At the three-day TEEME conference, “Texts and Events across Borders” at the Freie Universität Berlin, everything revolved around the crossing of borders – whether of a metaphorical, geographical or linguistic nature. In numerous events related to the theme of transgression, international academic guests explored linguistic and cultural processes of translation, from William Shakespeare to Luís de Camões.

On the evening of the second day, under the heading “Textual Border Crossings”, The Poetry Project made up part of the programme – with a first reading in English, which was aimed at giving the polyglot audience direct access to the texts. Our poets read intimate poems on how they themselves crossed borders to leave their homeland – both national borders and highly personal borders. Their poems were also devoted to handling German culture, which appeared so alien at times, and the expectations of the families that they left so far away.

Works were read in German, Arabic and Farsi, as well as in English. We would like to thank Maxmarie Wilmoth and Hanna Baumann for translations into English and John Julian from the English Theatre Berlin for performing the English versions, which moved some of the audience to tears.

Organisation: Professor Dr. Sabine Schülting (Freie Universität Berlin)

Poets: Kahel Kashmiri, Mahdi Hashemi, Mahdi Rezaei, Michael Krasnov, Robina Karimi, Rojin Namer