Artists 2020

Artists 2020

  • Aanza, Sinzo

    • Sinzo Aanza
    • Writer and Artist, The Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Abstract Title: Plaidoirie pour vendre le Congo—Pourquoi je vis le monde comme je l’écris, ou le choix d’une fiction absolue

    Bio: Sinzo Aanza est un photographe, artiste visuel et écrivain congolais dont le travail porte sur la radicalité des fictions, interrogeant les manières de raconter, de dire et d’agir dans les fictions sociales instituées, comme son pays, le Congo, mais aussi des fictions en mouvement comme les idéaux, la virtualité technologique, les fictions marginales comme l’image de soi, les fictions englobantes comme les communautés politiques et religieuses, etc., pour peu que ces fictions déterminent et nourrissent une identification, un rapport au monde et l’être-au-monde de leurs créateurs, de leurs animateurs ou de leurs adhérents. Sinzo écrit des nouvelles, des romans, de la poésie et des pièces de théâtre et son travail littéraire a été présenté au  Festival Ça se passe à Kin, à Halle de la Gombé de Kinshasa, au Centre Wallonie Bruxelles de Kinshasa, à Halle de l’Etoile de Lubumbashi, au Tarmac des auteurs de Kinshasa, à la Maison de la poésie de Paris, aux Récréâtrales de Ouagadougou, aux Praticables de Bamako, à l’Université de Milan, à l’Université Rutgers du New Jersey, au Litheraturhaus de Stuttgart, au Festival d’Avignon, au TNG de Lyon, au Tarmac de Paris, au Kulturfabrik au Luxembourg, à l'Espace Bernard-Marie Koltès à Metz, etc. Sinzo expose de la photographie et des installations au Congo (Biennale de Lubumbashi), en France (Rencontres d’Arles, Biennale de Lyon, MIAM de Sète, Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, Galerie Imane Farès), en Belgique (WIELS) et en Suisse (Museum Rietberg Zurich) 

    Abstract (Résumé): La violente expression « coeur des ténèbres » continue d’accompagner le Congo, elle est pour plusieurs personnes issues de ce coin du monde, l’image de la désillusion et de la maturité morale et intellectuelle. Dans sa fameuse nouvelle, Joseph Conrad ne voit pas les Congolais. Leur corps productifs et gémissants sont un décor comme peuvent l’être des nuages ou l’ombre d’une forêt. C’est lorsqu’on réalise que l’on n’est pas regardé et que, quand bien même l’on serait regardé, on n’est pas vu pour autant, que commence une mise au monde, une sorte de seconde naissance s’exprimant par la parade et l’extravagance de la sapologie par exemple, par le confinement dans l’ambition artistique, poétique ou intellectuelle, par la connivence et le choix de ne plus voir à son tour, bref par plusieurs formes d’exil. Cette adresse reviendra sur la conscience politique congolaise du regard vide posé sur le “Congo des crimes” comme sur une fosse béante et sombre depuis les Red Rubbers jusqu’aux massacres répétitifs de Beni et sur la poésie de fictions radicales comme unique lieu pour la vie.

  • Barry, Fatoumata Adelle

    • Fatoumata Adelle Barry
    • Medical Doctor, Writer & Founder of Livres, Niger Republic
    • Abstract Title: Les Déchues: dire tout ce qui ne se dit pas

    Bio: Multi-awards-winning author of three books, and co-author in two anthologies and essays on rethinking Africa and psychological violence, Fatoumata Adelle is a Medical Doctor with an interest in human psychology and public health. She has also been a Health communication consultant for four years, with a certificate in public policy from Georgia State University as a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders. Fatoumata Adelle Barry’s poetry and short stories were awarded seven prizes across three continents, and recently her thesis research on diagnosing psychological distress in cancer patients in Niger with the aim to provide psychosocial & spiritual support was awarded the National Prize for Outstanding Research conducted by young people by Innovation for Development and Next Einstein Forum

    Additionally, Fatoumata Adelle Barry is Secretary-General of the National Young Leaders Network and is the founder of Livres Niger, whose aim is to promote excellence through reading for young people and monthly gatherings and talks on literature across the country. She is committed to promoting wellbeing through literature and medical research.

