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Resonanzen Resonanzen

Resonanzen - Schwarzes Literaturfestival

Resonance – A Festival of Black German-Language Fiction, Concept and curator: Sharon Dodua Otoo

This is a German-language event.

we write until our last breath,
so that a touch of consciousness remains,
a spark of liberation inflames,
and, deep inside, the urge for action awakens,
to change everything.
(Furat Abdulle, "Pieces of the World" - her translation)

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As part of the three-day literature festival, six promising writers will read previously unpublished texts.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.


The authors of Resonanzen22 are:

Resonanzen Autor innen

Resonanzen: Biographies of the authors (in German)


Day 1 - Thursday, 19/5/2022
Start 7:00 pm

  • Opening speech by Tsitsi Dangarembga, writer, filmmaker and Peace Prize winner of the German Book Trade.
  • Welcome address by Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, MEP in the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
  • Introduction of the Resonanzen jury Aminata Cissé Schleicher, Elisa Diallo, Ibou Coulibaly Diop and Dominique Haensell
  • Announcement and introduction of the six authors and selection of the reading order
  • Reading by Ada Diagne, winner of the 1st Young Storyteller Award 2021

Day 2 - Friday, 20/5/2022
Start 6:00 pm

  • Lecture on Black Aesthetics in German Language Literature by Philipp Khabo Koepsell, spoken word artist, author, editor, and expert on Afro-German literary history.
  • Readings followed by public jury discussions of the first three authors

Day 3 - Saturday, 21/5/22
Start 3:30 pm

  • Readings followed by public jury discussions of the other three authors
  • Break for warm meal in the evening
  • Live music performance by The String Archestra
  • Commentary and a summary of the entire festival by Nouria Asfaha, co-founder of "afro look!" the first magazine of the most recent Black German Movement
  • Ceremonial commendation of the authors

Except for the opening speech, all other talks, readings and discussions will take place in German.

Supported by

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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)

Events: 19 to 21 May, Festspielzelt

Resonanzen Bühnenteam
Moderator, commentator and jury
Resonanzen Rahmenprogramm
Participants of the programme
Backstage Team


Titelbild © 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

If you want to visit all 3 days, you can book a reduced festival pass.