Spoken Wor:l:ds

Poetry as performance between Nairobi and Berlin - supported by the TURN Fund

Der Veranstalter einer Spoken Wor:l:ds-Veranstaltung Buddha Balze mit dem kenianischen Rapper Moroko, Foto: Olad Aden


“Spoken Wor:l:ds” was a literary exchange project featuring young performers, poets and “spoken word” artists from Berlin and Nairobi and integrated them into an artistic process. Both cities possess very active poetry and word-art scenes which have developed their own styles and poetics using text, rhythm, sound, voice, gesticulation, improvisation and freestyle. This encounter with artists from Nairobi, who are known for their cross-genre experimentation and high performativity, promises to provide new impulses for the rather text-oriented German spoken-word and poetry scene. The project itself focused primarily on artistic encounter, translation work, new texts and performative styles. In addition to producing a CD, the participants presented the results of their collaboration in readings and concerts in Berlin and Nairobi, as well as online at www.lyrikline.org (external link, opens in a new window) and kwani.org.

A project by the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin with the Maono Cultural Group in Nairobi and Kwani Trust in Nairobi.

Artistic director: Dr. Susanne Stemmler
Artists from Nairobi: Checkmate Mido, L-Ness, Ogutu Muraya, Wanjiku Mwaurah, Namatsi, Sitawa Namwalie, Octopizzo, Poeticbee
Artists from Berlin: Josefine Berkholz, Diamondog, Erko, Christian Filips, MC Josh, LMNZ, Joe Madog, Sabine Scho


12–14 Nov. 2013 Reading/concert in Nairobi
9–12 Apr. 2014 Reading/concert in Berlin, Literaturwerkstatt and Heinrich Böll-Stiftung
18. Oct. 2104, 2 pm, Screening of the documentary, ZEBRA Poetry Film Festivals 2014, Kino Babylon Berlin


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The programme

You can read about the program of the Spoken Wor:l:ds Festival in Berlin, which took place from April 9 to 12, 2014, on pages 12 to 15.

Programm Spoken Wor:l:ds (external link, opens in a new window) (external link, opens in a new window)

TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries

In 2012, the Federal Cultural Foundation established the TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries in order to encourage a wide range of German institutions to shift their focus on the artistic production and cultural debates in African countries.

Spoken Wor:l:ds - Videos

In these video clips, artists report on their impressions and experiences they gained while participating in the project. The clips offer viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the production processes and events – set to the sounds of Spoken Wor:l:ds.

See the video clips (external link, opens in a new window)


Literaturwerkstatt Berlin

Knaackstr. 97

10435 Berlin

Tel: +49 -(0) 30 48 52 45 -0

Fax +49 -(0) 30 48 52 45 -30

www.literaturwerkstatt.org (external link, opens in a new window)