Meet Fiston Mwanza
Fiston Mwanza Mujila was born in 1981 in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, where he studied Literature and Human Sciences at Lubumbashi University. He now lives in Graz, Austria, pursuing a PhD in Romance Languages while teaching literature at the University at the university of Graz.
His writing has been awarded with numerous prizes, including the Gold Medal at the 6th Jeux de la Francophonie in Beirut as well as the Best Text for Theater (“Preis für das beste Stück,” State Theater, Mainz) in 2010. His novel Tram 83 was a French Voices 2014 grant recipient and won the “Etisalat Prize For Literature” 2016 and the “Grand Prix SDGL du Premier Roman” 2014.
His poems, prose works, and plays are reactions to the political turbulence that has come in the wake of the independence of the Congo and its effect on day-to-day life. As he describes in one of his poems, his texts describe a “geography of hunger”: hunger for peace, freedom, and bread. His texts have been published in the original French and in translation in many journals and anthologies in several European countries, and he has been performing at readings and festivals since 2002.