole Schmid and Zukiswa Wanner. In German.
With excerpts from novels by Ishmael Beah, Virgília Ferrão, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Angela Makholwa, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Yara Nakahanda Monteiro, Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Ondjaki. German translations by Katja Meintel, Elisa Fuchs and others. Accompanying texts to the novels and photographs of the eight artistic encounters. Introductions by Christa Baumberger, Rémi Jaccard and Zukiswa Wanner.
Litar 2023 | 82 pages | 36 illustrations colour and b/w | ISBN 978-3-9525728-2-5
CHF 7.– (plus shipping costs)

litafrika – Artistic Encounters | Paivapo Publishers
Edited by Zukiswa Wanner. With the eight excerpts of the novels in Portuguese, English and French. Some text excerpts were translated specifically for the exhibition by Edwige-Renée Dro and Sandra Tamele.
Paivapo 2023 | 189 pages | ISBN 978-0-639782-41-6

litafrika – Artistic Encounters 8/2023 | Online magazine Periferias
Periferias is a Brazilian online platform with themed issues in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. The Periferias special issue “litafrika – Artistic Encounters” 8/2023 was published on the occasion of the exhibition.

litafrika – Poesien eines Kontinents | Onlinemagazin Specimen – Babel Review of Translation
Das Onlinemagazin Specimen für literarische Übersetzung hat in der August-Ausgabe 2023 «litafrika» einen Schwerpunkt gewidmet. Präsentiert wird eine Auswahl von Gedichten aus der Ausstellung «litafrika – Poesien eines Kontinents» in diversen neuen Übersetzungen und Sprachen. 
Link: Specimen


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)

litafrika on Youtube

Selected exhibition contents as well as online events can also be viewed on the Youtube channel @litafrika.


Reader “litafrika – Poesien eines Kontinents | Poetries of a Continent”
Edited by Christa Baumberger and Rémi Jaccard, 2022.
Designed by Rahel Arnold
With texts and images from and about the exhibition.
Reader in English and German. Poems in original languages and German translation.
Info and order:

litafrika. Poesien eines Kontinents

Anthology “Afrika im Gedicht”
Edited by Al Imfeld, Münsterverlag, 2015.
Poems in original languages and German translation.
Info and order:  Münster Verlag