24th International Literature Festival, Berlin

24th International Literature Festival, Berlin

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Helon Habila is Curator in Residence for the 24th international literature festival berlin

Dear audience of the international literature festival berlin,

Starting in 2024, the international literature festival berlin will collaborate with a Curator in Residence. He or she will be responsible for events and invitations and will work together with the festival director and the team to develop a guiding theme for the ilb.

Additionally, they will be present in Berlin during the festival. An internationally composed selection committee has chosen the Nigerian writer Helon Habila as Curator in Residence for the 24th festival edition.

Born in Nigeria and currently residing in the USA and Nigeria, Habila is the author of four novels and numerous short stories, receiving accolades such as the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing. His literary environmental thriller, »Oil on Water« (2010) became an international bestseller. His latest novel, »Travelers« (2019) sensitively narrates African migration to Europe and the search for home.

The author also has a personal connection to Berlin, having been a guest at the ilb in 2008, 2013, and 2015, as well as a fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2013.

In expressing his thoughts on the appointment, Habila states, »I think the ilb’s decision to appoint a Curator in Residence shows its genuine desire to collaborate with writers regarding the vision and the direction the festival should take. The ilb has always been international, but appointing me, a Nigerian writer, as the first curator in residence shows that the festival is taking a bold step to further burnish its international credentials and to welcome all writers to Berlin on an equal basis. My duty as a curator is to make this vision possible.«

Helon Habila’s detailed author biography can be found on our website.

Author and selection committee member Priya Basil explains the choice, saying, »His writing accomplishments, his dedication to justice and to nurturing a plurality of literary voices, as well as his extensive network make him uniquely suited to offer the ilb creative, multi-faceted curation that connects worlds and expands imaginations.«

Festival Director Lavinia Frey adds, »Helon Habila is an outstanding writer and connoisseur of international literature. His curiosity, dedication to literature, which he teaches as a Creative Writing professor, and his knowledge of the literary scenes will change the program and the way we work together.«

Regarding the Curatorial Principle:

The festival’s supporting association, Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kunst und Politik e.V., aims to set new accents for the ilb through international guest curation. Working with international authors from the outset enriches and focuses the program, allowing for a multitude of voices. This new curatorial approach will significantly transform the festival’s identity beyond 2024 and 2025, fostering sustained international collaboration and expanding literary networks between Berlin and writers worldwide.

About the Selection Committee:

The selection committee consists of the Board of the Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kunst und Politik e.V. Barbara Wahlster and Prof. Johannes Kister, Festival Director Lavinia Frey, Litprom-Jury member Timo Berger, Author Priya Basil, FILBA Festival Curator in Buenos Aires Victoria Rodriguez Lacrouts, Ake Literature Festival Director in Lagos Lola Shoneyin, and translator and former Director of International Literature at S. Fischer Verlag Hans Jürgen Balmes.

September 5 – 14, 2024
24th international literature festival berlin / Haus der Berliner Festspiele

September 9 – 18, 2024
24th ilb Young Program / Haus der Berliner Festspiele & silent green. Kulturquartier.

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Date And Time

2024-09-04 to



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