Writing On – A Platform for Literature and Music from Regions of Crisis
In 2017 we asked authors who had sought refuge in Germany what they wish for. The answer was always: To keep writing.
Writing On – The Project
It is crucial for authors that the writing process doesn’t cease. For authors from regions in crisis, the political context may not only interrupt the writing process, but even make the act of writing life-threatening. When politics forces them to leave their home country, they also leave behind their language-base and their readers.
Writing On is a literary project by WIR MACHEN DAS which enables authors from regions in crisis to get published as well as to network with authors resident in Germany. The platform also opens up a new German readership, since the texts are translated. Because to be able to continue writing, also means to continue being read.
The Impact of Writing On
In the public debate, people from crisis areas are often written about. By Writing On, they,themselves take up the story. Weiter Schreiben authors enrich the German media discourse and gain access to the German literary scene through their collaboration with renowned German-language authors. In tandems, the authors work together in different forms including personal encounters, literary exchanges and political discussions. This is valuable for both sides.
The resulting texts deepen the transcultural dialogue. They thwart stereotypes and allow direct access to perspectives from today’s crisis regions such as Iraq or Syria. People in Germany learn more about Arabic literature and everyday life in crisis areas.
Every month, two to four authors publish their texts on the online portal www.weiterschreiben.jetzt. The texts are illustrated by artists from regions in crisis.
Who’s Writing On?
Our authors come from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. In addition, Sinti and Romany authors who live in Germany, Austria or Hungary write for the project: because regions in crisis are not always somewhere else, for some they are right in the middle of Europe.
What Writing On Has Achieved So Far
Writing On has received significant media attention. The NZZ, SPON, ZON and the Tagesspiegel published texts created through the project. Numerous local, as well as national and international, media outlets such as THE NEW YORKER reported on the project. The authors have been invited to do events by the Literary Colloquium Berlin, the House for Poetry, the International Literature Festival Berlin, the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Chancellery, other literature festivals and numerous bookshops throughout Germany. In 2018 an anthology was published by the German publishing house, Ullstein under the title The Heart Does Not Leave a Place on Which It’s Set.
Writing On is a project by WIR MACHEN DAS / wearedoingit e.V. It is being realised with funding from the Capital City Fund and the Goethe Institute in cooperation with the Gunda-Werner-Institute of the the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation and the Alliance Cultural Foundation.