Europe is colourful, Europe is black, Europe is jazz! From Graz the Congolese poet Fiston Mwanza Mujila spreads a musical-poetic sound carpet over Europe and presents young voices of the black diaspora. For some time now he has been mapping the poetry of poets of African origin in Europe, because too often black poets are almost invisible in the European lyrical ecosystem. But these powerful texts are there to be discovered. Experiences and traditions from their countries of origin are inscribed in them just as much as what is experienced and observed in Europe; they negotiate their own cultural identity, conflicts and important positions.
In addition to Fiston Mwanza Mujila (*1981, Congo), four authors who should be known read: Simone Atangana Bekono (born 1991 in the Netherlands) is particularly interested in the connection between body and identity. Dylan Thomas Prize winner Kayo Chigonyi (*1987 in Zambia) links rap and urban forms of expression with the oral nature of his poetry. The spoken-word poet Raquel Lima (*1983, Portugal) has her roots in Angola and Sao Tomé, among other places, and is also scientifically engaged with oral expression and Afrodiasporic movements. Steve Mekoudja, who lives in Berlin, combines poetry, music and movement to create a kind of energy drink, addressing topics such as the notion of Africanity and toxic masculinity.
The poems are read in English, French, Dutch and Portuguese. Translations of the poems are available in the video.
The event is for free, but you can donate to support poesiefestival here.