A conversation about living and writing in exile in Regensburg

Writer Barbara Krohn strikes up a conversation with the Writers in Exile fellows Stella Nyanzi and Umar Abdul Nasser:

A life in exile – the loss of home – the experience of strangers. How do two award-winning, dedicated poets experience this existential upheaval? What does exile mean for your life, thinking, writing – and what for your future?

Stella Nyanzi
Photo: Max Goedecke

Stella Nyanzi, born in Jinja in 1974, is a Ugandan poet, anthropologist, gender researcher and activist. She became known for her massive criticism of Ugandan President Museveni, who has been in power for more than 30 years. Her work focuses on the impact of patriarchy, misogyny and homophobia on her home country. She often resorts to “radical rudeness,” a traditional Ugandan strategy of holding the powerful accountable through public insults. Stella Nyanzi was arrested several times and repeatedly threatened. She received the 2020 PEN International Award for Freedom of Expression for her uncompromising commitment to freedom of expression. At the beginning of 2021, she temporarily managed to flee to Kenya. Since February 2022 she has been a scholarship holder of the Writer-in-Exile program of the German PEN. A new volume of poetry (also with a German translation) is in preparation.

Umar Abdul Nasser
Photo: Max Goedecke

Umar Abdul Nasser is an Iraqi poet and filmmaker. As an artist in a world where the Islamic State is destroying everything artistic, Abdul Nasser always had to fear for his life. He lived in hiding from IS for more than two years before he managed to leave the country in 2016 for a scholarship at ICORN in Wrocław. His impressive poetic texts, which he often recites in combination with images and music, reflect, among other things, the themes of peace and freedom. From 2019 to 2021, Umar Abdul Nasser was a fellow in the Writers-in-Exile fellowship program of the German PEN. A bilingual publication of his poetry is in preparation.

The event takes place as part of the Writers-in-Exile program of the German PEN.

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Cooperation partners: PEN Center Germany, Cultural Office Regensburg

Moderator: Barbara Krohn, writer, lecturer in creative writing, literary translator, supervisor of the Writers in Exile program of the German PEN Center. The author is known for her detective novels, short stories and poetry (2002 City of Regensburg Cultural Promotion Prize, 2012 Art Prize of the Regensburg Cultural Foundation of REWAG). She has been teaching creative writing for children, young people and adults for many years and is the editor of the Creative Writing Edition at KernVerlag.

Living in exile – writing in exile

Monday, September 26, 2022, 7:00 p.m Restaurant Orphée, hall on the upper floor, Untere Bachgasse 8 in 93047 Regensburg.

Of the entry is free, donations are welcome. Registration is not required.

That Writers in Exile program of the German PEN is a scholarship program for persecuted authors that is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Since 1999, more than sixty writers have been scholarship holders of this exile program. The German PEN Center provides pursuing authors with a furnished apartment for up to three years, along with a monthly grant. The colleagues from the German PEN bring them into contact with publishers in their area.

09/26/2022 – 7 p.m
Restaurant Orphée, hall on the upper floor, Untere Bachgasse 8, 93047 Regensburg

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