Portrait

Litar – a place for literature and its promotion. Zurich’s Galerie Litar hosts regular exhibitions and events on literary topics. We also produce publications and projects in the fields of literature, translation and the media.

Litar aims to spark ideas, discover new things and start conversations about rarely raised subjects. To do so, we work with programmes that run for several years and encompass a range of formats. We run our projects ourselves or in collaboration with other institutions.

The Litar Foundation is a non-profit organization; it does not accept funding applications.

 

Newsletter

Thank you for your interest in Litar. Our newsletter is published in German and informs readers about our current projects and upcoming events. It is sent out four to six times a year and can be cancelled at any time.

Sign up for our newsletter (in German)



Programmes

Litar works on thematic projects that run over several years. Our objective is to explore literary content off the beaten track. In a fast-moving world, Litar takes the time for an in-depth examination of a subject, allowing it to develop on a regional, national and international basis and take effect far beyond the scope of the original programme. 

Exhibition “litafrika – Abidjan & Accra” 2024, photos: Zeljko Gataric | Design: Rahel Arnold


litafrika – Abidjan & Accra
Strauhof Zurich, 7 June – 8 September 2024 

The third and final litafrika exhibition focuses on the literary scenes of two metropolises in West Africa: Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Accra in Ghana.

The starting point is the feminist library “1949books” (Abidjan/Côte d’Ivoire) and the archive “Library Of Africa and The African Diaspora” (LOATAD, Accra/Ghana). The scenes are diverse: literature is also slam, dance, comics and storytelling. The exhibition uses video installations and photographs to immerse the audience in the literary life and the cities of Abidjan and Accra, and presents current authors. It also explores cultural memory and highlights the colonial past of two neighbouring countries that are close and distant at the same time.

The exhibition is being realised by an international curator collective, the videos were realised by local filmmakers:

Curator collective
Sylvia Arthur and Seth Avusuglo (LOATAD, Accra), Edwige-Renée Dro (1949books, Abidjan), Christa Baumberger and Nicole Schmid (Litar, Zürich)

Videos and photographs
Nipah Dennis (Accra), Prince Agyei Peprah (Accra), Nuits Balnéaires (Abidjan)
 

In cooperation with Strauhof Zurich
Supported by Pro Helvetia and Ernst Göhner Stiftung. Thank you!
 

Strauhof Zürich
Augustinergasse 9, CH-8001 Zurich

Opening hours
Di-Fr: 12–18 Uhr
Do: 12–22 Uhr
Sa: 11–17 Uhr
So: 11–17 Uhr
 

Download: Flyer litafrika – Abidjan & Accra 
 

litafrika on Youtube

Selected exhibition contents as well as online events can also be viewed on the Youtube channel @litafrika.
 

Exhibition trilogy «litafrika» 2022–2024

Litar and the Strauhof Zurich are dedicating the exhibition trilogy “litafrika” (2022–2024) to literatures from the African continent. The third and last “litafrika” exhibition in 2024 builds on the two exhibitions “Poetries of a Continent” (2022) and “Artistic Encounters” (2023). 
 

Pro Helvetia "To-gather" 2022–2024

Pro Helvetia supports “litafrika” over its entire duration in the “To-gather” programme. This funding vehicle enables new intercontinental collaborations and the establishment of long-term networks. The aim is to make the exchange between cultures more equal and sustainable as well as to test new forms of collaboration.
 

Impressum

Overall Project Management litafrika: 
Christa Baumberger (Litar) and Rémi Jaccard (Strauhof)

Project Management Strauhof:
Rémi Jaccard and Philip Sippel

Graphic Design: 
Rahel Arnold

Film editor: 
Carlotta Holy-Steinemann

litafrika, part 2

litafrika – Artistic Encounters
16 June to 10 September 2023 | Strauhof Zurich

The second exhibition presented eight scenes from contemporary African literatures: curator Zukiswa Wanner (South Africa/Kenya) staged encounters between current novels and performance, music or visual art. Across national and linguistic borders, the exhibition shed light on a generation of writers who are well connected and internationally active. More…

litafrika, part 1

litafrika – Poetries of a Continent
3 June to 4 September 2022 | Strauhof Zurich

The starting point for the first exhibition was the monumental anthology “Afrika im Gedicht” (Zurich 2015), edited by the Swiss journalist and theologian Al Imfeld. Exemplary poems were staged, ranging from postcolonial classics to the current slam and spoken word scenes. The exhibition was curated by Christa Baumberger and Rémi Jaccard. More…


