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(27–29 November 2020)

In partnership with the Goethe-Institut, Pro Helvetia, University of Lincoln, and Literaturhaus, Zürich, Switzerland

The title of the festival is inspired by the Kirundi word for Internet, “Ingurukana Bumenyi” (thanks to Athanase Karayenga, member of the festival team and journalist, for his suggestion). The term can be translated as “technology which allows knowledge to fly,” or, in this case, the technology that allows young talents to send their words beyond boundaries and borders. 


Refugees experience life in confined spaces and through restrictions of movement (even before COVID), and the festival focused on these issues, though other topics were covered as well, in the hope that we learn from and about each other, explore the power of storytelling, and find ways to cope with life in restricted spaces. 

The festival was streamed online via Zoom and featured contributions, performances, and readings from our teams in Kigali, Rwanda; Nakivali Refugee Settlement, Uganda; and the University of Lincoln, UK.  



27 November 2020


6 pm CET (5 pm GMT)

Festival Introduction avec la participation d'Athanase Karayenga 




7 pm CET (6 pm GMT)

"Five Voices"

Video poems from student poets at the University of Lincoln, UK (Refugee Poetry Project).

Alison Smith, Lydia Waites, Chelsea Garland, Victoria Wright, L A Duffy





8 pm CET (7 pm GMT)

Anika & Refupoet from Kenya

"Try My Shoe"

Komora & The African Pen, Prince Israel Mugisha, Enigma, King Moses, Deo Gray, Artieno, Jenner & Gugz, Dave Erjok  






28 November 2020 

6 pm CET (5 pm GMT) 

Debate on the Role of the Arts for Refugees 

Moderator: Nabilah Usman is a broadcast journalist and editor with a strong interest in pedagogy and strategic communication. She is also the Programs Director of African Writers Development Trust.

Rashida Namulondo


Rashida Namulondo is a Ugandan based actress, stage director, and award winning poet. She is the founder of The Sophie Muwanika Institute of Art for change, a non-profit organisation using theatre for peacebuilding.


Rashida is core member of the facilitating team of Refugees Across Spaces.

Nyende Keith

Nyende serves as the Team and Projects coordinator at The Cultural Avenue. The Cultural Avenue leverages cultural expressions and platforms to contribute to peacebuilding and Sustaining peace.

Kagayi Ngobi

KAGAYI NGOBI is the Founding Editor of "The Kitara Nation Poetry Series." He has authored four poetry collections, including the popular THE HEADLINE THAT MORNING AND OTHER POEMS. He enjoys performing poems and plays. Kagayi lives in Kampala.


Kagayi is member of the core facilitating Team for Refugees Across Spaces



7:15 pm CET (6:15 pm GMT) 

Nakivale Refugee Settlement

"BARUA" (A Letter in Swahili)

Just as the griot played the role of storyteller, historian, praise, singer, poet, and musician in West Africa, the poets and spoken word performers use words, sounds, and voices to share the experiences of refugees. Albert Messi Katangambo – Palmesi Sauvage, Christian Mujishamba, Chris le poète, Henry Kitsa – le protype, Songa Bahati – Leslamotherapeute, Samuel Mungala – Top_sam 


8 pm CET (7 pm GMT)

Introduction of Jury Members

Richard Ali

Richard Ali is a Nigerian lawyer and poet, founding member of Jalada Africa, and co-founder of the poetry publishing house Konya Shamsrumi. His debut collection is The Anguish and Vigilance of Things. 

Robbin Omeka

alias Enigma

Robbin Omeka,  alias Enigma, is a performer, storyteller, and spoken word poet with a career spanning seven years, during which he has traveled across East Africa, performing and building the capacity of artists through training in human-centred design and creative entrepreneurship.  

Tanya Akrofi

Tanya Akrofi is a writer and storyteller, originally from Ghana. In her workshops, she helps children and adults to reconnect with the healing power of the oral tradition. Her TEDx talk entitled “The heroic elixir of storytelling” explores the transformative power of telling and sharing tales.



