Can poetry be used to fight for good? Or is it not enough if it is just limited to what is beautiful? Social criticism & poetry connect not just at the level of text but also in spaces outside the sphere of literature. More and more poets are intervening with poetic means directly in processes of political negotiation. Under what circumstances can activism succeed and contribute to better coexistence? Four artists introduce their projects in interviews with Sandra Hetzl. They are all sitting in their cabins, but the ideas are still driving the ship forward.
Franck Leibovici works with the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Den Haag to expand the repertoire of tools for processing evidence, using the strategies of poetry, the visual arts and social sciences. Kadhem Khanyar co-founded the ‘Culture Militia’ collective in Iraq, which does poetry performances at sites of violence and terror. Maud Vanhauwaert built a “Toren van Babel” (Tower of Babel) in Antwerp as an open meeting place for multi-lingual poetry and discussion. Bernadette La Hengst has collaborated as a musician and theatre producer in numerous projects with a social, political and utopian focus, including the performative urban project “Model Case Whitewater or the Measure of All Things”. Sandra Hetzl is a translator from Arabic and studied Fine Art at the UdK Berlin.
Host: Sandra Hetzl (DEU) translator
With German subtitles
Project organiser: Felix Schiller
The event Words of Objection: Poetry as Political Activism is supported with the kind assistance of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung / Lotto Stiftung Berlin and Flanders Literature.