Festivals Germany

Berlin’s African Book Festival 2021 for July 16-17

The African Book Festival 2021 is set to happen in Berlin, Germany on July 16-17, 2021.

In the last few years, Berlin has hosted and celebrated African writers and poets in the iKontinental organised African Book Festival. At this event, hundreds of bibliophiles have visited the German city’s Babylon Theatre for book presentations, readings, poetry, concerts, interviews and panel discussions. The first of these occasions was 2018 when the Olumide Popoola curated festival had Chris Abani as headliner followed in the next year when Tsitsi Dangarembga took the curatorial role and Ben Okri was headliner.

For 2020, the plan to continue in the new tradition of bringing the best writers from Africa to Berlin was looking rosy as musician and author Kalaf Epalanga was announced the curator and José Eduardo Agualusa was announced as headliner.  It was going swimmingly until a global pandemic ended all hopes of meeting in the European capital that was affected horribly. The 2020 edition had to be put off until further notice.

2021 was a better year as organisers announced virtual events with guests streaming in from wherever they resided in at the end of January. A good time was had by those who attended the events online.

The physical edition of the festival curated by Kalaf Epalanga is now set to happen in mid-July; it will explore the 2021 festival theme “Telling the Origin Stories” by focusing on questions of origin, affiliation and identity. Lusophone literature and the connection between music and literature will also be at the heart of the event. In addition to live literature, guests will be able to explore market stalls offering African food, books, jewellery and more.

This year´s headliner is José Eduardo Agualusa alongside Yara Monteiro, Ondjaki, Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda, Marita Van Der Vyver, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Sulaiman Addonia, Chimeka Garricks, Bisi Adjapon, Jumoke Adeyanj, Martha Fessehatzion and Toty Sa´Med among our guests.

If you are in Germany and want to see the finest African writers, you can get tickets at the following address.

Details of the festival

Date: July 16th/17th 2021

Venue: Outdoor Cinema Freiluftkino Rehberge (accessible for wheelchairs and for people with visual impairments)

Tickets: 16,50 € and 12,50 € (reduced) on

Instagram @abfberlin, @iKontinental

Twitter @iKontinental

By James Murua

This blog is run by James Murua a Nairobi, Kenya based lover of books.

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