Current Publications

litafrika – Artistic Encounters. 8 Bücher – 8 Begegnungen | Edition Litar 03
Edited by Christa Baumberger, Rémi Jaccard, Nicole Schmid and Zukiswa Wanner. In German.
With excerpts from novels by Ishmael Beah, Virgília Ferrão, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Angela Makholwa, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Yara Nakahanda Monteiro, Fiston Mwanza Mujila and Ondjaki. German translations by Katja Meintel, Elisa Fuchs and others. Accompanying texts to the novels and photographs of the eight artistic encounters. Introductions by Christa Baumberger, Rémi Jaccard and Zukiswa Wanner.
Litar 2023 | 82 pages | 36 illustrations colour and b/w | ISBN 978-3-9525728-2-5
CHF 7.– (plus shipping costs)
Order: info@strauhof.ch 


litafrika – Artistic Encounters | Paivapo Publishers
Edited by Zukiswa Wanner. With the eight excerpts of the novels in Portuguese, English and French. Some text excerpts were translated specifically for the exhibition by Edwige-Renée Dro and Sandra Tamele.
Paivapo 2023 | 189 pages | ISBN 978-0-639782-41-6
Order: info@strauhof.ch


litafrika – Artistic Encounters 8/2023 | Online magazine Periferias
Periferias is a Brazilian online platform with themed issues in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. The Periferias special issue “litafrika – Artistic Encounters” 8/2023 was published on the occasion of the exhibition.
Link: revistaperiferias.org


litafrika – Poetries of a Continent | Online magazine Specimen – Babel Review of Translation
Specimen, the online magazine for literary translation, has dedicated a focus to “litafrika” in its August 2023 issue. It presents a selection of poems from the exhibition “litafrika – Poetries of a Continent” in various new translations and languages.
Link: Specimen
 

Al Imfeld Article Collection

The collection of articles by the Swiss theologian and Africa journalist Al Imfeld contains newspaper articles on the literatures of the entire African continent from 1960 to 2014. The collection can be viewed at Litar by prior appointment. Al Imfeld article collection: Inventory
Contact: info@litar.ch

“Migration Memories”, exhibition at Galerie Litar Zurich, 9.3.–4.5.2024 | Graphic image: Rahel Arnold

Stimmlos
Literature and (In-)Justice

Which voices do we hear and who is denied a voice? Litar provides a platform for writers who were heard too rarely, for a wide range of reasons. Some were institutionalized or even declared incapable of speaking for themselves. Others withdrew and eventually fell silent. What remains is written traces, stories and novels, documents of their lives and sometimes also visual works. The “Stimmlos” (“Unvoiced”) programme acts as an amplifier, following these quiet voices, providing a space for the unheard and presenting stories that have not yet been written.

An installation at Galerie Litar allows visitors to experience the theme of “Unvoiced” with all their senses. Changing exhibitions are shown in a walk-in cell. Voices sound out, combined with images, photography and film. The cell’s confining walls invite visitors to cross mental boundaries.
 

Exhibitions to date:

Migration Memories
Galerie Litar, 9 March to 4 May 2024
More (in German)…

Frisch und Fein. Exil Zürich 1933
Galerie Litar, 15 April to 10 June 2023
More (in German)…

Aus der Stille ... Peter Liechti
Galerie Litar, 8 October to 3 December 2022
More (in German)…

Adelheid Duvanels Himmel
Galerie Litar, 30 October to 11 December 2021
More (in German)…

Friedrich Glausers Zelle
Galerie Litar, 28 May to 10 July 2021
More (in German)…

Damian Le Bas, Crisis Time / Refugee Could Be You Could Be Me, 2016 | Photo: Kai Dikhas, Diego Castellano Cano

Weltenweit 
Yenish, Sinti and Roma Literatures

Under the title “Weltenweit” (“Worlds Wide”), Litar has focused since 2019 on Yenish, Sinti and Roma literatures and cultures. Switzerland has recognized the Yenish and Sinti as national minorities since 2016. The Roma are still fighting for official recognition in the country, however. The cultures of these minorities are rich and diverse – and yet barely known. Litar organized the “Weltenweit” Festival at Kosmos Zurich (5 and 6 April 2019) to change that. For the first time in Switzerland, Yenish, Sinti and Roma culture formed the focus of a festival. Since then, Litar has held readings, workshops, teaching events and panels in various places in Switzerland and Austria, on our own or in cooperation with institutions such as RomArchive, Initiative Minderheiten Tirol and Radgenossenschaft.
 

Current Publication

Morphing the Roma Label
Roma Jam Session art Kollektiv (Mo Diener, RR Marki and Milena Petrovic)
Published by Mo Diener and RR Marki, Zurich 2022.
Texts in German, English and Romanes.
Info and order: OnCurating.org

Publication and translations into Romanes were made possible with the support of Litar.

Morphing the Roma Label

Agenda

Unless otherwise specified, events are listed in the language or the languages in which they will be held.

Fr 7 June – So 8 September 2024
litafrika – Abidjan & Accra
Exhibition
Strauhof Zürich

The exhibition shines the spotlight on the literary scenes of two West African metropolises and also looks to the future: from A for activist to diaspora, feminism, pioneer, storytelling and Z for Zouglou, everything is included and much more!

