Telling Trees

Let us taste from life. By telling trees. Let us build a life. Telling trees. From our ancestors. To our contemporaries. Planting seeds. Building soils. For the ones. Yet to come. Join us when we will sow the first session of Telling Trees, a beginning series of informal gatherings at  SAVVY Contemporary, around and among “sources of knowledge,” being scholars of the living who are rooted in African cultures. Our first guests will be the storytellers Nkiacha Atemnkeng from Cameroon and Sada Malumfashi from Nigeria. Their stories resonate to the beats and sounds of their surroundings, telling the story of an airport, a train ride, a music genre – a life.

Nkiacha Atemnkeng is a Cameroonian writer who works at the Douala International Airport. His works have been published in the Caine Prize anthology 'Lusaka Punk and Other Stories,' The Africa Report, Culture Trip, This Is Africa, Bakwa, Saraba and Gyara Magazines. He attended the 2015 Caine Prize workshop in Ghana, the 2017 Nigeria Cameroon Literary Exchange Project and the 2018 Miles Morland workshop in Uganda, facilitated by Giles Foden. He is a Sylt Foundation writing residency prize winner and a Kundslerdorf Schopingen residency fellow. He is currently at work on a novel manuscript set at the Douala Airport, a few western airports and on board a couple of flights in the sky, tentatively titled "Gate A-22". He tweets @nkiacha.

Sada Malumfashi is a writer living in Kaduna, Nigeria and an awardee of the 2018 Goethe Institute/Sylt Foundation Writing Residency in Germany. He is the Founder of the literary arts collective, Open Arts. His works of fiction have appeared in Transition Magazine, New Orleans Review’s African Literary Hustle Issue, Bombay Review and Kalahari Review. His essays and creative nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in The Africa Report, Saraba Magazine, Enkare Review, This Is Africa, Asymptote and Music in Africa amongst others. Sada was shortlisted for the Kofi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction administered by Writivism in 2017 and was among the participants in the Goethe Institute Nigeria-Cameroon Literary Exchange Program. He is interested in the intricacies of languages and works on translations bilingually in Hausa and English. His Hausa poems have been translated into English.His translation of Laura Kaminski’s Hausa poem into English has appeared in the National Translation Month Issue of 2017.

Arlette-Louise Ndakoze is living and researching in Berlin, driven by artistic and intellectual movements in Rwanda and further African cultures. She dedicates inspiring phenomena experimental conversations on sound textures. Arlette-Louise Ndakoze is a member of the art space SAVVY Contemporary.

Tanka Fonta is a Cameroonian born composer, artist, author, performer, instrumentalist, poet, researcher & scholar of African music. Fonta has exhibited as a visual artist in Cameroon, Canada, USA and Germany. Fluent in diverse musical idioms and genres, Fonta often integrates themes and motifs from different musical cultures of the world – a strong and converging point in his works and compositional palette. With over a 150 published works for orchestra, small and mixed ensembles, quartets, trios and for solo instrumentation, some of his recently published works include Incantations of a Bantu Mask, Visions & Ideograms, Themes & Variations of an African Dance in G Major, Elation of the Gods I, Fulani Flute Dance, Drums & Faces of the Night, The Birth of Dawn and The Initiation Dances I. He has featured in the documentary film “ African Brush Strokes”. In addition he is a frequent performer in numerous festivals, concerts and has appeared in Vues D’Afrique, Coup de Coeur festivals in Montreal, du Maurier Jazz festival and many others.