29 November 2020 

4 pm CET (3 pm GMT)

Transpoesis Voices from Rwanda

Dinah Elizabeth Kampire and Bahati Innocent

6 pm CET (5 pm GMT)

Elixier aus Worten: Performance at Literaturhaus Zurich/Switzerland


In collaboration with Pro Helvetia 

With the participation of Max Lobé and Andrea Grieder

Music by Diana Turcu

Max Lobé

Born in Douala, Cameroon, in 1986, Max Lobé moved to Switzerland at the age of 18 and earned a BA in communications and journalism and a master’s in public policy and administration. He is the author of four critically acclaimed novels, all published by Editions Zoë, and numerous short stories. His 2013 novel, 39 rue de Berne, which portrays the life of undocumented immigrants in the red-light district of Geneva, was awarded the Prix du Roman des Romands. 

Diana-Maria Turcu

Diana-Maria Turcu wurde am 22.07.1989 in Botosani, Rumänien geboren. 2013 war sie Praktikantin in der Jenaer Philharmonie, Deutschland. Sie war Solistin an Konzerten mit dem Orchester des Kunstkollegiums "Octav Bancila" in Iasi, mit den Staatskapellen von Iasi, Botosani, Galati, Rumänien und mit dem "ZHdK Strings" Orchester. Sie hatte Solo und Kammermusik Auftritte in Rumänien, Deutschland, Russland, Kambodscha und der Schweiz.

Sie gewann zweimal den ersten Preis bei den nationalen rumänischen Jugend-Musik 2008 und 2006. Diana-Maria besuchte Meisterkursen, wie etwa Maxim Vengerov, Mihaela Martin, Sherban Lupu, Joshua Epstein, Brett Dean, Tim Kliphuis, Liana Issakadse.

In der Schweiz hatte sie die Gelegenheit, ein Überraschungs-Kammermusikkonzert in der Tonhalle Zürich, dem „Klangraum” (Dezember 2018), und im RTS Genf, dem „Espace 2”, ein Live-Konzert mit Aufnahme (Oktober 2019), zu spielen.

Andrea Grieder

Dr. Andrea Grieder is a social anthropologist (PhD from University of Zurich and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris). She is the Director of Transpoesis, a Rwanda-based poetry organisation with the aim of empowering youth through the arts. She is a poet and poetry video producer for the poetry label Transpoesis. 



30 November 2020 

7 pm CET (6 pm GMT)

Poetry Video Competition Award Ceremony

Announcement of People's and Jury Choices

(Prize sponsored by Goethe Institut, Kigali) 


We are extremely happy to announce the winners of the Poetry Video Competition "Festival On the Wings of Technology":


Best Poetry Video by a poet from a refugee camp: David Ndagijimana aka No-Stress Poet: "My Country"


Best Poetry Video by a non-refugee poet: "Khald Steve Shema: "Where Do They Belong?"


People’s Choice: Linzy Alice Bugingo: "A place We Can Call Home" 


Congratulations to all the winners and all the poets who submitted their work! You have inspired us all with your powerful and deeply moving work. Thank You!


The winners receive


1. A cash envelope to celebrate your victory (sponsored by Goethe Institut Kigali)


2. Their poetry video will "fly" to Maputo/Mozambique to be screened at the Goethe Zentrum on 9 December at the film event of Neuland by Anna Thommen, a film that focuses on  refugeeism/migration in Switzerland #yourpoemfliesonthewingsoftechnology 


3. The poets will fly to the poetry festival Poetas d'Alma in Mozambique, 2021 #youflywithyourpoemonthewingsofabird

In partnership with Poetas d’Alma (POETS OF THE SOUL) and Feling Capela, the curator of the largest International Festival of Poetry and Performing Arts in Mozambique. 


Feling Capela is a poet and one of the most influential producers of cultural events in Mozambique and responsible for the largest and oldest poetry evening (16 years of Poetry Nights). Interviews with Cappella haver been shown on CNN International, BBC, and DW, amongst others. 

Feling Capela - Poet - Mozambique - PLA

Poetry Video Screening and Performance, Goethe Institut, Kigali, 17 May 2022 


IGIHE (Rwanda) Coverage of Competition Winners

The New Times "Joint of Three: Collaborative Piece of Refugees and Humanity"

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