Masresha Mammo, journalist and writer from Ethiopia, has been invited by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the city of Amsterdam to stay in the city for one year. The invitation was done in the context of the joint Amsterdam Vluchtstad-programme. Mammo will live and work in the apartment that Anne Frank and her family have lived in for nine years, and which is now being used as a residency for persecuted writers, until May 2014.
Masresha Mammo is one of the founders of the independent Ethiopian newspaper Addis Neger (New Thing) that started printing articles critical of the government in 2007 and soon became very popular. They also reported on the 2010 elections, which were in danger of being equally chaotic as the 2005 elections, during which the government refused to accept its defeat and two hundred peaceful protesters were shot down on the streets. Another ten thousand protesters were imprisoned during the riots that followed. The editors and journalists of Addis Neger were informed that the newspaper would be shut down, which led to most of them fleeing the country. Masresha Mammo has been living in Uganda ever since, separated from his wife and child.
In Amsterdam, he will work on a non-fiction book on the situation in Ethiopia as well as on a novel, in which he wants to show daily life under dictatorship by means of a love story between two students in Addis Abeba.
On Thursday 5 June, Masresha Mammo will speak during a political debate, organized by Amnesty International in The Hague. More information can be found here. Language: English.
On Monday 10 June, Masresha Mammo and Kettly Mars will talk with Margot Dijkgraaf (literary critic and director of SPUI25) at the University of Amsterdam. Start: 17.00. Language: English.