For the past decade, the project “Voices of Africa” has celebrated the diversity of languages and literature on the African continent. The project has made it more apparent than ever how important translation is for understanding other peoples and cultures. Literature and global communication would be unthinkable without translators; they open doors to the world by providing access to stories and information beyond the boundaries of language. In this function, translators bear substantial social and political responsibility. This could explain why their work is occasionally viewed with distrust: Have they correctly and truthfully conveyed the content in its entirety? How does the translation (unintentionally) alter the nuances in the text? The 10th anniversary edition of the 2019 Cologne-based festival “Crossing Borders – Translate, Transform, Communicate” will address these and other questions and explore the thematic complex based on cultural, education and media-political aspects. Forty international writers, translators, linguists, literature and cultural scholars and the public will participate in podium discussions, workshops, readings and interactive presentations. The project aims to strengthen the network of translators, artists and experts from African countries, the diaspora and Germany, and raise public awareness of this important topic.
Artistic director: Christa Morgenrath
Authors and experts: Bibi Bakare Yusuf (NG/UK)), Paul F. Bandia (KE/CA), Doudou Dia (SN), Boubacar Boris Diop (SN), Youssouf Amine Elalamy (MA), Navid Kermani, Susan Kiguli (UG), Mukoma wa Ngugi (KE/US), Zukiswa Wanner (ZM/ZA)