Saturday, December 4, 2021

Dangarembga from Zimbabwe receives German Peace Prize

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

“We can strive to change our thinking patterns word by word, consciously and consistently over time, and persist until results are visible in the way we do things and in the results of our actions.” – she said “. she said Sunday at St Paul’s Church in Frankfurt.

Dangarembga is the first black woman to receive the German Book Trade Peace Prize of € 25,000 (US $ 29,100), awarded since 1950.

In her speech, Dangarembga talked about Zimbabwe’s colonial past and the various forms of violence that white colonialists used against its black residents in the 19th and 20th centuries. This violence continued when Zimbabwe became independent in 1980, she added.

“These types of violence are structured into the global order in which we live and are rooted in the structures of the Western empire that began to take shape more than half a century ago,” she said.

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As a result, Dangarembga said the world needs a new way of thinking. She said that real change would not require “miracle cures”, but intense, conscious work on behalf of those who benefited from Western power structures.

Dangarembga is known for her work, including the bestseller Nervous States and its sequel This Mournful Body. Announcing the award earlier this year, the jury declared that she is “not only one of the most important artists in her country, but also the widely heard voice of Africa in contemporary literature.”

Auma Obama, sociologist and activist, half-sister of former US President Barack Obama, introduced Dangarembgu. She said the writer and filmmaker fought “against all odds” and “by all means possible” for the “deaf and freedom of speech” in Zimbabwe.

“You have presented a differentiated picture of the African continent around the world,” Obama added.

In addition to the Peace Prize, Dangarembga was also honored this year with the PEN Pinter Prize and the PEN International Freedom of Expression Prize.

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