    Résumé: Fatoumata a voulu traduire les voix de femmes qu’elle a vues, écoutées, entendues et observées sur des souffrances que la société a normalisées au fil du temps, dans une présentation autours de son nouveau livre. Parce que l’indifférence n’est pas une option, le livre,  Les Déchues : dire ce qui ne se dit pas  est un recueil de confessions qui fécondent des larmes féminines intimes, pour briser ces solitudes douloureuses et célébrer le soleil de l’humanité qu’a toujours été une femme. Dire ce qui ne se dit pas est une dédicace à toutes les blessures de vie dont elles sont victimes, et qui par conformisme ont trouvé une sécurité dans un silence et dans des cris inaudibles. Ces histoires sont miennes, mais aussi siennes, une empreinte de souffrance qu’a été la vie d’une femme d’ici, mais aussi de quelque part sur un bout de la Terre. « Le feu me brûle, je dois sourire. La rivière me noie, je dois chanter. Comme si souffrir était un devoir ici… Donc ici pour vivre il faut s’effacer, pour avoir il faut s’incliner. La tête qui dépasse se fait ramollir. » C’est aussi pour toutes les belles choses qui incarnent une femme dont elle se défait par ignorance que ce livre existe.

  • Conceição Lima

    • Poet, Journalist, and Translator, São Tomé e Príncipe

    Bio: Conceição Lima lives on the island of São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe, in the Gulf of Guinea, where she was born. Journalist, poet, chronicler, and translator, she was among the founders of the National Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAS) inspired by Alda Espírito Santo, a poet, fundamental nationalist, and literary reference. She currently works as a journalist at TVS, the State Television in São Tomé. For a long time, she worked as a journalist and producer for the Portuguese Service of the BBC World Service, based in London. Lima studied African, Portuguese, and Brazilian Studies at King’s College of London, and Governments and Politics in Sub-Sahara Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. Her poetry books include O Útero da Casa (2004), A Dolorosa Raiz do Micondó (2006/2008), O País de Akendenguê (2011), and Quando Florirem Salambás no Tecto do Pico (2015).
    Her poems have been translated into German, Arabic, English, Spanhish, French, Italian, Galician, Turkish, Czech, and Serbian-Croatian. In 2010, the books O Útero da Casa and A Dolorosa Raiz do Micondó were translated into German by Delta of Sttutgard Publishers in a bilingual edition. In 2014, A Dolorosa Raiz do Micondó was translated into Italian by Edizioni Kolibris. The same book was translated into Spanish by Baile del Sol in Tenerife, and El perro y la rana in Caracas. Also, her work was published in Brazil by Geração Editorial in 2014 and was selected among more than 400 titles by the Programa Nacional de Bibliotecas Escolares (PNBE).
    Lima’s poems have appeared in several periodicals, magazines, and anthologies, including Metamorfoses, Prometeo, Arquitrave, Caransari, Antologia da Poesia Feminina dos PALOP, The World Record, Anthology of Poems on Capital Cities, Cultura, El Camino, World Literature Today, Words Without Borders, and The Literary Review. She has also translated poems from Nigerian, Congolese, and Spanish-speaking poets, among others, into Portuguese.

  • Ebengou, Azani V.

    • Azani V. Ebengou
    • Department of French, Rutgers University

    Bio: Born in France to Congolese and French parents, Azani V. Ebengou is an actress, writer and researcher. After completing her acting training in France (École de la Comédie de Saint-Étienne; Conservatoire de Lyon), she started the Graduate Program in French at Rutgers University in 2019. She is currently working on her Master's thesis, provisionally titled "Le Théâtre Noir de Paris, 1975-1989: The Erased Memory of A Black Consciousness In The Making." Engaged in Afrofeminist activism, thinking and acting out decolonization is constitutive of all her endeavors. If research allows her room to reflect, the stage (or its equivalents) give her space to breathe. In performing arts, what interests her is how air, musicality and light enter bodies through words, and how theater can be a spiritual and diasporic practice.

