Literature Initiative Berlin

The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay
Hanna Schygulla | Photo: Rottkay

Tuesday, 20.02.2018 • 19:00 • Schwartzsche Villa

Arrival - My home in my luggage.

Reading of The Poetry Project e. V. in cooperation with the project TalentCAMPUS 18+ of the VHS Steglitz-Zehlendorf

Introduction: Hanna Schygulla reads from Jenny Erpenbeck's »going, left, gone« and Bertolt Brecht's »Concerning the label emigrants«. As a companion of the Literature Initiative, Hanna Schygulla supports literary projects for young people. At the same time, the promotion of young refugees and the exchange with them are particularly important to her.

The young people of the writing group VHS Steglitz, the writing group Pfefferwerk and DRK, as well as two winners of the Else Lasker-Schüler Lyrikpreis will read their poems and lyrical descriptions of fate. They wrote about their flight, the arrival in Germany, about loneliness, longing, love, freedom, exclusion, responsibility and respect.

Readings will be in Arabic, German, and Persian. After the reading, a discussion will take place.

Artistic Direction: Steffi Eisenschenk, The Poetry Project
Reading of the German texts: Florian Goldberg

CityKirche Church Elberfeld Wuppertal

The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay
Samiullah Rasouli | Foto: Rottkay

Saturday, 10.02.2018 • Katholische Citykirche Elberfeld

Reading followed by a discussion: The young poets - Ghani Ataei, Mahdi Hashemi, Kahel Kashmiri, Samilullah Rasouli, Shahzamir Hataki, and Yasser Niksada - told us how difficult and at the same time exciting it is to come into our world from an entirely different one, how they try to overcome their fear of strangers, why writing is liberating for them, and also about their first heartache in Berlin. The Wuppertal poetry slammer Jan Philipp Zymny read the poems in German.

Else Lasker-Schüler-Lyrikpreis – Award Ceremony

The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay
Günter Wallraff | Foto: Rottkay

Friday, 09.02.2018 • Stadtsparkasse Wuppertal

Günter Wallraff honored the touching poems of the young poets with a flaming and, as it were, insightful speech. He also took the opportunity to criticise  the German government and its policy vis-a-vis refugees of war. Germany is not suffering from a »refugee crisis, but from a humanitarian crisis,« Wallraff said, recalling the summer of 2015, when many Germans had welcomed refugees. These helpful and liberal citizens were »still the majority,« but only then a short time later were drowned out by right-wing populist forces critical of foreigners. The author praised the promising talents of the award winners - »Your poetry opens the hearts of the people,« the Westdeutsche Zeitung quoted Wallraff's appeal: »Let us work together for a better future with those who seek refuge with us.« Westdeutsche Zeitung
The Mayor of Wuppertal Andreas Mucke read the poems in German.

»The texts are devastating, amazingly mature lyrical descriptions of fate by 14 to 18-year-old adolescents documenting the story of their escape. These poetic signs of life recall the work of German exiles such as Else Lasker-Schüler.« rbb

Else Lasker-Schüler-Gesellschaft

Sasha Waltz & Guests

The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay
Shahzamir Hataki | Photo © Rottkay

One Step Closer – Listening

Sunday, 26.11.2017 • 16:30 • Radialsystem • Studio A

Three refugee teenagers have been rehearsing with dancers of the Kindertanzcompany Berlin since September 2017. They are part of the open third room LISTENING, by Sasha Waltz & Guests, which creates an intersection between art, politics, public and private. The voices of the poets, the different languages ​​- Persian and German - the imagery of their poems and their thoughts overlap with the music, move through the space in dance. The atmosphere inside the room becomes denser, as contrasts emerge between the lightness of the dancers and the melancholy of the texts, and dissolves again as the melodies unite. The voices of Shahzamir, Yasser, and Mahdi open up a dialogue and take the audience into their world of thoughts, their experiences, their view of things.

From November 24th to 26th, Sasha Waltz invites artists, activists, and the audience for a programme of dance, music, film, conversation, and joint meals at Radialsystem V. The main topics are »The Art of Resistance« and »Empowerment of Communities«.

International Literature Festival Berlin 2017

The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay
Presentation: Susanne Koelbl | Photo: Rottkay

Refugee Authors’ Literary Reports on their Arrival in Germany

Saturday 16.09.2017 • 14:30 • 17th Berlin International Literature Festival

Young refugees presented their reports on experiences, worries and hopes associated with their arrival in Germany - Kahel Kashmiri with »The Torn Shoes«, Mahdi Hashmedi with »Shedding Skin« and Shahzamir Hataki with »Lionhearted«. The actor Matthias Scherwenikas read the reports in German. Excerpts of the reports could be read during the festival as part of an exhibition at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele.