23rd ilb Day 7 – Shehan Karunatilaka, Nino Haratischwili, Atlas of Absence

Shehan Karunatilaka
© Schirin Moaiyeri

A literature festival is an echo chamber for socially relevant topics and an amplifier for voices from all over the world. The seventh day of the 23rd international literature festival berlin was once more dedicated to this purpose.

On the panel »Atlas of Absence«, Bénédicte Savoy presented the joint project and talked with Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Charles A. Taku, Andreas Görgen, and moderator Theresa Koloma Beck about Cameroonian ethnological belongings in German museums.

Bénédicte Savoy, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Charles Taku, Andreas Görgen, Theresa Koloma Beck (from left to right) © Schirin Moaiyeri

At the same time, Nino Haratischwili and Lisa Weeda cast their gaze toward the Black Sea. Together with their guests Eka Kevanishvili, Ostap Slyvynsky, Armen Ohanyan, and Bogdan Coșa, they approached the region from a literary perspective.

© Shirin Moaiyeri

»Are you the person whispering your own thoughts, or are you the person listening to them«

Booker Prize Winner Shehan Karunatilaka presented his award-winning novel »The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida«. A reading by Komi Togbonou complimented the evening. He told the audience about ghosts, Colombo in his teenage years, and what definition for magical realism he shares: »If there’s a dragon in a book, it’s fantasy. If there’s a marxist dragon, it’s magical realism«.

Shehan Karunatilaka
© Shirin Moaiyeri

Idza Luhumyo read from her short story »Five Years Next Sunday«, that earned her the 2022 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Idza Luhumyo
Idza Luhumyo in conversation with Dominique Haensell © Schirin Moaiyeri

At the Paperback Party, Audrey Naline brought festival vibes to the Kassenhalle. Finally, Mónica Ojeda and Bora Chung took onto the stage in »On Alien Bodies and Magical Horrors«.

Bora Chung Mónica Ojeda
Bora Chung and Mónica Ojeda © Schirin Moaiyeri

»We are all too aware of the gaps and I am eager to close them« – Sefi Atta

Sefi Atta, Jordan Ifueko, Lola Shoneyin, and Lesley Nneka Arimah on what their utopian society would look like at the panel curated by PEN Berlin »How Nigerian Writers Shape Social Utopias«.

Sefi Atta, Jordan Ifueko, Lola Shoneyin und Lesley Nneka Arimah
Sefi Atta, Jordan Ifueko, Lola Shoneyin, and Lesley Nneka Arimah (from left to right) © Schirin Moaiyeri