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Asis Aynan

Asis Aynan - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Asis Aynan - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Haarlem, 1980) studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Aynan, the son of Moroccan immigrants, is a warm advocate of Berber culture. In 2007 his debut Veldslag en Andere Herinneringen (Battle and other memories), appeared, about his youth or, as he himself calls it, his 'Catholic-Islamic-Berber background'. Especially the portrayal of the hypocritical behaviour and the double standards applied by people around him must be recognizable to many Dutch Protestants and Catholics. Aynan is the inventor of the Berber Library; a series of classics from Berber countries. His book Ik, Driss - een verslag van een Marokkaan over zijn gastarbeidersjaren (I, Driss, report of a Moroccan about his years as a migrant worker), which he wrote together with Hassan Bahara, is a collection of the serial appearing in NRC Handelsblad. It has been translated in Arabic and turned into a radio play. In addition, there are plans to adapt it for the screen. Anan works as a teacher at a vocational school and writes for NRC Handelsblad and Het Parool. Hij has a fortnightly column in Folia, the magazine of the Univerity of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Polytechnic.

(WU 2012 GR)

Archive available for: Asis Aynan

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 1

    Dream Language

    'Come to me, my language, come back', Derek Walcott wrote. How does it feel to write in another language than your own? Does this new language also become the language in which you dream? Asis Aynan presents Ahmad Al Malik, Rodaan Al Galidi, Raj Mohan and Chika Unigwe, who will share their experiences. With musical accompaniment by guitarist Lourens van Haaften. In Dutch.

  • Writers Series

    Dutchmen in Morocco

    With: Asis Aynan, Greta Riemersma, Kees Beekmans

    'Temporary immigrants' Greta Riemersma and Kees Beekmans discuss the Moroccan society. They were interviewed by Asis Aynan, the Moroccan/Dutch author living in The Netherlands since his early youth. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2011

    VPRO OVT Live

    With: Asis Aynan, Ernest van der Kwast, Marlon Titre, Mathijs Deen, Nazmiye Oral, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Wim Tigges

    As usual the VPRO history programme OVT broadcasts from cafe Dudok as part of Writers Unlimited - Winternachten Festival The Hague. This time the programme will go in search of great expectations and Utopias from the past. Live music by Marlon Titre. Hosts: Paul van der Gaag and Mathijs Deen. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2011 – Winternacht 2

    Literature: The Great Whitewasher

    The writers Nazmiye Oral, Ernest van der Kwast and Ger Beukenkamp all write about family; Oral especially in her columns, Van der Kwast in his novel Mama Tandoori and Beukenkamp in scripts like De Kroon (The Crown) and Den Uyl en de affaire Lockheed. (Den Uyl and the Lockheed Affair). Oral's latest novel revolves around forgiveness, among other things. Scriptwriter and playwright Ger Beukenkamp likes to play political and constitutional dramas down to recognizable dilemmas of faithfulness, loyalty and love between spouses and their children. Asis Aynan will ask the writers about the whitewashing of (family) histories with literature and other forms of narration. Can writing be a form of forgiveness? In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2010 – Winternachten 1

    Wintercafé 1: Godless in Morocco

    A programme on rule breaking heart and soul: Berber writer Mohamed Choukri from Morocco. In his autobiographical novel For Bread Alone (1973) he wrote about everything God had forbidden; his youth as a vagabond in Tangier, where he survived in a world of violence, prostitution, alcohol and drugs. When in 1973 For Bread Alone appeared in English, Tennessee Williams called it 'a true document of human desperation, shattering in its impact.' Morocco banned the book until 2000, three years before Choukri's death. Three Moroccan writers talk about the meaning of Choukri for them today: the poet Ali Amazigh, who learned to write in later life, just like Choukri, and who is now writing a confession novel; Naima Albdiouni whose debut novel Voyeur (2008) is also set in Tangier, and columnist Mohammed Benzakour, who, like Choukri, seeks controversy and pursues it. Host: Asis Aynan.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    The Language of my Heart - Tamazight

    In the programme 'Taal van mijn hart' the three authors - Ahmed Essadki, El-Mahdi Acherchour and Rachida Lamrabet - read and talk about the role of Tamazight or Berber in their writing. Berber is spoken in Morocco, Algeria and Libya. During this programme a fragment was shown of a documentary on Essadki. In addition the new novella Landwee (Land Woe) by Acherchour was presented. The programme was hosted by Asis Aynan.

  • Winternachten 2008

    VPRO's OVT Live from Winternachten

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Ahmed Ziani, Antjie Krog, Asis Aynan, Geert Mak, Haytham Safia Qu4rtet, Mathijs Deen, Paul van der Gaag

    The last of Winternachten 2008 can be heard in the Sunday morning Radio 1 programme OVT (Simple Past Tense), a live broadcast from The Hague.

    In VPRO's OVT history and literature come together in conversations with Winternachten guests Antjie Krog from South Africa and the Berber poet Ahmed Ziani, and writer Geert Mak. The series 'In Europe', part of the programme, today focuses on the 1930s. Can the fear of those times be compared to that in our time? In Dutch

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Berber poetry and prose: In stone I'll write

    Why a Berber is not an Arab. And why not all Berbers speak Tamazight. On Berbers and Berber culture there is the necessary misunderstanding and ignorance in the Netherlands. At the same time Berbers here are increasingly aware of their own background and culture - see the fast growing number of Berber sites. At Winternachten three writers discuss Berber culture and their place in it. Ahmed Ziani (1954) is a pioneer in the struggle for recognition of the Berber language and culture. He lives in Morocco, after having lived in the Netherlands for many years and one of the first to write his poems in Tamazight. In stone I'll write and Song of Joy for the Bridegroomare two of his titles, both published in Tamazight and Dutch. Mohamed El Hadaoui (1973) writes in Tamazight, Arabic and Darija (Moroccan-Arabic). A quote by him: 'He deposits a secret on his shoulders, keeps silent, remembers the pain of the streamn and melts.' The prose writer Ayada Ghamhi (1980), who speaks Tamazight and Arabic, opens her story without further ado with: 'Aaaahhh… Whát the fuck'. Interviewer is writer and columnist Asis Aynan. In Dutch