  • Hamani, Kassoum (Jhonel)

    • Kassoum Hamani (Jhonel)
    • Slam Poet, Niger Republic
    • Abstract Title: Ils ne sont que des pauvres

    Bio: JHONEL est artiste qui pour se présenter dit:  « Mon oncle s’appelle JOHN. Il a toujours pensé qu’un jour, je l’emmènerai au ciel. Il me dit que je suis des ailes. Mes amis m’ont surnommé les ails de JOHN.» Passionné par les mots depuis son jeune âge, il commence à déclamer des textes à l’adolescence, prenant exemple sur les griots et conteurs Nigériens. A travers les mots, il s’exprime, dit ce qui es-tu, transforme frustrations en créations, sans savoir que ce mode d’expression s’appelait du slam et, chemin faisant cet exutoire se transforme en passion. Jhonel  de son vrai nom Hamani Kassoum, est un artiste nigérien vivant à Niamey. Auteurs de deux livres : cour commune et ils ne sont que des pauvres. Il est également  Directeur du festival FISH GONI  et directeur de l’organisation goni , qui intervient dans l’inclusion des personnes handicapées.

    Résumé du spectacle:

    Jhonel nous embarque avec lui dans un monde riche et pauvre à la fois, il nous raconte la vie, les injustes, les tensions, la corruption, le rapport homme et femme.

    ‘’Ils ne sont que des pauvres’’ Un spectacle  dans  lequel l’artiste dénonce certains travers de ce monde et le partage facilement avec les gens qui l’écoutent.

  • Ndoro, Tariro

    • Tariro Ndoro
    • Poet and Storyteller, Zimbabwe
    • Abstract Title: Disobedient Poetics: The Making of Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner

    Bio: Tariro Ndoro, a Zimbabwean poet and storyteller is the author of Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner (Modjaji Books, 2019). She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Rhodes University in South Africa. Her poetry has appeared in various publications including 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary PoetryBest New Poets 2015 AnthologyCyphersKotazNew CoinNew Contrast, Oxford PoetryPoetry International and Puerto del Sol and Cyphers. Tariro was shortlisted for the 2018 BN Poetry Prize and was awarded second place for the 2017 DALRO Poetry Prize.

    Abstract: In her debut poetry collection, Agringada: Like a Gringa, Like a Foreigner (2019), Zimbabwean writer Tariro Ndoro investigates the identity politics of the “other” against a southern African backdrop. Agringada is a bildungsroman detailing the life of a female narrator as she tackles racism, classism, misogyny, and xenophobia through the use and disuse of language, and in some instances, silence. In this essay, she details the role of colonialism as both a political and cultural act in the shaping of post-colonial narratives, as it was the act of cultural colonization of Africa by the West that resulted in the fragmented lingua francas that are appearing in today’s African literature. She further details that the use of disobedient poetics (straying from the standard English language) since the focal point of her argument is not so much the translation of African works for Western audiences but the translation of cultural experiences of African writers into their own disobedient poetics. British colonial authorities began policing Africans through languages, which had an effect on the narrative voices of Zimbabwean writers including Dambudzo Marechera and Yvonne Vera, who in turn subverted the English language for their own purposes. Both of their life experiences translated to their use and (dis)use of the English language. Following Amiri Baraka’s assertion that language is culture, this essay details postcolonial African writers’ narratives in both content and form while reflecting fragmentations between both the imposed and native language and identity.

    Currently, African poetry is experiencing a shift in the movement of its writing from traditional prose and poetry to more experimental forms used by writers such as Momtaza Mehri, Safia Elhillo, and Koleka Putuma. Most of Africa’s young poets are using unique and novel ways to express thought. Although Arthur Rimbaud asserts the need for a universal (poetic) language in his letter to Paul Demeny and Amiri Baraka found what he called the black voice through jazz and blues, Ndoro asserts here that contemporary African writers translate their own experiences differently. Moreover, each writer’s history informs their poetics and, by extension, the way in which they should be read. 

