Readings & conversations Culture talks @ Goethe:
“Remember me”

Sonnenlicht fällt durch ein Fenster in einen Raum © Jeanno Gaussi

Fri, 11/09/2018

6:30 PM

Goethe-Institut Toronto

Writing On | Authors Mariam Meetra, Antje Rávik Strubel & Nelofer Pazira “write on”

Authors from conflict areas on second chances and publishing in new home countries
Presented by the Goethe-Institut & the Heinrich Böll Foundation

Under the patronage of Senator Ratna Omidvar

The Gunda Werner Institute at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the catalyst organisation affiliated with the German Green Party, asked authors who have recently fled to Germany to escape the conflicts in their home countries for their wishes. “Writing on” was their answer – the starting point of the eponymous project. Leaving home does not only mean leaving a specific culture or lifestyle behind but also language, identity and a career. The project wants to open the door into the German literary economy and provide a one-on-one professional and literary exchange between the authors writing for the project and their German colleagues.
The authors and organisers of “Writing On” are guests at the Goethe-Institut Toronto throughout 2018. In conversations with Canadian artists they touch on issues and difficulties authors seeking refuge in Germany are facing in re-establishing themselves and their voices. The events ask questions about literary exchange and cultural identity, dreams, hopes and opportunities, and practical assistance.

The series closes with Mariam Meetra (Afghanistan/Germany) and Antje Rávik Strubel (Germany) alongside renowned Afghan-Canadian director, actress, journalist and author Nelofer Pazira for a conversation on remembering culture(s).

Mariam Meetra was born in Afghanistan in 1992 and studied journalism and public relations in Kabul. The writer and women’s rights activist is a member of Afghan PEN. In 2013, her first poetry volume Life on the Edge was published (not yet published in German). She has lived in Berlin since 2015.

Antje Rávik Strubel was born in Potsdam in 1974, first trained as a bookseller and then studied literature, psychology and American studies in Potsdam and New York. While studying in New York, she also worked as a lighting technician at an off-Broadway theatre. She became known in 2001 when she received the Ernst Willner Prize at the Klagenfurt Literary Festival. Other awards include the Roswitha Prize and the Hermann Hesse Prize. Her episodic novel Snowed Under, set during the chaotic period following the fall of the Wall, is available in English. Antje Rávik Strubel lives and works in Berlin.

Nelofer Pazira is an award-winning Afghan-Canadian filmmaker, journalist and human rights activist. The acclaimed feature film "Kandahar" (Cannes 2001) was based on her real life story. A former president of PEN Canada and founder of Dyana Afghan Women’s Fund, she is a regular contributor to European, Canadian and other international media including The Guadian, The Independent and Nexus. Nelofer has traveled widely in the Middle East, covering the Arab revolutions, and has spent many months in Syria writing and broadcasting on the civil war. She assisted UNESCO as a cultural ambassador in their work inside Afghanistan. Nelofer is an Afghan, born in India. She grew up in Kabul during the ten years of Soviet occupation before escaping to Pakistan in 1989. From there, the family immigrated to New Brunswick, Canada, in 1990. She is currently working on a new documentary about journalism and the Middle East.

Readings in German, English and Farsi. Discussion in English.

 "The project is bold, it is brave, it is not precise but it works.” – Tanja Dückers (author and project participant)
“Writing on provides with translation, conversations with German-speaking colleagues as well as through the online-publishing and print what the name implies: continuation, perpetuation, extension, expansion.” – Die Zeit

Part of the Goethe-Institut focus "Culture(s) of Participation"

"Weiter Schreiben. A portal for literature and music from conflict areas" is a project by the WIR MACHEN DAS/wearedoingit e.V., supported by the Capital Cultural Fund and the Goethe-Institut, in collaboration with the Gundad-Werner-Institut at the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Allianz Kulturstiftung.

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Part of the series Culture Talks @ Goethe: Writing On