With Kwame Dawes (Ghana , Jamaica & USA), Chenjerai Hove (Zimbabwe), L-ness (Kenya), Natalia Molebatsi (South Africa), Warsan Shire (Somalia & UK) Jazz trumpet: El Congo Allen (Cuba & Germany) Moderation: Uljana Wolf (poet, Germany) Followed by a concert featuring: L-ness (Kenya), Diamondog (Angola & Germany), Amewu (Germany)
Big names in the literature and music scenes come together for this evening to read, perform and present a première. Globetrotters Kwame Dawes, Natalia Molebatsi, Chenjerai Hove, Warsan Shire and L-Ness will open windows into a world which frequently seems distant and unapproachable and is often presented in the media here in an undifferentiated way. The evening will open with the chain poem ‘Eilbrief an Europa’ (Express Letter to Europe) written by the poets in collaboration, which poses questions, expresses wishes and criticism and talks about the paradoxes of the two continents and about imposed prejudices that have become negative traditions, and about pain. Dawes’ texts are closely tied in with musical elements of Reggae and the topic of remembrance culture. Molebatsi combines her poems with the sounds of jazz and is accompanied for this evening by the musician El Congo Allen. She will present poems which focus on the rights of women, but also everyday situations such as love, fear and loyalty. Hove, who has had to leave his homeland Zimbabwe and go into exile under President Mugabe, deals in his poems with exile, home, civil war and violence. Like Molebatsi, the Kenyan Hip-Hop star L-ness also focuses her attention on women and raps about discrimination, oppression and abuse. Shire’s poems address topics such as civil war, exile and femininity in a fine voice, arousing an uncomfortable unease un the listener. Musical accompaniment for the evening will be provided by trumpeter El Congo Allen, who has already played with such greats as Lauryn Hill, Patrice and Aloe Blacc. The combination of the high-speed rapping and strong texts of these three Hip Hop greats L-ness, Diamondog and Amewu is guaranteed to get the Studiofoyer cookin’.
German translations will be available of the texts being read.
With the kind support of the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt), Misereor, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and The Mandala Hotel Project leader: Isabel Ferrin-Aguirre