Dictatorship and exile today. Imagination and resistance

In cooperation with the Faculty of Humanities

15feb2019 20:00 - 21:30


Fascism and dictatorship appear to be back in our present – and so is political displacement, the condition called exile. A conversation with poet Ghayath Almadhoun and novelist Sana Valiulina.

The war in Syria and the recent rise of authoritarian rule in various regions of the world (perhaps Russia and Turkey most prominently) have created a new discourse of dissent and a new generation of exiles. At the same time, populism and the new right in Europe offer a powerfully revisionist view of the past, in which fascist rule and dictatorial figures (for instance in Spain and Italy, and in various countries in Latin America) seem no longer a priori discredited. What seemed to be shared memory now appears contested, perhaps irreconcilable history. The Amsterdam School for Region, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES) cordially invites you for an evening with two extraordinary authors: Palestinian poet Ghayath Almadhoun, NIAS writer-in-residence this semester, and Sana Valiulina, novelist who writes both in Dutch and in Russian. A cross-border conversation about the plight of the writer in exile, about estrangement, the continuous need for translation; but also about the uses of adversity, and the crucial role of the literary voice when looking for ways of resistance. 

This event has been cos-sponsored by the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). 

About the speakers

Ghayath Almadhoun is a Palestinian poet born in Damascus in 1979. He has lived in Stockholm since 2008. Almadhoun has published four collections of poetry, the latest being Adrenaline. Together with the Swedish poet Marie Silkeberg he wrote a poetry book and made several poetry films. His work has been translated into many languages. In Dutch, Uitgeverij Jurgen Maas has two translations of Almadhoun, Weg van Damascus and ik hier jij daar which was written together with the Dutch poet Anne Vegter. Lately, Adrenalin, was translated into English by Catherine Cobham and Ein Raubtier namens Mittelmeer was translated into German.

Sana Valiulina is a novelist and an essayist. Born in Tallinn, in Soviet Estonia, she studied Norwegian at Moscow State University before moving to Amsterdam in 1989. She received the Jan Hanlo Essay Price in 2017. Her latest novel, Not Afraid of Bluebeard (the Dutch title Children of Brezjnev), was published in Russia in 2017. She writes in Dutch and Russian. Moderators: Luiza Bialasiewicz, professor of European Governance, University of Amsterdam Guido Snel, writer, translator, senior lecturer European Studies, University of Amsterdam.  

Luiza Bialasiewicz is Professor of European Governance and Co-Director of the Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). 



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