More…

Do 22. August 2024 | 18.30 Uhr
litafrika – Abidjan & Accra
Ausstellungsrundgang mit Christa Baumberger und Nicole Schmid
Strauhof Zürich

Durch die Ausstellung mit den Co-Kuratorinnen Christa Baumberger und Nicole Schmid, Litar (Zürich). Sie waren in Côte d'Ivoire und Ghana und haben die Ausstellung im internationalen Kurationsteam mit lokalen Filmschaffenden vor Ort vorbereitet. 

Mehr…

Di 27. August 2024 | 19.00–21.00 Uhr
Lesekreis Litar und Viceversa | Kreis #13
Alexandre Lecoultre «Peter und so weiter»
Litar Zürich

An diesem Abend bleiben wir in der vielsprachigen Schweiz. Wir diskutieren über Alexandre Lecoultres Romanerstling «Peter und so weiter». Das französische Original vermischt sich mit Deutsch, Schweizerdeutsch, ein wenig Italienisch, Spanisch und Rumänisch.

Mehr...

Do 29. August 2024 | 18.30 Uhr
litafrika – Abidjan & Accra
Ausstellungsrundgang mit Rahel Arnold und Flurina Rothenberger
Strauhof Zürich

Durch die Ausstellung mit der visuellen Gestalterin von «litafrika» Rahel Arnold und der Fotografin Flurina Rothenberger, NICE labs. Beide haben in Côte d'Ivoire gelebt und gearbeitet. Ihr NICE Magazin bietet Einblicke ins zeitgenössische, urbane Afrika. 

Mehr… 

Sa 31. August 2024 | 13.00–17.00 Uhr
Art Intervention Lawrence Weiner und Open House
Atelierkultour Kreis 6
Litar Zürich

Im Rahmen von Atelierkultour Kreis 6 öffnen wir die Tore der Galerie Litar weit und geben Einblick in unsere Literaturwerkstatt. Um 14 Uhr feierliche Enthüllung des konzeptuellen Kunstwerkes «ON TOP OF THE TREES» des US-amerikanischen Künstlers Lawrence Weiner. 

Mehr...

Sa 7. September 2024 | 18-01 Uhr
litafrika – Abidjan & Accra
Lange Nacht der Zürcher Museen
Strauhof Zürich

Afrobeats Showcase von LIVFORIT (CH/Ghana), Fotostudio mit Oliver Zenklusen und Kurzführungen von Christa Baumberger und Nicole Schmid, Co-Kuratorinnen.

Mehr…

Information on past events is available here.

Galerie Litar

Galerie Litar stages exhibitions and holds events and workshops.

Galerie Litar Zurich. Photo: Zeljko Gataric


Previous exhibitions

Migration Memories
9 March to 4 May 2024

More (in German)... 

Frisch und Fein. Exil Zürich 1933
15 April to 10 June 2023

More (in German)... 

Aus der Stille ... Peter Liechti
8 October to 3 December 2022

More (in German)... 

Adelheid Duvanels Himmel
30 October to 11 December 2021

More (in German)... 

Friedrich Glausers Zelle
28 May to 10 July 2021

More (in German)... 

Contact

 

The Litar Foundation is based at Letzistrasse 23, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland. We host regular exhibitions and events.

 How to get to Litar: 
- Tram 10 from Zurich central station to Letzistrasse (10 mins)
- Tram 10 from Zurich airport to Letzistrasse (20 mins)
- Tram 9 from Bellevueplatz to Letzistrasse (10 mins)

 

Galerie Litar, photos: Zeljko Gataric, Nakarin Saisorn, Ayse Yavas and Litar.

Litar

Letzistrasse 23, CH-8006 Zurich
Tel. +41 44 291 99 00
info@litar.ch
www.litar.ch

Newsletter

Thank you for your interest in Litar. Our newsletter is published in German and informs readers about our current projects and upcoming events. It is sent out four to six times a year and can be cancelled at any time.

 

Sign up for our newsletter (in German)



Team

Christa Baumberger
Director 

Dr Christa Baumberger is the director of Litar and is in charge of artistic and administrative management. A literary scholar, cultural journalist and curator, she has wide experience of managing cultural projects. She has been a jury member of the FOC (Federal Office of Culture) Swiss Literary Awards since 2022 and vice-president at the Christoph Geiser Foundation; mandates as a moderator and curator.

Simone Ammann
Communication and Coordination

Simone Ammann is responsible for communication, coordination and administration. After completing her studies in German and English language and literature and internships at two Swiss publishing houses, she worked for the BuchBasel Festival. Most recently, she was employed as a communication specialist at the publisher Lehrmittelverlag of Canton Zurich.

Nicole Schmid
Assistance

Nicole Schmid is the assistant to the “litafrika” project and for Litar’s general operations. Alongside Litar, she works for the short film festival “look&roll”. During her degree in literary studies, she gained a range of insights into literary and cultural mediation at Strauhof Zurich and the Goethe-Institut Chicago.

Photos team: Ayse Yavas