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Asmaa Azaizeh

Asmaa Azaizeh - foto Dirk Skiba
Asmaa Azaizeh - foto Dirk Skiba

(1985) is a Palestinian poet and essayist who became the first Director of the Mahmoud Darwish Museum in Ramallah in 2012. She currently works as a cultural curator in Haifa. She was born in Lower Galilee, the region in the northern district of Israel and studied English literature and journalism at the University of Haifa. Her first poetry collection, Liwa, was published in Amman in 2011, after she had won the A.M. Qatan Foundation Award. Four years later the collection As The Woman From Lod Bore Me (2015) was published and in 2019 Do Not Believe Me Were I Talk to You About War. Her poetry has been translated into languages including English, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish, Hebrew and Persian.

(2019)

Archive available for: Asmaa Azaizeh

  • Winternachten 2020

    Winternachten New Year's Concert

    With: Antjie Krog, Asmaa Azaizeh, Ellen ten Damme, Francis Broekhuijsen, Fresku, Gypsy Academy, Juggling Tango, Noa Eyl, Ramsey Nasr, Thorwald Jørgensen, Timon Krause, Tobit en Jasmijn, Wende

    Music, poetry and spoken word come together in this one-of-a-kind concert with appearances by Wende, Ellen ten Damme, Fresku, and poets Ramsey Nasr, Antjie Krog en Asmaa Azaizeh. They sing to, question, taste and release freedom. This sparkling matinee on Sunday afternoon, 19 January 2020, in The Hague's Zuiderstrand Theatre also includes performances by theremin player Thorwald Jørgensen, mentalist Timon Krause, violinist Noa Eyl, the Gypsy Academy, Juggling Tango and acrobatic duo Tobit and Jasmijn. The matinee is hosted by Francis Broekhuijsen.

    Singer-songwriter, theatre professional, chansonnière, actress, performer, producer and house artist at the Royal Carré Theatre: Wende does it all. After the successful tour of her show MENS (HUMAN) and her own Kaleidoscope Festival,she has been working on a show in London with the Royal Court Theatre. She also plays the role of Connie Palmen in the film adaptation of the book IM. For the New Year's Concert she will perform songs from her existing repertoire and new works from her collaboration with artists such as Marieke Lucas Rijneveld.

    Rapper, cabaret artist and actor Fresku is a multi-talent to be proud of! After his self-titled debut album, he was proclaimed the best hip hop artist of the Netherlands. Since then he has released two further successful albums, Maskerade (Masquerade) and Nooit meer terug (Never to Return). He is currently touring his second theatre show, Voordat het te laat is (Before it's Too Late). His trademarks are humour, sincerity and storytelling - a perfect match for this concert.

    Sensitive, daring, funny and without limits: Ellen ten Damme feels at home at pop festivals as well as on theatre stages. The energetic singer, musician, writer and actress has been touring her sense-stimulating show Casablanca this season. Luckily she will also make time for a compelling appearance at the Winternachten New Year's Concert. Accompanied on piano, she interprets songs and chansons of a literary bent with her exceptional voice.

    The Winternachten New Year's Concert is an initiative of Writers Unlimited in partnership with the Zuiderstrand Theatre. The concert forms the grand finale of the 25th Winternachten International Literature Festival Den Haag. From 15 to 19 January 2020, more than 100 local and international writers, poets and artists will appear at theatres, libraries and schools throughout The Hague.

    This program is made possible with contributions from the City of The Hague, the Dutch Literary Foundation, the VSB Fund, Dioraphte, the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, the 1818 Fund and the Lira Fund.

    Entry tickets to the New Year's Concert include coat check, pre-show coffee/tea and a post-show drink.

  • Winternachten 2020

    Free the Word Night - Oxfam Novib PEN Award

    With: Asha Karami, Asmaa Azaizeh, Barbaros Altuğ, Hassnae Bouazza, Jennifer Clement, Liesbeth Staats, Michiel Servaes, Oleg Lysenko, Samar Yazbek

    The evening programme will be opened by poet Asha Karami. Her performance will be followed by the introduction of the Free the Word!-speech by PEN International Chair Jennifer Clement. The speech, with a focus on the freedom of expression, will be held by Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbek.

    Yazbek, born in Jableh, Syria, is the recipient of the PEN Pinter award, the PEN Tucholsky award, and the PEN Oxfam Novib Award for her book A Woman in the Crossfire (2011). Her book The Crossing received the 2016 Best Foreign Book award in France. Her books have been translated into more than 15 languages, and in 2018 Yazbek was shortlisted for the Prix Femina for her novel, La marcheuse, that was recently published in Dutch translation as De blauwe pen by Orlando Uitgevers in collaboration with Oxfam Novib.

    The prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Award, given out by Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes, honours authors who currently risk their freedom and their lives to seek out and publish the truth.

    After the ceremony, Palestinian poet Asmaa Azaizeh and Turkish writer and journalist Barbaros Altuğ will be interviewed, on behalf of PEN Netherlands, by Hassnae Bouazza and Liesbeth Staats. Azaizeh and Altuğ will also read from their works.

