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Time to Listen

The project “Time to Listen” presents a collection of stories – told by narrators from all genres of art, from all over the world.

New Videos

Hinemoana Baker © Hinemoana Baker

Hinemoana Baker, Berlin
Driving home

When she moved to Berlin, New Zealand writer Hinemoana Baker discovered that she oddly liked the smell of gasoline that surrounds gas stations. But because she has reservations about driving for environmental reasons, she got to the bottom of this surprising preference.

Einar Kárason © Einar Kárason

Einar Kárason, Reykjavík
It was at the end of a long day

Icelandic writer Einar Kárason remembers how he once worked in a port. Into the daily routine came a message...

Saša Stanišić © Saša Stanišić

Saša Stanišić, Reykjavík
How does the Arctic fox change its coat?

Over the last few years Saša Stanišić has played a story-telling game with his young son: the boy gives him three words, and he then makes a story out of them. All of the stories begin with him driving away in a taxi - and end with him happily coming back home again. While at the Literature Festival in Reykjavík he invented a story specially for us - using the words ‘fox’, ‘volcano’ and ‘T-shirt’.

Zaia Alexander © Zaia Alexander

Zaia Alexander, Potsdam / Los Angeles

Los Angeles has become part of the author’s very being. The city is a living presence within her in many of her distinctly magical memories: journeys along empty streets, lemon blossom, the splendour of palm trees silhouetted against the night sky, the seasons so subtly differentiated that people who live in places with ‘proper’ seasons aren’t even aware of them. She carries LA with her wherever she goes, until finally she returns there.

More stories and encounters

Finally…! Illustration: Tobias Schrank © Goethe-Institut


‘Finally’ is a word that can equate to a sigh of relief - an upsetting situation has finally come to an end. Or it can equally well herold a mighty conclusion, a furious finale. Look and listen to see how our storytellers deploy the word ‘finally’!

Museum of Embraces and Encounters Illustration: Tobias Schrank © Goethe-Institut

Museum of Embraces and Encounters

A collection of stories about embraces: as an expression of close encounters, but also as a symbol of reconciliation, of overcoming opposites. The stories are told by artists from all parts of the world.

Poesien des Lebens Illustration: Tobias Schrank © Goethe-Institut

Poetries of Life

How can we express the momentariness, the inconsistency, the vagueness or the monstrosity of an experience? Authors from all over the world try to do so in these clips: finding their own poetic way.

A good story Illustration: Tobias Schrank © Goethe-Institut

A good Story

We invite you to step back, for a long moment, from the overwhelming presence of what’s going on in the world: with a good story – based on true events, freely invented or both at the same time. By storytellers from all over the world. 

Conversations about Storytelling and Writing Illustration: Tobias Schrank © Goethe-Institut

Conversations about Storytelling and Writing

At the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021, curator Thomas Böhm talked with four of the authors who contributed to “Time to listen”. Guests were: Michal Hvorecký, Zaia Alexander, Antje Rávik Strubel und Colm Tóibín.

Realization: Thomas Böhm (texts, editing and design), Dr. Anne-Bitt Gerecke, Martin Bach, Marie Kiewe, Miriam Spinrath (editing and design), Marcus Sporkmann (video editing) und Eliphas Nyamogo (editing)


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