Jama Musse Jama and Stefanie Hirsbrunner are the guests of the James Murua Literary LiveStream on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 at 18:00 GMT/ 19:00 WAT/ 20:00 CAT/ 21:00 EAT. You can join the stream, brought to you in cooperation with Frankfurter Buchmesse with financial support from the German Federal Foreign Office, on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter.

In 2020, we introduced the James Murua Literary LiveStream to shine a light on the African literary ecosystem and ways to make it better. Previous guests to the stream have been Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Maaza Mengiste and Antje Rávik Strubel; Ondjaki and Philipp Khabo Koepsell; Mariette Tchamda Mbunpi and Annette Michael; as well as Nyana Kakoma and Mariela Nagle. The latter events were brought to you in cooperation with Frankfurter Buchmesse with financial support from the German Federal Foreign Office.

In 2021, the literary LiveStream returned with Tsitsi Dangarembga, Volha Hapeyeva and Ralf Nestmeyer in March, Chikè Frankie Edozien and Michaela Dudley in April, Okechukwu Ofili and Lena Renold in May, and Sharon Dodua Otoo and Dr Joyce Nyairo in June. The guests for July are Jama Musse Jama and Stefanie Hirsbrunner and their topic of discussion will be;

Literary festivals/Book fairs in the African literary ecosystem

In the last decade and a half there has been a growth in the number of large literary gatherings across the continent. Some of the most famous names in that arena in recent times have been the Abantu Book Festival (South Africa), Ake Festival (Nigeria), Hargeysa (Somaliland), Pa Gya! (Ghana), Swahili Literary Festival (Kenya), and many others.

Why do they matter to the ecosystem of a nascent literary ecosystem? How have they enhanced or slowed down literary production in the African continent.

Join Jama Musse Jama (Co-founder, Hargeysa International Book Fair, Somaliland) and Stephanie Hirsbrunner (Co-founder, African Book Festival, Berlin, Germany) as they discuss the role of the literary festival/book in the ecosystem of the African literary tradition.

Here is more information about these personalities;

Jama Musse Jama

Jama Musse Jama
Jama Musse Jama

Dr Jama Musse Jama is an ethno-mathematician with a PhD in African Studies specialising in Computational Linguistics of African Languages. He has extensive research publications in mathematics, ICT and the role of art and culture in development. Founder and yearly organizer of the influential Hargeysa International Book Fair, and currently Director of the Hargeysa Cultural Centre in Somaliland, Dr. Jama has also a Senior Research Associate position at DPU, University College London, UK.

Stefanie Hirsbrunner

Stefanie Hirsbrunner
Stefanie Hirsbrunner

Stefanie Hirsbrunner is a political scientist. She is the author of several non-fiction books, including Sorry about Colonialism and Hotel Fünf Sterne (Engl: “Hotel Five Stars”). Her most recent publication, the anthologoy Afrika:Radikal neu denken? (Engl: Africa: rethinking radically?) which she co-edited was published in 2016. She moderates and teaches.

Since 2018, she has run the book store InterKontinental in Berlin, which was honoured with the German award forbookstores (“Deutscher Buchhandlungspreis”) in 2021.

Furthermore, she is a board member of the InterKontinental association which seeks to promote African literature in Germany and functions as the director of the African Book Festival in Berlin.

The two will join the LiveStream at 18:00 GMT/ 19:00 WAT/ 20:00 CAT/ 21:00 EAT. If you want to interact with them, you can join the stream on Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter.