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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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BIGSAS Journalist Award 2019


The BIGSAS Journalist Award will be awarded for the fifth time at the end of October 2019. The Award recognizes excellent journalism on Africa in German speaking media. This year, a rather unusual laureate will be announced.

The Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies, BIGSAS, and the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence are pleased to announce that the biennial BIGSAS Journalist Award will take place once again on 29 October 2019 at the University of Bayreuth. The ceremony, which takes place for the fifth time, will be the kick-off event of the first international conference of the Cluster entitled “Africa Multiple: Conversations and Building Networks”.

Journalist Award follows a unique goal

The BIGSAS Journalist Award is unique in its mission by recognising outstanding print articles and online contributions about the continent of Africa with its multiplicity of themes and show its immense potentials and diversity. The jury is renowned and could not be comprised better: It is the BIGSAS Alumni who read and evaluate print and online articles by German speaking journalists. This year, 40 articles were presented to the jury by publishers, news-groups and journalists themselves. The variety of the contributions proofs an interesting development that the incoming articles show:  Africa is less and less perceived as the continent of crisis and catastrophes but more so as a continent with huge potential in every respect.

Initially, BIGSAS junior fellows created the award to encourage quality journalism in German speaking media reflecting an image of Africa without the usual stereotypes and clichés. The first BIGSAS Journalist Award took place in the summer of 2011 and stood out not only because of its jury of experts - the Alumni of BIGSAS - but because of its aim not to just criticize media but to encourage to look deeper in order to create more substantial views on Africa. Subsequently, the following awards were bestowed on young and committed journalists who sometimes took great risks while researching for their stories. Their foci have been as diverse as their way of writing and have embraced the whole continent – from the backyards in Kampala to the coastal towns of West Africa, from a small village in Senegal to the harbours of Mozambique.

A special winner was announced

This year’s jury, composed of 14 BIGSAS Alumni from eight countries and chaired by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Helmut Ruppert, former president of the University of Bayreuth, as well as the BIGSAS Alumni Dr. Irina Turner and Dr. Oumarou Boukari, decided to not only award individual contributions. For the first time, a special issue of a magazine which deals with the diversity of the African continent in an extraordinary way will be honoured.

BIGSAS Junior Fellows will guide the audience through the entertaining programme. As a speaker of honour, BIGSAS invited the presenter, author, singer and actor Yared Dibaba who is known for his unconventional way to combine his Ethiopian roots and his upbringing in the very northern part of Germany in his media presence. The artist, composer and musician Matchume Zango will be arranging the musical framework of the event. He is also part of the much-anticipated fusion concert that will be concluding the Cluster of Excellence’s conference at the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth on 31 October 2019.

Follow the Award’s events on Social Media

The winners will be announced at the beginning of October. Follow BIGSAS on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to gain an insight into the BIGSAS Journalist Award 2019.

Additionally, find more information on the Award, the winners and the jury here: http://www.bigsas.uni-bayreuth.de/jp/index.html

If you would like to attend the BIGSAS Journalist Award Ceremony please send us an email: bigsas-pr@uni-bayreuth.de

(Juliane Fender)

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