Zimbabwean author wins German award

VIENNA – Accepting a prestigious German award on Sunday in honor of her work, Zimbabwean writer and filmmaker Tsitsi Dangarembga called for a “new Enlightenment”, saying fundamental change is needed to overcome the structures of the racial hierarchy that have led to violence in his home country and across the world.

“What we can envision is to change our thought patterns word by word, consciously and systematically over time, and to persevere until results are visible in the way we do things and in the ways we do things. results of our actions, ”she said in St. Paul’s Sunday. Frankfurt Church.

Dangarembga is the first black woman to win the German Book Trade Peace Prize, endowed with $ 29,100 and awarded since 1950.

In his remarks, Dangarembga spoke of Zimbabwe’s colonial past and the various forms of violence that white colonialists inflicted on its black inhabitants in the 19th and 20th centuries. This violence continued when Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, she added.

“These types of violence are structured in the world order we live in and have their roots in the structures of the Western Empire which began to form over half a millennium ago,” he said. she declared.

As a result, Dangarembga said the world needs new ways of thinking. She said bringing real change will require not “quick fixes” but hard and conscious work on the part of those who have benefited from Western power structures.

Dangarembga is known for her works, including the bestselling novel “Nervous Conditions” and its sequel, “This Mornable Body”. Announcing the award earlier this year, the jury said she was “not only one of her country’s most important artists, but also a widely audible voice of Africa in contemporary literature”.

Auma Obama, sociologist and activist and half-sister to former US President Barack Obama, introduced Dangarembga. She said the writer and filmmaker had fought “through thick and thin” and “with all possible means” for “the voiceless and for freedom of expression” in Zimbabwe.

“You presented a differentiated image of the African continent to the world,” Obama added.

In addition to the Peace Prize, Dangarembga also received this year the PEN Pinter Prize and the PEN International Prize for Freedom of Expression.

Author Tsitsi Dangarembga from Zimbabwe receives German Book Trade Peace Prize from Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, President of B & # xf6; rsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, in Frankfurt, Germany on Sunday, October 24, 2021 (Thomas Lohnes / epd-Pool / dpa via AP)

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