We would like to introduce a new series of interviews featuring literary reading series and projects in Berlin. To kick it off, we spoke with Traci Kim, the founder of “Literally Speaking“, a monthly reading series dedicated to English-speaking authors in Berlin. The series has become an important get-together for an exceptionally diverse community.
“Literally Speaking” recently celebrated its second anniversary. The fact that the English-speaking writer’s community in Berlin has been given such a dependable stage is largely due to its busy, seemingly never-tired advocate and curator Traci Kim.
Multilingual Consultation and Info Day 16.05.2019, 1-6 pm Lettrétage, Free admission
For the third time, the Berlin Senate will grant a Work Stipend for Berlin-based authors that write in languages other than German. The application deadline ends on June 18th and the grant refers to the year 2020. We would like to enable all eligible authors to apply for the scholarship. Therefore, there will be a multilingual info and individual consultation session in collaboration with the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe (attendance free of charge):
On 24 May, the Berlin Writers’ Workshop presents a trilingual reading event with Gregor Guth (Austria), Alan Mills (Guatemala) and Rebecca Rukeyser (USA). We asked Rebecca Rukeyser and Ben Mauk, co-founders of the Berlin Writers’ Workshop, to answer five questions.
In our online series “5 Fragen an…” (“5 questions to…”) we usually pose five questions to Berlin literary activists. As the CROWD-Conference in Berlin is taking place at the beginning of February, we decided to go a bit further and take the cahnce to introduce Lettrétage’s international CROWD-partners. Lisa Lettrétage first spoke to Nora Hadjisotiriou and Lily Michaelides from IDEOGRAMMA, the Cypriot CROWD-partner.
IDEOGRAMMA emphasises and supports cultural exchange between Cypriot and International culture. How does literature enable or facilitate such cultural exchange?
Ideogramma believes that one’s language is an inherent part of one’s history, culture and past and the preservation of all languages is one of Ideogramma’s objectives. For this reason all writers and poets at Ideogramma’s events are encouraged to read in the original language and / or dialect that the text / poem is written in. The same is true of all the publications which are trilingual; the text in the original language and in translation in Greek and English. Continue reading “5 questions to Nora & Lily from IDEOGRAMMA”
Moshabak-Nights return this Friday (19.01.) to the Lettrétage and will so again in February (16.02.). We were lucky enough to get a short interview with Mudar Alhaggi, the founder of NAWRAS, about all things Moshabak and the meaning of NAWRAS.
The internet-research for the meaning of Moshabak and NAWRAS brings up only a few results. How should these names be understood? Is there a history and meaning to this that eludes non-syrians?
The idea of the name “Nawras” came through the Arabic meaning of the word “seagull”, which is a seabird that can be seen upon the shores of the whole world. It became a metaphor for the group as many Syrians have had to cross over the seas to arrive to the shores of the new land. Seagulls are one of the first and most familiar things one sees when arriving on new terrain that gives the sense of being home. Moshabak is a traditional sweet in Syrian culture while at the same time it derives from the word “network” meaning to connect, which is what these nights are all about.
Speaking Volumes are producers of literary events that focus on international authors of color who perform their literature rather on stage – in very different fashion. Sharmilla and her partners have curated a great program with four authors from different directions of the world which they will be presenting in Berlin, 16 November at Lettrétage.
We take off our shoes because the Lettrétage space has been transformed; the floor has been covered with soft cling film, and in some areas with bubble wrap that crackles under foot, ‘Watch out for the glass’ is written on red tape. On the wall is a dark red bathrobe supspended from a hanging balance, a wreath on a loop ‘In loving memory OIKOS.’
All kinds of things are lying about in the room: an old fashioned TV set with a small propeller ventilator, a red rimmed clock on the wall displaying the wrong time, and on an old speaker I discover a perfume spray, a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of mayonnaise. Art or everyday? In a corner I find a heap of dirty cutlery, along with sponges and washing up liquid and next to it a kind of altar with candles in a shell, flowers and matches. And now real art, or at least not everyday items: diagonally at eye level in a scrolling sprawl of script, of which I can only manage to glean individual phrases. Apocalypse… Big Bang… army of the encrypted angels… hairy goddess… A disco ball rains stars over us, dry ice, faint blue light. We sit on the floor and watch what happens. The evening is named ‘The hairy goddess’ misstory’ a collaborative work by visual artist Tatiana Ilichenko (Russia) and poet and video artist Érica Zingano (Brazil), performed with assistance from Marion Breton (France), Barbara Marcel (Brazil) and Tom Nobrega (Brazil). In transparent white plastic overalls, the performers move through the room, a voice rings out from offstage in an English that isn’t easy to understand. We’re in an elevator the voice tells us, relaxation… sudden muscle contractions… the heart stops… body convulsions… end of an era… Europe is a sinking ship… At one point I pick out the word zombies. Continue reading “Any questions?”
This evening we are not just entering a room in the Lettrétage on the Mehringdamm. Instead, we are travelling in just a few minutes a distance of over 1,300 kilometres, from Berlin to Kiev. Poet Charlotte Warsen accompanies us via headset on this mental journey. Her voice picks us up and lets us know that we are travelling. “If you were not here right now, would something more exciting be happening to you somewhere else?” The voice knows that we would rather be out on the street in the evening air and that, considering the chairs piled up in the room, fear having to stand up for the entire evening. The invitation said “8-11pm” and it is only know that I understand that it is not really the duration of the event, but rather a period of time during which we can stay as long as we can manage.
I follow the voice’s instructions. She leads me into the back room and into the park in Kiev, where Ukranian-German artist Yevgenia Belorusets took photographs. The recording from the headset lasts 13:25 minutes. It was up to me how long I lingered in the back room. The photographs hang on two walls opposite each other, on the front wall in between them is a poem, with lines distributed in groups on white paper. Continue reading “How do you recognise war?”