Internationale Poetry-Biennale  -  Filmfestival  -  Salon  -  Netzwerk

Freitag, 4. November, 20.30 Uhr


Christine Yohannes
(Äthiopien / Ethiopia - Kenia)

Festival Focus Äthiopien / Ethiopia

Christine Yohannes ist Dichterin, Schriftstellerin, Übersetzerin, sie spricht fließend Amharisch, Englisch, Französisch und Italienisch. Sie hat in Äthiopien, Frankreich, Togo und den Vereinigten Staaten gelebt und wohnt derzeit in Kenia, wo sie als Journalistin für BBC Amharic in Nairobi arbeitete.

Christine verwendet zahlreiche künstlerische Formen, von Gedichten, Kurzgeschichten, Nachrichtenartikeln bis hin zu kurzen Videoformaten. Ihr Gedichtband Missing Words erschien 2014. 2022 schrieb und inszenierte sie zwei Theaterstücke, das erste wurde 20 Mal an verschiedenen Orten produziert, darunter am Nationaltheater Nairobi, es reiste weiter nach Mombasa, Nyali und Kilifi. Damit war sie die erste, die erfolgreich eine Reise-Theatertruppe in Kenia gründete und aufbaute.

Christine Yohannes, poet, writer, translator, fluent in Amharic, English, French, and Italian, and has lived in Ethiopia, France, Togo and the United States, currently residing in Kenya where she worked as a journalist for BBC Amharic in Nairobi.

Christine uses all forms of writing moving from poetry, short stories, news articles to short video formats. Her poetry collection Missing Words appeared in 2014. In 2022 she wrote and directed two plays, the first one
was produced 20 times at various locations including the National Theater in Nairobi travelling to Mombasa, Nyali and Kilifi making her the first to successfully form and build a travelling theater troupe in Kenya.

My hair is not a rebel
Trust me, it sleep when I tell to, sits, stands and rolls on my order
I can make it hard, thick just as much as I can make it soft to fall on one shoulder It does what I tell it to do, Whenever I tell it to do it
It is so obedient that once I give it the order it won’t change for shit
And in all honesty sometimes it’s too much to handle so I simply let it be
It’s a part of my essence, encrypted in my DNA it’s a part of being me
I stand before U today a determined voice, not a crack in my throat to tell U that I love my hair
Dismissing my story based on the basis of I (according to U) have good hair is not fair
This black weight on my head has a story all its own
Had it been decades ago would have gotten me disowned
And it’s not like shit’s changed coz what’s good fucking hair to begin with
When you tell me how nice it looks but teach me inadvertently to contain it

My hair is not a rebel
It’s an army of warriors with my ancestors blood written on each strand Ready to go to a war it didn’t ask for yet faithfully awaits my command
It’s the forest that muffled the death of my ancestors on both sides
It beats the heart of great grandmothers that would not be taken for free rides It is a pack of wolves ready to take in a child as their own
It is a black panther that watches over me so i don’t stand alone
It is the bear that dances with me, that guards from the cold to keep me warm It is the calm dead sea collecting the souls of my ancestors for the upcoming storm
It is the vultures flying over my head pointing towards the fire
It is the night sky that boasts the full moon it doesn’t retire
It is the snake, the spider and everything in this world that is not “right”
It. It. Can’t you see It is Nature in all of its Might!

My hair is not rebel
I can curl, twist, braid, corn row and iron straight flat
I can fro up or let down and I ain’t a fucking dog that you can pat
I can put it in a bun, shorten and even make it longer if I fucking please
So when i come with a Lion’s mane don’t fear it like it’s some kind of disease
It ain’t sick, it ain’t ill and it sure as hell not disobedient
So don’t go behind my back talking about how crazy my hair is coz it ain’t lenient Easygoing by whose standards though coz I didn’t get the fucking Memos
You must be judging the craziness of my hair based off of Garner & Panthene Marketing Demos
But listen why should I subjugate my hair to heat to make it look clean
Mind U I said look clean at this point it doesn’t matter if I don’t wash 4 weeks as long as it doesn’t look mean
Why should I feel uneasy about the texture of my natural hair for your comfort Our type of hair you de-beautify with makeover shows, Jerry Springer & cops our type of hair you contort

My hair is not a rebel
It has every right to stand against the oppression you put it under
It has every right to run, flee, attack and fight back but never surrender Because it is a sign that it not only has a mind of its own but a heartbeat
It bleeds each time it is scorned and refuses to be imprisoned to undergo heat Because it remembers those that have been burned alive for their difference Breathes freely for those that have been strangled, hung and killed for their resistance
It resists in every form I make it morph into because it’s the only way it fights capitalism
It capitalizes on its ability to be ok with itself and break free from the -ism Simply put it refuses to be named the good hair or a rebel
So it regularly trims away every single imposed label

No my hair is not a rebel, my hair is not crazy, my hair isn’t uncontainable No my hair is not impossible, my hair is not a petting zoo, my hair is not unstoppable
No my hair is not resistant, my hair is not imposing, my hair is not an empty flattery

No my hair is not a war zone, my hair is not a fight, my hair is not angry No my hair is not a rebel ... but I am not my hair!