  • Ọládùnńkẹ́ Ayọ̀ọlá Àránsí

    • Department of Linguistics and African Languages, Kwara State University, Malete

    Bio: Ọládùnńkẹ́ Ayọ̀ọlá Àránsí is Senior Lecturer and current Head of Department of Linguistics and African Languages, Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria. She earned her B.A., M.A., Ph.D. in Yorùbá Language and Literature, all from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. At the same university, she obtained Certificate in Yorùbá Oral Literature. Àránsí worked as a member of the non-academic staff of Obafemi Awolowo University before joining Kwara State University as a lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities, Management, and Social Sciences in 2013.

    Àránsí is committed to teaching and training students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has supervised many students’ research projects in her department and has undertaken series of administrative duties both at the faculty and the university levels. Her teaching, research, and publications focus on Yorùbá language, Yorùbá traditional culture, oral and written literature. Àránsí currently has over 20 publications, peer-reviewed national and international articles in the areas of Yorùbá poetry, Yorùbá novels, and gender studies. She is a member to the following associations: Yorùbá Studies Association of Nigeria, Ẹgbẹ́ Akọ́mọlédè àti Àṣà Yorùbá, Nàìjíríà, American Association of Teachers of Yorùbá, the International Society for the Oral Literature of Africa, Creative Writers (Ẹgbẹ́ Òǹkọ̀wé Ede Yoruba), African Proverbs and Phraseology Society (AFRICAPPS), Nigerian Oral Literature Association (NOLA), National Council of Less Common Taught Languages (NCOLCTL) ALTA.

    Àránsí has published creative and critical works in Yorùbá. She is the author of Ewi Omoluabi, Isetofabo Ninu Asayan Ewi Onkowe-Binrin Yoruba, Oju Amuwaye Yoruba ni Ilana Ere–Onise Ninu Odun Igogo ni Ilu Owo, and Ewi Feso Jaye, Obi Lo Jeso, among others. She serves as an external and internal examiner within and outside Kwara State University, and she has received many awards and distinctions. Àránsí has held many positions in Lions Club International, and currently, she is the president of District 404B2 for 2021. She is a prominent member of the Ile-Ife Chapter of the Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIGEMGA).

  • Olúyẹ́misí Adébọ̀wálé

    • Department of Linguistics and Languages, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko

    Bio: Olúyẹ́misí Adébọ̀wálé is Professor of Yorùbá Literature in the Faculty of Arts, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), Ondo State, Nigeria. She is the first female Professor in the university. Adébọ̀wálé joined the services of the then Ondo State University (now Adekunle Ajasin University) as Assistant Lecturer in 1985 and rose through the ranks to the position of Professor in 2005. She had a B.Ed. (Hons) Yorùbá/History and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Yorùbá from the prestigious University of Ibadan in 1981, 1984, 1994, respectively. A poet, playwright, and critic, Adébọ̀wálé is currently the director of the Teaching and Leadership Centre, AAUA.

    Adébọ̀wálé has served in various leadership positions in AAUA, most of which were in pioneer status, including two-time Head of Department of Linguistics and Languages (1999-2003 and 2006-2008), Chairman, Ceremonies Committee (2008 -2011), Ag. Dean, Postgraduate School (July –August 2009), Member, Adekunle Ajasin University Governing Council (2011 – 2014), Dean of Students (2012-2014), Dean of Arts (2014-2015), and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic (2014-2016). She is the editor of Inquiry in African Languages & Literatures (January 2016 to date) and Àkùngbá Journal of Linguistics & Literatures (January 2017 to date).

