Transwonderland: Noo Saro-Wiwa and Steven Varni in conversation

Transwonderland: Noo Saro-Wiwa and Steven Varni in conversation

Transwonderland: Noo Saro-Wiwa and Steven Varni in conversation 1000 525 Barbara Del Mercato

A new event from the cultural program organized around Edmund de Waal’s exhibition “psalm” (May 8th-Sept 29th, 2019)

Thursday, June 13th 2019

5.30 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Aula B Ca’ Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911, Venice

Noo Saro-Wiwa

in conversation with Steven Varni

Presents Looking for Transwonderland (Granta Books 2012, Translated in Italian  by Caterina Barboni as In cerca di Transwonderland, 66th&2nd, 2015)

Noo Saro-Wiwa was brought up in England, but every summer she was dragged back to visit her father in Nigeria — a country she viewed as an annoying parallel universe where she had to relinquish all her creature comforts and sense of individuality. After her father, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was killed there, she didn’t return for several years. Recently, she decided to come to terms with the country her father given his life for.

Saro-Wiwa travels from the exuberant chaos of Lagos to the calm beauty of the eastern mountains; from the eccentricity of a Nigerian dog show to the decrepit kitsch of the Transwonderland Amusement Park. She explores Nigerian Christianity, delves into the country’s history of slavery, examines the corrupting effect of oil, and ponders the huge success of Nollywood.

She finds the country as exasperating as ever, and frequently despairs at the corruption and inefficiency she encounters. But she also discovers that it si far more beautiful and varied than she had ever imagined, with its captivating thick tropical rainforest and ancient palaces and monuments. Most engagingly of all, she introduces us to the many people she meets, and gives us hilarious insights into the African character, its passion, wit and ingenuity.

Please find here the complete cultural program organised around Edmund de Waal’s psalm.

Learn more about psalm here


This event is in English and open to all.

In collaboration with 66th&2nd

Noo Saro-Wiwa