writing away from home
Owning a home in the world. It is perhaps one of our most fundamental aspirations. Few events are more tragic than being turned away from one’s home, through displacement, banishment and exile. World news painfully proves this daily.
The special issue of DW B on Exil. Schrijven weg van huis (Exile: Writing away from home) turns the spotlight on writers who have been displaced themselves. What themes do they broach? How do they experience the impact of their flight and of the new shelter where they are trying to build a home? How do they deal with their longing for home, a place that may only live on in their dreams, memories and stories? As writers, how do they relate to their mother tongue and the language of their new surroundings? And above all, what is a home in fact? In a situation of exile, writing seems to be much more than just something to hold onto.
Curators Sigrid Bousset, Alicja Gescinska and Ellen Van Pelt present and interview Sulaiman Addonia (Eritrea, Belgium) and Firoozeh Farjadnia (Iran, the Netherlands).
about the authors
Firoozeh Farjadnia grew up in Kermanshah, a city in the Kurdish part of Iran. In 1995 she fled to the Netherlands at the age of 25, where she studied architecture. Firoozeh writes novels, short stories and columns. In 2014 she made her debut with the novel Postvogel. In May 2017 her second novel was published in Farsi. She is currently working on a short story collection and on her third novel.
Sulaiman Addonia is an Eritrean-Ethiopian-British writer. His first novel, The Consequences of Love, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and appeared in more than twenty languages. Silence is My Mother Tongue was longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction and shortlisted for the 2021 Lambda Awards. Addonia lives in Brussels, where he has founded a writing academy for refugees as well as the literary prize To Speak Europe in Different Languages (in collaboration with Specimen Press). He also organizes the Asmara-Addis literary festival.
Sigrid Bousset has worked as a dramaturge, curator and cultural manager with, among others, Jan Lauwers, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Jan Fabre. She co-founded Het beschrijf, which grew into Passa Porta. Sigrid Bousset headed the international house of literature for seven years. Having previously published Gesprekken met Ivo Michiels, Bousset is currently writing a personal biographical book about this giant of Flemish literature.
Alicja Gescinska is a writer and philosopher. Her philosophical debut De verovering van de vrijheid was widely acclaimed. Her debut novel Een soort van liefde earned her the Debut Prize. Her essay Thuis in muziek. Een oefening in menselijkheid was shortlisted for the Socrates Cup. In 2020 she wrote the essay for the Month of Philosophy: Kinderen van Apate. Over leugens en waarachtigheid. Published in the spring of 2022, her theatre monologue Apate spreekt deals with lying as a virtue.
Ellen Van Pelt is a writer. In a previous life, she worked as a psychologist. In 2015 she made her debut with the novel Drift. Deze wereld is geen ergernis waard, a biography of Roger Van de Velde, followed in 2020.
about DW B
DW B is the largest, oldest and best-known literary magazine in Flanders. Under the editor-in-chief Hugo Bousset, DW B grew into a laboratory for the cross-pollination of literature and other art forms, both on paper and digitally and with a regular offering of stage activities. By connecting literature, fine art, photography, architecture and other arts, the magazine hopes to bring each to a continuous state of renewal and surprise. On the editorial board, talents such as Arnoud van Adrichem, Charlotte van den Broeck, Elma van Haren, Koen Peeters, Yves Petry, Johan de Boose, Fikry El Azzouzi, Alicja Gescinska, Patrick Bassant, Jens Meijen, Jeroen Dera and Peter Vermeersch contribute to ongoing quality, relevance, revelation and innovation.
Don't forget daylight saving time. On Sunday, March 26, the time will change from 2:00 to 3:00.
Org. DW B, PEN Vlaanderen, Passa Porta