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First 2 episodes podcast The Asterisk Conversations online

The Asterisk Conversations #1  - iIlustratie ajsaajsaajsa
The Asterisk Conversations #1 - iIlustratie ajsaajsaajsa

In the silence of the first lockdown in the spring of 2020, Writers Unlimited's desire grew to be present with a substantive contribution to society and the world.
We found a collaboration with Simon(e) van Saarloos, who noticed during the Winternachten festival 2020 that sexuality and gender were still too little negotiable and visible in our programming and the social debate.

Inclusivity also deserved much more attention in all conceivable areas. We hope that by choosing the authors and makers and the approach of the conversations, we will create more openness, awareness and understanding for the people and world around us. And to put important themes such as gender, sexuality and an inclusive society on the agenda in a profound way.

Listen the first two episodes of The Asterisk Conversations via the site or in your own podcast app.

In the new Writers Unlimited podcastseries, philosopher and writer Simon(e) van Saarloos invites in succession the internationally-beloved storyteller and Professor of Creative Writing Nalo Hopkinson and New York-based poet, performer, visual artist, and educator Pamela Sneed for an Asterisk conversation – "een sterretjesgesprek". Nalo Hopkinson is part of the lineage and legacy of legendary sci-fi writers Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler who are known for the way that they write about queer sexuality and the way they write sci-fi from racialized subjects. Pamela Sneed is the author of Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom than Slavery (1998), Funeral Diva (2020), and others. Her poetry appears in Nikki Giovanni's The 100 Best African American Poems (2010) and has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes.

Asterik conversations expand and overlap, trusting that different themes and threads interweave and cross, influencing each other. The asterisk resists the idea of core business, of a single issue struggle (Audre Lorde) or truth with a capital T. As Jack Halberstam writes in Trans*: the asterisk refuses to "situate transition in relation to destination, a final form, a specific shape, or an established configuration of desire and identity".

The Asterisk Conversations features each episode a writer overseas and invites a maker based in The Netherlands to create a new work in response. This way, each podcast ends with the beginning of a new conversation. And for the first episodes it was very obvious that we should invite Tirsa With and Jolyn Phillips. Moreover, we asked Amsterdam-based designer, illustrator and writer Ajsa Zdravkovic (aka ajsaajsaajsa) to capture the heart of each episode in her striking lines. (English spoken)

Posted on: Tuesday 12 January 2021