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“Writing On” – despite threats and flight

These voices are not to fall silent – the project “Weiter Schreiben” (Writing On) helps authors who have fled their country or can no longer publish their work in their country of origin.

© CJ. Moarbes - Ramy Al-Asheq und Monika Rinck

What does it mean for writers to lose their linguistic homeland? “We spoke to authors from crisis regions and asked them what they wish for. The answer we heard was: to continue writing,” report Annika Reich and Ines Kappert, initiators of the project “Weiter Schreiben”. They establish contact between authors who have fled their country and German-speaking authors and provide them with a forum where they can publish their work.

The website went live on 8 May, featuring these texts in their original language and in German translation, illustrated by artists who also stem from crisis regions. “The poems, short stories and essays gathered here tell of a world that is in a radical process of breaking, or has long since broken,” it notes.

Interaction and networking

At the core of the collaboration are bilateral partnerships between authors that benefit both sides. The project sets intercultural dialogue in motion, opens up new perspectives on the countries of origin, produces joint texts and helps authors who have fled make contacts in the German literature scene. To date, nine writers from crisis regions and 18 German speakers are involved.

“Weiter Schreiben” is a project of the “Wir machen das” (We’ll Do This) initiative and the Gunda Werner Institute of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. It is supported by the Capital Cultural Fund, the Schering Foundation and the Goethe-Institut. An anthology with selected texts is set to be published by Blumenbar Verlag in late 2018.

Author tandems:

  • Noor Kanj (Syria) / Svenja Leiber
  • Galal Alahmadi (Yemen) / Tanja Dückers
  • Ramy Al-Asheq (Syria) / Monika Rinck
  • Souad Alkhateeb (Syria) / Antje Rávic Strubel
  • Lina Atfah (Syria) / Nino Haratischwili
  • Salma Salem (Syria) / Saša Stanišić