Three writers confront the stranger in their books, in the outside world and within themselves. After years of exile the South-African writer Breyten Breytenbach dwells in a middle world between Europe and Africa. Asmaa Azaizeh, a Palestinian poet from Israel, lives in a country where the space for her people is shrinking. Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon resides in New York where he teaches and writes novels about his homeland.
Photographer Marc Trivier also tells the story through his photographs of Darwish, while the conversation will be moderated by Tarquin Billiet.
The thread that runs through this evening is the work of the Palestinian writer Mahmoud Darwish, the stranger par excellence who passed away ten years ago, in August 2008. The authors will dwell on their affinity with Darwish’s oeuvre and the extent to which they feel strangers in their life and work.
Exile was the experience that marked the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish throughout his life. It deprived him from his homeland and became an addiction, one of the central themes of his work. To Darwish exile was one of the main sources of literary creation throughout history.
The legendary South African writer and painter Breyten Breytenbach (1939) was a strong opponent of the Apartheid regime. After Darwish's death in 2008, he wrote the long poem Voice Over, a nomadic conversation with Mahmoud Darwish.
Asmaa Azeizeh (1985) is a Palestinian poet living in Haifa, Israel. She was the first director of the Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah.
Sinan Antoon (1967) is an Iraqi born novelist and poet. He translated among others Mahmoud Darwish's last prose book In the Presence of Absence.