„Let us give back to Athena what belongs to Athena“ – Interview mit Delphine de Stoutz von „Zerbrich deine Sprache“ am 17. Mai

Von Mai bis August 2022 wird die Lettrétage über vier Monate mit einer Reihe von transdisziplinären Lesungen, Produktionsworkshops und performativen Veranstaltungen BERLINCLUSIVE! feiern – eine gemeinsame Vision diverser Berliner Literaturen, ihrer Macher*innen, Praktiken und Öffentlichkeiten.

Als Ankerinstitution für die freie Literaturszene Berlins lädt die Lettrétage drei impulsgebende Kurator*innen aus der freien Szene ein, eine Reihe zu gestalten, die künstlerische Produktionsprozesse und öffentliche Präsentationen gleichermaßen umfasst. Gemeinsam mit Berliner Literaturschaffenden und im Gespräch mit dem Publikum leuchten sie so die Dimensionen von Literatur als sozialer Praxis aus. Die Ausgangsbeobachtung: Berliner Literaturschaffende, -vermittler*innen und ihre Öffentlichkeiten bilden eine in Sprache, Kultur, Religion, Ethnie, Geschlecht, Sexualität und Körper(lichkeit) vielgestaltige Mischung von literarisch Kreativen und literaturaffinen Personen.

Wie können diese Künstler*innen und ihre diversen künstlerischen Praktiken abseits von Nischen und Paralleldiskursen einen ihrer Vielfalt adäquaten Resonanzraum erhalten? Welcher Strukturen, Kenntnisse und Kompetenzen bedarf es, um langfristig Sichtbarkeit, Partizipation und gesellschaftliche Reflexion zu ermöglichen? Diese Fragen leiten die Workshop- und Veranstaltungsreihe und berühren dabei ebenso die ästhetische Praxis wie auch die Strukturen des Literaturbetriebs.

Unter dem übergreifenden Programmschwerpunkt Diversifizierung geht es dabei konkret um die Themen DigitalitätMehrsprachigkeit und Altersdiskriminierung.

Den Anfang macht Delphine de Stoutz, Gründerin des frankophonen Autor*innen-Netzwerks Réseau des Autrices de Berlin, mit dem Veranstaltungsabend Zerbrich deine Sprache – Wie schreiben Frauen in einer post-patriarchalen Zeit? am 17. Mai. Gemeinsam mit den Autor*innen Maïmouna Coulibaly,Chloé Lechat, Saskia Nitsche und Jayrôme Robinet wird sie Texte vorstellen, die der Frage nachgehen, welche Bürden weiblich gelesenen Autor*innen durch ein patriarchalisch geprägtes Sprachsystem entgegengesetzt werden. 

Anlässlich dessen haben wir mit der Kuratorin ein Gespräch über die Ideen und Ziele Ihrer Veranstaltung geführt. 

Lettrétage: Could you tell us something about your event? How did the project come about? What was the idea behind it?

Delphine de Stoutz: The starting point was my own practice as a female author. I have a theory that during puberty boys acquire a deep voice that gets heard and girls acquire a body that gets looked at. This has huge implications for how we define ourselves as individuals, but also for how we are creative. I’ve been exploring this topic for eight years and the first aspect that interests me is to take this issue a step further by talking with writers who have a strong individual practice in these areas (the writing and thinking body) but in particular with writers I’ve never worked with before. The question of whether we – women writers – write women’s literature or just literature dates back, in modern times, to Virginia Woolf’s „Room of one’s own“ and has since given rise to one of the most exciting fields of literary experimentation of the last 60 years, beginning with Monique Wittig’s „Opoponax“ in 1964. Some names that come to mind: Helene Cixous, Jeanne Hyvrard, Annie Ernaux, Judith Butler, Rebecca Chaillon, Nelly Arcan, Chloé Delaume, Wendy Delormes. A lot of French writers, I must admit! As a second aspect, isn’t it interesting that we are still talking about autofiction (which, by the way, is a genre invented in the 19th century by female authors) as THE greatest genre to emerge at the end of the 20th century after the Nouveau Roman and never about those women who radically changed the grammar, the themes, the perspectives, the narratives, and who created the language that is now changing the way we understand our being in the world? Let us give back to Athena what belongs to Athena! The third aspect I wanted to explore or put into perspective was the chance we foreign writers have to constantly travel between languages and the opportunities to think on many levels about how patriarchy is present in different languages, cultures, and norms attached to it. For example, from a French perspective, German is much more inclusive than French, but why don’t Germans think this way? The devil is in the details, and that’s what we’re going to look at.

Lettrétage: Your event is titled Break Your Language („Zerbrich deine Sprache“ in German). What exactly does that mean?

Delphine de Stoutz: Zerbrich dein… is a motto we started using in 2020 with the french speaking female authors network (Réseau des Autrices e.V.). Elizabeth Grenier brought the idea of a podcast called „Zerbrich dein Mythos“ where two authors discuss the archetypes, myths or power figures they have to destroy in order to create. I felt this workshop was a natural extension of that and used it. „Zerbrich deine Sprache“ gives you the legitimacy and power to create outside the box, to think outside the box and see what happens.

Lettrétage: So how can one imagine May 17 with you?

Delphine de Stoutz: Don’t expect anything! We don’t know ourselves what we’re going to do and we’ll probably find out two hours before we let the public in. And that’s the great thing about this project! I always trust the process more than the result. In fact, the presentation on May 17 is just one part of a research that will hopefully take us all a little further in our practice. To be able to work like this is so rare and so important. All I know is that we will be doing a lot of writing and experimenting with texts in relation to the body and space. And in this regard, Maimouna Coulibaly, Chloé Lechat, Saskia Nitsche and Jayrôme Robinet are incredible. They cover a spectrum of research ranging from queer writing for the Opera to Twerk activism via spoken word and somatic approaches!

Lettrétage: And finally: What were the reasons for you to participate in BERLINCLUSIVE?

Delphine de Stoutz: As I said earlier, there is an amazing literature that has been created over the past 60 years that is still unknown to most people. It should not remain the secret of a few and be made available to everyone. This is the meaning of BERLININCLUSIVE for me. But there is another reason that I strongly feel about. In our field, there is too little space for research as there is in theater, dance, music or visual arts. Literature is an art form, not just a book. It can be performed, screened, showed, discussed. It has a place in the public space, on stage, simply everywhere. This is what Lettretage has been doing for many years, and I feel, with BERLININCLUSIVE, that I am in the right place.

Lettrétage: Thank you very much for the interview.

Das Projekt wird gefördert vonDie Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und MedienBundesverband SoziokulturNEUSTART KULTUR des Bundesverbandes Soziokultur und NEUSTART KULTUR der Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien