BIGSAS Festival of African and African- Diasporic Literatures
Welcome to the 9th BIGSAS Festival of African and African- Diasporic Literatures:
“Crises and Responsibilities. kNOWledges in Academia, Arts and Activism”
“Krisen und Verantwortung in GeWissenschaft und ImaginationsAktivismus”
The BIGSAS Festival of African and African-Diasporic Literatures, as an annual tradition, runs for three
consecutive days as an entrance free event in the heart of Bayreuth, hosting writers, artists, scholars, and activists. Throughout this event, negotiations of wor(l)d making within arts, academia and activism are addressed, while re/visiting the un/making of collective knowledges and respective practices. Readings, performances, lectures, panel discussions, workshops and (street) music are composed to invite an interested audience from all over Bayreuth and beyond to become a transgenerational, transcultural, transregional, multidimensional community where strategies of solidarity are practiced in a setting fraught with “unity in diversity” (Glissant).
The festival is hosted by the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS) which is part of the DFG Cluster of Excellence “Multiple Africa. Reconfiguring African Studies”. BIGSAS has built a rich academic network of more than 200 active junior fellows and alumni all across the globe, as well as more than 100 scholars from African, European, and North American countries. The BIGSAS literature festival was designed to host conversations that matter to the BIGSAS community, making them converse with arts and activism. The BIGSAS Festival of African and African-Diasporic Literatures scrutinizes elitism and Eurocentric epistemologies within academia by reflecting and juxtaposing them to narrations beyond it; making them converse. In doing so, the festival is dedicated to issues that matter globally with locally specific features.
Moreover, it is eager to contribute to academic, cultural and political engagements that narrate and analyze interactions between African countries and diasporas with(in) Germany, other parts of Europe, Africa, the MENA region and the globe as a whole.
This year, the festival addresses the question of crises – and how knowledge, arts and activism frame, face, and fight them. Climate change and the pollution of landscapes and oceans are significant threats and a major cause for flight. Other crises, too, make people flee. And even though less than 3% of the globe’s refugees ever make it to Europe, the latter keeps claiming to face a crisis.
What is at stake here is the question of who is allegedly entitled to access European privileges, resources and futures – and who is not. This, however, is an identity crisis rather than a refugee crisis. kNOWledge can make all the difference here, generating narratives that favor empathy and responsibility in the face of crises. We look forward to meeting you during the festival, to engage in discussions, to muse through readings, to get carried away by music, poetry and thoughts.
Let’s get ACTIVE against CRISES!
kNOWledge for FUTURES+!
Susan Arndt, Shirin Assa Dilan, Zoe Smida
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