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© Goethe-Institut

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

Antje Rávik Strubel © Antje Rávik Strubel

Antje Rávik Strubel, Potsdam
It's not true

Some enjoy telling  their stories, others prefer to listen. So can people, including writers, be divided into two distinct groups? Antje Rávik Strubel had long assumed she belonged to one group rather than the other - until she was told a story that seriously challenged her (self-)perception.

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’.

Colm Tóibín © Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín, Dublin
The Magician

Colm Tóibín wrote his most recent novel, The Magician, in Los Angeles. The book concerns Thomas Mann, who in the 1940s also lived in LA - in a house that was built to his own specification, and in which he wrote his novel Dr Faustus. Although the house was close by, Tóibín couldn’t visit it because of the pandemic, with the result that it remained a house of dreams full of inspiring treasures - though it did ultimately open its doors once again.

Zaia Alexander © Zaia Alexander

Zaia Alexander, Potsdam / Los Angeles

Los Angeles ist zu einem Teil der Erzählerin geworden. In vielen geradezu magischen Erinnerungen ist die Stadt in ihr präsent: Fahrten durch verlassene Straßen, Zitronenblüten, der Glanz der Palmen vor dem Nachthimmel, Jahreszeiten, die so subtil sind, dass sie von  Menschen, die an Orten mit „echten“ Jahreszeiten leben, nicht wahrgenommen werden. Sie trägt L.A. in sich, bis sie endlich dorthin zurückkehrt. 

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. 

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


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