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Asis Aynan

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

(Haarlem, NL, 1980) studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Aynan, the son of Moroccan immigrants, is an active advocate of Berber culture. His debut Veldslag en Andere Herinneringen (Battle and Other Memories) was published in 2007, about his youth or, as he calls it, his "Catholic-Islamic-Berber background". Aynan is the creator of the Berber Library, a series of classics from Berber countries translated into Dutch. He further wrote Ik, Driss (I, Driss, together with Hassan Bahara), the short-story collection Gebed zonder eind (Endless Prayer, 2014) and Linoleumkoorts (Linoleum Fever, 2019). Aynan works as a teacher at Hogeschool van Amsterdam; his articles have appeared in the NRC, Het Parool, Folia and Trouw.

(WU 2019)

Archive available for: Asis Aynan

  • Winternachten 2020 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    National Quiz of New Dutch

    Now that the Smibanese Dictionary 2.0 of street language has been published, Writers Unlimited is hosting the National Quiz of New Dutch! Come and test your knowledge of New Dutch, which has influences of Turkish, Sranantongo, Papiamento, English and Berber.

    Just in case we can't figure it out, we've invited a fantastic panel of experts to explain it all, chosen by Soortkill - the compiler of the Smibanese Dictionary and an active member of the SMIB Collective. They include cabaretière, actress and columnist Funda Müjde; writers, teacher and creator of the Berber library Asis Aynan; and cabaretier, singer, actor and presenter Jörgen Raymann. All under the guidance of former news anchor, actress, writer and now quizmistress Noraly Beyer.

  • Winternachten 2019

    VPRO O.V.T. Live

    With: Abdelkader Benali, Asis Aynan, Conny Braam, David Van Reybrouck, Ellen de Bruin, HemelBesem, Jos Palm, Nelleke Noordervliet, Paul van der Gaag, Wim Berkelaar

    THIS PROGRAMME WAS SOLD OUT - Every Sunday morning, the topicality of history is the focus of one of the most popular radio programs in the Netherlands. Sunday morning 20 January 2019 OVT was broadcast, as usual, live from Winternachten festival in Theater aan het Spui.

    Guests included writers from the Winternachten Festival, such as Nelleke Noordervliet, the Flemish culture historian David Van Reybrouck, and writers Ellen de Bruin and Asis Aynan. Writer Abdelkader Benali read his column and Wim Berkelaar reviewed newly published history books. Conny Braam discussed the book she wrote on the 19th century Namibian freedom-fighter Hendrik Witbooi. A decendent of Hendrik is the African writer and spoken word artist HemelBesem, who performed in the programme as well. Hosts: Paul van der Gaag and Jos Palm. Program in Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2019 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Poems from the Berber Library

    Poets Dean Bowen, Anne Vegter and Joost Baars recited Berber poetry on the occasion of the completion of the Berber Library. This is a collection of works by the most important authors of Berber heritage. At the initiative of writer Asis Aynan and translator Hester Tollenaar, ten books have been published in Dutch translation. And as a finale, the volume Vallende Tijd (Falling Time) brought together work of the four greatest Rif poets: Mohammed Chacha, Ahmed Ziani, Fadma el Ouariachi and Mimoun el Walid. Their poetry celebrates love, detests migration and screams for emancipation.

  • 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.

  • Nederlanders in Marokko

    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