    Adébọ̀wálé was a visiting professor at the Ekiti State University in 2010, where she served as the Head of Department, and taught courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her areas of research focus are Yorùbá Literature, Stylistics, Culture and Gender Studies. Adébọ̀wálé has 63 scholarly publications consisting of books, chapters in books, edited book, and articles in local and international journals. She is a member of Yorùbá Studies Association of Nigeria, Yorùbá Teachers Association of Nigeria, Yorùbá Vehicular Cross-Border Language Commission, and the Nigerian Academy of Letters. Adébọ̀wálé was the immediate past president of the Yorùbá Studies Association of Nigeria. She has recently served as a consultant to the USAID Northern Education Initiative in the Yorùbá TLM Development for P1- P3, and she participated in the writing of the Jẹ́ Ká Kàwé (Let’s Read) series. Adébọ̀wálé is the author of the following Yorùbá creative work: O Ṣèyí Tán, Ìgbà Lonígbàá Kà, Ewì Àtàtà. Her other publications include children’s literary texts like Why Cat Eats Rat, The Unintelligent Bird, and numerous Yorùbá pedagogical books.

  • Tadjo, Véronique

    • Véronique Tadjo
    • Writer, Artist and Academic, London and Abidjan
    • Abstract Title: Viruses are our New Enemies: Interpreting the Ebola Epidemic and its Many Narratives

    Bio: Véronique Tadjo is a writer, artist, and academic. Born in Paris, she grew up in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Her work includes poetry collections and novels among which The Shadow of Imana; Queen Pokou ; Far Away from my Father and In the Company of Men, published this year by Other press in the US and Hope Road in the UK. It is based on the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. She is also an author of books for young people. She has lived in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa where she was Head of French and Francophone Studies for seven years at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She now shares her time between London and Abidjan. Véronique Tadjo received the Literary Prize of L'Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique in 1983 and the UNICEF Prize in 1993 for Mamy Wata and the Monster, which was also chosen as one of Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. In 2005 Tadjo won « Le Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire” and in 2016, « Le Prix Bernard Dadié pour la Littérature ».

    Abstract: The world seems to be under attack. Today our lives have been shaped by the Covid19 pandemic. We experience suffering, the threat to our lives and the loss of “normality”. We can learn from what has happened in the recent past in Africa. At the end of 2013/beginning of 2014, an outbreak of the Ebola virus erupted in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The epidemic was finally contained in 2016 after about 28, 646 people were contaminated, and 11,323 people lost their lives. As African writers, artists and academics, we need to interpret and reclaim the memory of this period of intense anguish but also of intense human solidarity. In other words, which lessons can we retain for ourselves and for the world? How can we translate what has been for too long left unspoken?

  • Yacob, Antu

    • Antu Yacob
    • Theater Department, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

     Bio: Antu Yacob was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and raised in San Francisco and Minnesota. She received her MFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She was last seen onstage in the 2017 United Solo Theatre Festival’s premiere of her one woman show In the Gray in New York. Antu’s theater credits include Risen from the Dough (Sam French OOB Short Play Festival-Winner) Mourning Sun(Theatre 167 and Kampala International Theatre Festival), In the Continuumoriginal national tour (Primary Stages), Stepping out of the River at Dawn, Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World and A Jew on Ethiopia Street (Mixed Blood Theatre), Holiday Jubilee (Crossroads Theatre), Crowns(The Theater Project), The House That Crack Built(Pillsbury House Theatre) and No Longer at Ease (Pangea World Theater). She also served as the voice of Zema in the BBC adapted radio play Shadowbahn. Her film & television credits include Signs of Aging, Daredevil, Night Comes On, Gypsy, Law & Order: SVU, Conjure, Eminent Domain,and Walking in Circles. As a playwright, her work has been featured in the Kampala International Theatre Festival (2016-Uganda), Theatre 167 (NYC), Project Y Theatre’s New York New Playwrights Festival (2013-NYC). Readings of work have been presented at the inaugural NowAfrica Playwrights Festival at Tisch-NYU, Crossroads Theatre, CoLAB Arts, and Project Y Theatre. She teaches Acting at Baruch College and Rutgers University. Thanks to The One, The Angels & The Ancestors. www.antuyacob.com