Literary aperitif: Jay Bernard & Sulaiman Addonia
Writer-in-residence Jay Bernard and Sulaiman Addonia talk about and present their work during Passa Porta's summer aperitif. An inspired evening about art and politics.
Welcome to our house!
After a spring spent withdrawn from the world, we invite you this summer to look at the world beyond the four walls that surround you. Throughout the summer, you can go backstage at Passa Porta and enjoy a drink while engaging in frank conversations about literature and the world of today.
Every Tuesday, towards the end of the day, we will invite one or two authors to talk about and read from their work in a casual setting. Poets, slammers, novelists and non-fiction authors, established names and emerging talents in the Belgian literary landscape and beyond will take the floor to question contemporary society, always through the lens of literature.
On 14 July, writer-in-residence Jay Bernard and author Sulaiman Addonia will speak about their work, and the poetry and silence that permeates it.
Summing up the multidisciplinary writer from London in a few lines is no easy task. In their work, which is at once multimedial, critical of society and queer, Jay Bernard combines factual history with fiction and explores the most diverse topics, from civil rights to sexuality.
An example of their work is the activist performance work Surge: Side A, about the ‘New Cross Fire’, a fire in South London that killed 13 young black people in 1981. The cause was probably arson, but the fire received little attention from the police and the media. Bernard dived into the archives, turned the material into poetry and in doing so gave the victims a voice. The result is a fierce indictment of the horror of racist indifference. Surge: Side A won the prestigious Ted Hughes Award in 2018.
Sulaiman Addonia is a novelist who fled Eritrea as a refugee in childhood. He spent his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan, and in his early teens he studied in Saudi Arabia. He arrived in London as an underage unaccompanied refugee without a word of English and went on to study Development Studies and Economics. The Consequences of Love (shortlist Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) was translated into more than 20 languages. Sulaiman Addonia currently lives in Brussels where he has launched a creative writing academy for refugees and asylum seekers & the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (in Exile). Silence is My Mother Tongue is his second novel.