The Nordic Africa Institute has appointed Shailja Patel of Kenya to be Guest Writer 2009. Shailja Patel will be active at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala during April to June 2009. Besides developing her own literary activities during her stay in the Nordic region, she will participate at readings and have performances in several Nordic countries. The Nordic Africa Institute is unique among research institutes in the Nordic region in appointing a yearly writer in residence.

Shailja Patel, who is of Indo-African origin and grew up in Nairobi, is right now in Sweden as a participant in the international writers and translators conference Waltic in Stockholm. She has been mentioned as one of the most interesting young writers in Africa. In 2006 she premiered the one man show “Migritude” which gave her global recognition. Extracts from the show has been broadcast by National Public Radio in the U.S. and by the BBC in the UK. She was one of eight poets selected to perform at the Poetry Africa arrangement at the World social forum in Nairobi in the beginning of 2007.

The Nordic Africa Institute cites Shailja Patel’s “skill and originality in many writers genres: poetry, short stories, dramatisation of national and family history, and for her original take on identity in the ‘Migritude’ age” as reason for her selection to be NAI Guest Writer 2009.

The Nordic Africa Institute (Nordiska Afrikainstitutet) is a center for research, documentation and information on modern Africa in the Nordic region. Based in Uppsala, Sweden, the Institute is dedicated to providing timely, critical and alternative research and analysis on Africa in the Nordic countries and to co-operation between African and Nordic researchers. As a hub and a meeting place in the Nordic region for a growing field of research and analysis the Institute strives to put knowledge of African issues within reach for scholars, policy makers, politicians, media, students and the general public. The Institute is financed jointly by the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden).

www.nai.uu.se

For more information about Shailja Patel and the Nordic Africa Institute Guest Writer Program, please contact Mai Palmberg, mai.palmberg@nai.uu.se, coordinator for the programme “Cultural Images in and of Africa” at the Nordic Africa Institute. Also see Shailja Patel’s own web site: www.shailja.com.