Photo: Wallpaper from the festival "Resonance" literature festival 2022
I am a huge supporter of the writing of Black people in Germany. So I thought about what I could do within the scope of my possibilities to promote it even better in the "established" literature scene. I wanted to stage an intervention: something which would enable more Black people - authors, photographers, critics, translators, editors and graphic designers - to become known and represented within the networks.
The "Resonance - A Festival of Black German-Language Fiction" (#Resonanzen22) opened its doors in May 2022. It took place in cooperation with, and within the framework of, the Ruhrfestspiele in Recklinghausen - a festival within a festival to honour and celebrate Black German-language creative writing.
During the three-day literature festival, six up-and-coming creative writers, whose names were only revealed on the opening night, presented previously unpublished texts written especially for this event around the impulse word "heritage." Each reading was followed by a jury discussion. In addition, the festival and supporting program offered opportunities for encounters and networking.
These six writers read their previously unpublished short stories, all inspired by the German word for "heritage" ("Erbe") at the festival: Joe Otim Dramiga, Raphaëlle Red, Bahati Glaß, Melanelle B. C. Hémêfa, Winni Atiedo Modesto and Dean Ruddock.
Photo: Opening speech by Tsitsi Dangarembga, writer and Peace Prize winner of the German Book Trade. Photographed by China Hopson
Photo: Introducing the author Raphaëlle Red. Photographed by China Hopson.
Foto: Member of the Resonanzen jury Ibou Coulibaly Diop. Photographed by China Hopson.
Photo: Greeting by Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, MEP in the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance. Photographed by China Hopson.
Photo: Introduction of the Resonanzen jury by the moderator Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako. From left to right are Dominique Haensell, Aminata Cissé Schleicher, Elisa Diallo, Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako, Ibou Coulibaly Diop and Dominique Haensell. Photographed by China Hopson.
The idea behind the festival was to highlight the traditions, influences, and references that inspire authors of the African diaspora writing in German.
In addition to the six original short stories presented at the festival, the book includes the jury discussions, the introductory and concluding talks, and the opening address by the winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Tsitsi Dangarembga.
There is currently no translation of the documentation into English.
Texts by: Joe Otim Dramiga, Raphaëlle Red, Bahati Glaß, Melanelle B. C. Hémêfa, Winni Atiedo Modesto, Dean Ruddock, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, Nouria Asfaha, Ada Diagne. Editors: Sharon Dodua Otoo, Jeannette Oholi and the Ruhrfestspiele Photographer: China Hopson
(German language publication)
Idea and curation: Sharon Dodua Otoo
Jury: Aminata Cissé Schleicher, Elisa Diallo, Ibou Coulibaly Diop and Dominique Haensell
Commentator: Nouria Asfaha
Moderation: Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako
Copy-editor: Doreen Tringali
Public relations: Patricia Eckermann
Photography: China Hopson
Academic consultant: Jeannette Oholi
Accompanying programme of events: Tsitsi Dangerembga (Opening speech), Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana (Welcome address), Ada Diagne (Opening reading), Joyce Nuhill & Tim Schmiedner (Live music), The String Archestra (Live music)
In addition: many thanks to Mirjam Nuenning for the translation of the opening speech into German and to Freddy Mo Wenner for the support with the collation of the authors' biographies and profile pictures.
Team Ruhrfestspiele: Roman Sroka (Technical Production), Jan Hein (Consulting), Christine Hoenmanns (Press and Communication), Anne Liebtrau (Production), Antje Sterner (Social Media and Communication), Jesko Vorbeck (Production), Jonas Wüstefeld (Set Design)
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