If there is one thing that can transport you from your narrow everyday routine, it’s a good book. And Germany’s first bookshop specialising in African literature might be the best point of departure to take off beyond the realm of the Eurocentric mainstream. Opened in December a stone’s throw from Ostkreuz station, InterKontinental boasts an abundance of fiction and nonfiction from the African continent, as well as stories and children’s books by Diaspora authors, in both English and German. Expect carefully curated shelves lined with tomes such as Reni Eddo-Lodge’s ground-breaking essay collection Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (€13.50), Igoni A. Barrett’s satirical novel Blackass (€16.90) and Harriett Anena’s emotive poetry collection A Nation in Labour (€10), which intersperses English with Acholi and Swahili. The founders of the shop are Stefanie Hirsbrunner and Karla Kutzuer – two white born-and-bred Berliners. During a work placement in Ghana in her early twenties, Hirsbrunner realised the extent of her Western ignorance (“I hadn’t read a single book by a black author!”). She did her best to catch up in local bookshops, and once back to her politics studies in Berlin, she initiated the Free University’s African Department, and, along with fellow student Kutzuer, set up Berlin’s first annual African Book Festival last year. With readings, book launches, fairs and events, you can trust this fleißig duo will remain true to their mission of enlightening fellow Berliners about the beauty and versatility of African literature(s).
20.06.2019 - 12:02 Uhr
A boarding pass to Africa
If there is one thing that can transport you from your everyday routine, it’s a good book. And Germany’s first bookshop specialising in African literature, InterKontinental, might be the best point of departure.