Contact personAnnika Reich

Artistic Director

Photo: Juliette Moarbes

Untold – Weiter Schreiben Afghanistan

In cooperation with KfW Stiftung, we are participating in the "Untold" initiative project publishing texts and letters by Afghan women writers on

Afghanistan’s cultural world is characterised by diverse literature, with its own traditions in poetry and prose, as well as in the genre of memoirs. However, the many years of instability in the country have resulted in too little space for creative expression and networking. Creative industries such as the publishing industry are hardly existent. At the same time and especially among female writers, there is a strong desire to share their stories and perspectives and to connect with each other. However, support for their writing is made difficult and often hindered by cultural norms, political instability and displacement.

Write Afghanistan, the current project of the London-based initiative Untold, aims to provide a platform for these women writers. It supports writers in their craft, connects them to each other, and shares their stories with local and international audiences. By making unheard voices heard and their stories known internationally, the project also aims to improve intercultural understanding of Afghanistan.

In cooperation with KfW Stiftung, we are participating in the Weiter Schreiben project and publishing texts and letters by Afghan female writers on Weiter Schreiben will get in touch with three women writers in Afghanistan and provide them each with an established writer from Germany as a tandem partner. To kick off their collaborations, one literary text and one correspondence will be produced by each tandem.

In letters or emails, the pen pals explore the possibilities for their correspondence, share observations and thoughts from their daily lives, or discuss the conditions for their writing. With its permeability for the interweaving of the personal and poetic, current and remembered, everyday and political, the genre of the literary letter is particularly appropriate for these extraordinary encounters: Because, through their specific double coding as personal communication and texts meant for the public, the letters always reflect the political character of literary writing as well.

For this collaboration, the Weiter Schreiben team is drawing on their experience with the (W)Ortwechseln correspondence project, which captivated countless readers in 2020.

All texts and letters will be published on the platform in both German and English, as well as the original language of Dari or Pashto. Furthermore, joint events are planned – like those Weiter Schreiben has organised since its inception – as additional public venues for the Afghan authors, as well as a way for the readership, for once, to hear directly from those who are usually just the subject of reports. 

++ Call for application: Afghan authors who would like to participate in the project are now invited to apply.

Read the invitation in English, Dari and Pashtu.
Download the application forms in English, Dari and Pashtu.

Application deadline: 21. März 2021, 11:59 AM. ++

Untold’s Write Afghanistan project and the collaboration with Weiter Schreiben are supported by the KfW Stiftung. 

Logo Untold - Write AfghanistanLogo KFW-Stiftung