Photo: Wallpaper from the festival "Resonances"


A Festival of Black German-Language Fiction
Together with the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Sharon Dodua Otoo created the Black Literature Festival "Resonances". She conceptualised and curated the programme for the literary intervention, which took place for the first time in 2022.

The Festival

Black German-language fiction has a long and distinguished tradition, from the first novel by Black German author Dualla Misipo, written towards the end of the Weimar Republic, to recent titles by Black authors, who are making an ever-greater impact.

Today we ask: When will we see more Black writers making it onto the longlist of the German Book Prize? When will the first novel by a Black male German-language author appear in a major publishing house? How can there be more well-connected, established German-language literary critics who recognize and know how to interpret the traditions, influences and references of African diasporan writers? "Resonanzen - Schwarzes Literaturfestival" (Resonance - A Festival of Black German-Language Fiction #Resonanzen22) is a cooperation between the Ruhrfestspiele and the writer and political activist Sharon Dodua Otoo. This festival aims to rethink, reimagine and further develop perspectives and experiences within the German-language literary scene. The result is a festival within the festival.

As part of the three-day literature festival, six promising writers will read previously unpublished texts. Each text has been written especially for this event and has been inspired by the word “Erbe” (heritage). The identities of the six writers will remain secret until the opening evening - neither the four-member jury nor the writers themselves know who (else) will be participating. Each reading will be followed by a jury discussion. In this way, the authors and the jury members will collectively highlight, analyse, honour and celebrate Black aesthetics in German-language literature.

In addition, the festival and its accompanying program will provide opportunities for networking; ideas for literary texts and interpretations may also be exchanged here. In this way "Resonanzen" will provide a broader platform for the critical appreciation of Black German-language fiction.


As part of the three-day literature festival, these six promising writers have read previously unpublished texts: Joe Otim Dramiga, Raphaëlle Red, Bahati Glaß, Melanelle B. C. Hémêfa, Winni Atiedo Modesto and Dean Ruddock.

Jury & Moderation

Jury: Elisa Diallo, Ibou Coulibaly Diop, Dominique Haensell, Aminata Cissé Schleicher. Moderation: Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako.


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. 

A Documentation

The idea behind "Resonance – A Festival of Black German-Language Fiction" was to show the traditions, influences, and references that inspire authors from the African diaspora writing in German.

As part of the three-day festival, six up-and-coming Black authors presented texts written especially for the event that had been prompted by the word Erbe (“Heritage”). In ad-dition to the short stories, the book includes the jury discussions, the introductory and concluding talks, and the opening address by Peace Prize winner Tsitsi Dangarembga.



Schwarzes Literaturfestival

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. Editor: Sharon Dodua Otoo, Jeannette Oholi, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen. Photographer: China Hopson


Conception and curation: Sharon Dodua Otoo
Jury: Aminata Cissé Schleicher, Elisa Diallo, Ibou Coulibaly Diop and Dominique Haensell
Moderation: Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako
Copy-editor: Doreen Tringali
Public relations: Patricia Eckermann
Photography: China Hopson
Academic consultant: Jeannette Oholi

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)

Photos: Title © Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Alexandra Antwi-Boasiako © Kasper Fuglsang, Aminata Cissé Schleicher © Else Buschheuer, Dominique Haensell © Stefanie Kulisch, Elisa Diallo © Felix Reiter, Ibou Coulibaly Diop © Thabo Thindi, Nouria Asfaha © Potsdamer-Tom Fotografie, Tsitsi Dangarembga © Hannah Mentz, Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana © European Union 2022, Ada Diagne © Sophia Metzker, MALONDA © Demetrius Lakakis, Philipp Khabo Koepsell © privat, The String Archestra © privat, Patricia Eckermann © Smilla Dankert, China Hopson © Laura Schepers, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński © Abiona Esther Ojo, Jeannette Oholi © privat, Doreen Tringali © privat, Sharon Dodua Otoo © Johanna Ghebray


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