The International Festival of Literatur (internationales Literaturefestival Berlin (ilb) takes place from the 4th to the 15th of september.

An important part of this year’s program is the event series „Decolonizing Wor(l)ds“. It deals with colonialism, neocolonialism and decolonization.

More than 200 guests from 50 countries, including some African countries, are expected. We are presenting you the most important events.



Rémi Tchokothe

He is Academic Councillor for African Studies at the University of Bayreuth with focus on afrophone literature, African youth slang in the diaspora and critical African Studies. In 2012 he wrote his thesis in Kamerun at the University of Bayreuth. He has already  been guest lecturer in Congo, Tunisia, Mayotte and South Africa.


On Friday, the 7th September around 18 Uhr he will participate in a discussion about alignments of language and culture in „Decolonizing the Mind – contemporary Perspectives“ in the aquarium (Südblock), Skalitzer Str. 6, 10999 Berlin.

Over 30 years have passed since the publication of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s »Decolonising the Mind«. The author’s »farewell to English« has since become a symbol for resistance against linguistic and cultural assimilation, erasure of memory, alienation, and self-perception. How and where do these struggles resonate today?


Zethu Matebeni

She is originally from Port Elizabeth in South Africa and a documentary filmmaker who has published a couple of books like „Black lesbian sexualities and identity in South Africa – An ethnography of black lesbian urban life“. At the moment she does researches as sociologist at the institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA) at the University of Cape Town. Matebeni was guest lecturer at the University of Yale and received numerous research fellowships.


On Saturday, the 8th September at 12am, she speaks for „Decolonizing Public Spaces“ historic influence of public rooms through colonisation. Also in the aquarium (Südblock), Skalitzer Str. 6, 10999 Berlin.

Street names honor, statues immortalize — but whom? Our panelists discuss how public space is historically and politically influenced and address the possibilities of decolonizing urban areas.


Akwaeke Emezi

Emezi was born in 1987 in Umuahia, capital of the Nigerian federal state Abia in South Nigeria and grew up in Aba. She studied International politics and Nonprofit Management at the New York University and took courses in Creative Writing at the New Yorker Syracuse University. She was awarded several times for her short prose. In 2018 her first novel »Freshwater« was published in which the difference between the static of a singular identity and the freedom and variability of a multiple personality is described.


Joining MatebeniEmezi will be talking on Sunday at 2 pm im aquarium (Südblock), Skalitzer Str. 6, 10999 Berlin, about „Decolonizing of Gender and Sexuality“. Classic and modern role images will be subject of the discussion as well.

Divergence from heterosexuality, from traditional gender roles and binary understandings of masculinity and femininity, is often portrayed as a colonial invention, with the purpose of justifying rejection and persecution. Yet does the belief that diversity in sexuality and gender was imported withstand historical and cultural analysis?



Entrance free. Most of the events are in English. Have a look, it will be worth it!



Here you can find the program of „Decolonizing Wor(l)ds“ and Here you can find the official website of the International Festival of Literature in Berlin.