Initiated by artlink
Litklub presents a selection of stories and experiences from Africa, Latin America, Southeast and Southwest Asia, and Eastern Europe for engaged readers and listeners. With a book club and discussion groups, podcasts and spoken word performances, as well as regular conversations with authors and translators, Litklub builds bridges between authors from around the globe and readers in Switzerland and beyond. The club was founded thirty years ago with the primary aim to promote literature from Africa, Asia, and Latin America in German-speaking regions through the translations of these works into German.
Formerly Der Andere Literaturklub was renamed Litklub in 2021 and the programme has been complemented with forms of storytelling that include but also transcend the printed text. Additionally, we now offer digital as well as live modes of sharing experiences among the readers who are members of the club, but also with others who share the artlink Litklub’s engagement with questions of global-local entanglements. We publish all current activities on this page.
Widely distributing and thus acknowledging the works of writers from countries with limited support for literature continues to play a key role in all activities of the Litklub —a vision to which your membership contributes significantly. We welcome you to read, listen, debate and engage with our collaborating writers and their works!
This year’s programme is set on Afropolitan Flows. Focusing on the cosmopolitan angle of the term Afropolitan, we aim to explore movements from and within the African continent, be they geographical, cultural, social or political. We want to highlight the ways in which Afropolitan flows intersect with societies and cultures across the globe. Particular attention is paid to the intersection with Swiss society and its culture.
The programme focus for 2022 is reflected in the books we select for Litklub members, as well as in our podcast, our discussion groups and joint live events with partners. Litklub is working in partnership with Bla*Sh – Netzwerk Schwarze Frauen, the bookshop Klamauk (Bern), Museum Strauhof (Zurich) and Litar (Zurich) to provide a rich and challenging programme consisting of a variety of media and opportunities for exchange and discussion.
Four times a year, Litklub members receive a book selected by literature scholars, enthusiasts, and authors. A selection of four books per year translated into German and dispatched to your home address. Our organisation works in cooperation with various partners to provide you with relevant contextual information and critical insights concerning the creation of these works. The selection of books shared with our members in 2022 is dedicated to the theme of “Afropolitan flows” and was chosen in partnership with:
- Marylin Umurungi, decolonial activist and member of Bla*Sh, Netzwerk Schwarze Frauen
- Anna Christen, bookseller and owner of Klamauk bookshop, Bern
The first book from the 2022 selection for our artlink Litklub members is: Imagine Africa 2060: Geschichten zur Zukunft eines Kontinents, Peter Hammer Verlag 2019.
Reflexe, the Litklub Podcast is one of our many new strategies of showcasing literature to a broader audience. The podcast is available to everyone, whether or not you are a member of the Litklub. Listen to interviews and conversations with authors and translators of literary works featured in our Litklub! The books that we introduce to our members are German translations of the original texts. Currently the podcasts are also only available in German.
In this episode from July 2021, we speak to Uruguayan novelist, Mercedes Rosende, and German translator, Peter Kultzen, about the ironic plot, the lovable criminals and the special colloquial language in the crime novel Krokodilstränen, published by Unionsverlag in 2018.
In this episode from July 2021, we speak to Palestinian author, Mazen Maarouf, and German translator, Larissa Bender, about fiction as a way of processing war trauma, child protagonists and the connection between language and violence in the short story collection Ein Witz für ein Leben, published by Unionsverlag in 2020.
In this episode from July 2021, we talk to Thomas Brovot — the German translator of Comorian author Ali Zamir's novel Die Schiffbrüchige — about the uniquely poetic language of the drowning narrator. We also speak to Professor of African Studies Rémi Armand Tchokothe about the tragedy of European migration policy in the Comores and how this is reflected in the plot of Die Schiffbrüchige, published by Unionsverlag in 2020.
Members of the Litklub meet four times a year on Zoom to discuss the books selected by artlink in partnership with co-curators, and offered to members on a quarterly basis. The discussions are hosted by Ana Sobral, head of the literature section at artlink and programme manager of Litklub.
Litklub members have access to readings, performances, conversations and further live events related to literature and a broad range of storytelling. Together with several collaborators, artlink is committed to providing its members with a programme that invites you to explore different ways of telling, understanding and contributing to stories. We work with a range of cultural players in Switzerland and beyond, from literary venues to political activists to authors in different areas of the world.