Künstler 2008 – O Mar de África
Armando Artur (born 1962 in Mozambique) began his writing career as part of the "Generation Charrua", a group of writers named after the literary magazine Charrua who came together in Mozambique in the Eighties. The Charrua poets developed a poetics with an existentialist tinge; their works full of broken and torn identities reflect the Civil War that dominated life in Mozambique after the Declaration of Independence of 1975.
Artur is a member of various African writers' associations. As well as in his own books, his poems have appeared in various anthologies, school books, literary journals and newspapers and in translation. In 2002 Armando Artur won the "Rui de Noronha – FUNDAC" Prize and in 2004 the "Prémio Nacional de Literatura José Craveirinha".
Olinda Beja (born1946 in São Tomé and Príncipe) moved to Portugal at an early age, studying linguistics and modern literature there. Her poems deal with interpersonal relations in all their facets, including romantic transformation, beauty, yearning, living together, hurt, mourning and sex. Since 2002, Beja has been a fellow of the C. Nacional de Cultura/I.P.L.B. and an advisor on cultural matters to her homeland's Embassy in Portugal. Her poems have appeared in national and international magazines, in French and Portuguese schoolbooks and in various anthologies. Beja currently lives in Lausanne, Switzerland where she works as a teacher of Portuguese language and culture.
Kalaf Ângelo (born 1978 in Angola) is a musician, Spoken Word artist and co-founder of the Enchufada label that specialises in avant-garde music in Portugal, who merges in his music diverse influences such as jazz, hip-hop, World Music, Afro beat, broken beat und kuduro. He has lived for many years in Lisbon and in his lyrics uses his impressions of the modern culture and urban reality of that city. Kalaf has worked with many national and international musicians including "Secret Voices", Ursula Rucker and Rich Medina. As well as working as a musician and producer, Kalaf is a theatre actor, writes film scripts and has a weekly column in the Portuguese daily newspaper "Público".
Kalaf's most recent recordings are the EP "From Buraka to the World – Buraka som Sistema"; (2007) and, this year, the collaboration album "Breaking Codes – Up, Bustle 'n' Out – Istanbul's Secret".
Mário Lúcio (pseudonym of Lúcio Matias de Sousa Mendes) (born 1964 in Santiago/Cape Verde) grew up as an orphan in a home, where he learned the finest nuances of the creole language. He subsequently studied law in Havana. He became aware at an early age of the cultural richness his homeland possessed. As a poet, musician and painter, the mix of peoples and cultures in Cape Verde has become his great theme.
In his texts, multi-instrumentalist Lúcio writes a lot about himself, his childhood and his emotions. His songs tells stories about people, about black and white people, and of course about creole people. His music is full of surprises in his use of of elements that sometimes strike one as idiosycratic, such as the 'cimboa', a traditional, single-stringed violin, and the ancient funana, tabanka and batuko rhythms, and using various everyday objects such as washing bowls, brooms and glass bottles. Lúcio's first solo album, "Badyo", was released in Germany in January 2008.
The poet João Maimona (born 1955 in Angola) fled as a child to Zaire, as Angola was practically in a state of civil war in the years before the 1975 Declaration of Independence. He started studing humanities in Kinshasa, returning to Angola in 1976 to complete his degree in veterinary medicine. He is a member of Angola's National Assembly and from 1993 to 2000 was President of the Parliamentary Commission for Education, Science and Technology and Director of the National Veterinary Research Institute (IIV). He also teaches at the Universidade Agostinho Neto in Luanda.
Maimona is part of the generation of the 80s and 90s in Angolan poetry, whose verse is characterised by language experiments. The Spanish literary critic Xosé Lois Garcia sees this as a precursor to postmodernism in Angolan poetry. Thematically his poems reveal a tension between the aesthetic search for beauty and the pain of memory, which is revived in a dialogue of the senses with the wounds of the past.
Maimona's most recent poetry collection is "O Sentido do Regresso e a Alma do Barco" (2007).
Tony Tcheka (born1951, Guinea-Bissau), who has been working as a journalist since 1975, is one of his country's best-known poets. His poems appeared in several anthologies of poems from Guinea-Bissau before he published his debut, "Noites de insonia na terra adormecida"in 1996. The main theme in his poetry as well as in his work as a journalist is a critical confrontation with history, politics and society in his country.
Tony Tcheka has been a committed member of various international NGOs, including the National Commission of UNESCO in Guinea-Bissau, and he was the head of "RDN“ – Radio Difusão Nacional of Guinea-Bissau. Today Tcheka works mainly as a journalist for the RTP África TV channel in Portugal and for the magazine "Revista Lusografias". Tony Tcheka is also the publisher of the magazine "África Lusófona" in Lisbon and a BBC correspondent with "Voz da América".