Assault of Binyavanga Wainaina

The African Literature Association (ALA) strongly condemns the racially motivated attack by a taxi driver on Kenyan writer, Binyavanga Wainaina in Berlin, Germany, on June 1, 2016. Mr. Wainaina, a prominent Kenyan writer currently recovering from a series of major strokes, was on a prestigious DAAD Berlin Artist-in-Residence fellowship when this assault occurred. This incident has been publicly noted and condemned by the DAAD. As an organization that supports the work of African writers and culture producers, the ALA is profoundly concerned about the well-being of African writers and artists. This assault is especially egregious since Mr. Wainaina was invited to Berlin to conduct work in a safe environment. The association supports the free exchange of ideas in programs such as the Berlin Artist-in-Residence program and affirms the importance of such exchange in the wake of rising global xenophobia and worsening refugee crises. The ALA respectfully calls upon German officials to ensure the safety of African writers and artists in Germany.