    The evening will be enhanced with performances by classical accordeon player Oleg Lysenko and will be hosted by Hassnae Bouazza. The Free the Word - Oxfam Novib PEN Award Night is a collaboration between Oxfam Novib, PEN International, PEN Netherlands and Writers Unlimited.

  • Winternachten 2020

    International Storytelling Symposium

    With: Asmaa Azaizeh, Kees Biekart, Lamin Kuyateh, Mukoma Wa Ngũgĩ, Rosalba Icaza Garza, Zuleika Sheik

    This program at the Institute of Social Studies has become a much-loved classic at Winternachten Festival. Visitors, writers, students and teachers tell each other stories. This time around, the theme is "decolonisation", which has quickly become a key word in the world of museums, universities and society at large. But how are you dealing with this individually? How are you decolonising your thinking or your life, at your workplace or at home? What are you experiencing, and what challenges do you encounter?

    Come to listen to stories from all over the world and, if you like, share your own story! Maximum 5 minutes and in English only - no other protocol. Among the participants are writer, poet, essayist and literary scholar Mukoma Wa Ngũgĩ - who was born in the US and grew up on Kenya. Asmaa Azaizeh, Palestinian poet and essayist, Zuleika Sheikh and Rosalba Icaza, teachers at the Institute of Social Studies, will also talk about their experiences with "decolonising the mind". The stories will be interspersed by muscial performances by Lamin Kuyateh.

    The 25th anniversary edition of Writers Unlimited festival pays special attention to liberation and, more specifically, to the decolonisation of (Western) thinking. How free is our mind, what does that freedom mean, and are we really free or are we trapped in the framework of our culture, society and history? This theme is partly based on Decolonizing the Mind, an essay by Mukoma Wa Ngũgĩ''s father, the Kenyan writer and social activist Ngugi wa Thiong'o. The essay is about colonised language and its still-noticeable influence. With this theme, the festival also establishes a link to its early editions, which focused on The Netherlands' relationship with Indonesia, Surinam, the Antilles and South Africa.

    Read here the article that Mukoma Wa Ngũgĩ published in 2018 in Literary Hub about the meaning of the essay Decolonizing the Mind (1986) by his father Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.

    Tip: during Friday Night Unlimited (evening of 17 January at Theater aan het Spui and Filmhuis Den Haag), a large portion of the events address the theme of decolonisation via discussions, interviews, documentary films, prose and poetry readings.

  • Winternachten 2020 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Free at Last: A Day of Decolonised Life

    Exciting! Are these fairy tales or is this finally a decolonised world? Writers Unlimited asked a very international group of eight authors to sum up a day of colonisation-free existence in poetry or prose. Eight days of liberation, each in their own way.

    In this event you will see and hear Akwasi, the Dutch rapper, actor and writer of Ghanaian background; Barbaros Altuğ, the Turkish writer, journalist and literary agent; Asmaa Azaizeh, Palestinian poet, journalist and cultural curator born in Lower Galilee in Israel's north; Petina Gappah, lawyer and writer from Zimbabwe; Cağla Meknuze, jounalist and poet from Turkey; Jolyn Phillips, writer, poet and composer from South Africa; Simon(e) van Saarloos, American-Dutch writer and philosopher; and Vamba Sherif, Liberian-Dutch writer and journalist.

    The authors present their work in their preferred writing language or mother tongue; Dutch and English translations are projected simultaneously.

  • Winternachten 2020 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Book of My Life: Asmaa Azaizeh

    Writers tell us about their favourite book: the book that inspires or touches them, that set their artistic, moral or intellectual compass. In short, the book they would recommend to everyone. Interview: Jet Steinz.

  • Winternachten 2020 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Books Unlimited: Petina Gappah & Asmaa Azaizeh

    Get to know international literary stars and their recent books. Journalist and De Gids editor Fiep van Bodegom talks to Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah about her latest novel, Out of Darkness, Shining Light, and Palestinian poet Asmaa Azaizeh about her new poetry collection, Do Not Believe Me When I Talk to You About War.

    "This is how we carried out of Africa the poor broken body of Bwana Daudi, the Doctor, David Livingstone, so that he could be borne across the sea and buried in his own land." So begins Petina Gappah's powerful novel - the captivating story of the men and women who carried explorer and missionary David Livingstone's body, his papers and his maps 1500 miles across 19th-century Africa. The story is narrated by Halima, Livingstone's sharp-tongued cook, and Jacob Wainwright, a rigidly pious freed slave.

    Asmaa Azaizeh is a Palestinian poet, journalist and cultural curator who currently lives and works in Haifa. Since 2011, she has published two poetry collections and a poetry anthology.

    Tip: Petina Gappah will also appear at Opening Night - A Free Mind on Wednesday, 15 January at Theater aan het Spui; Azmaa Azaizeh also appears at the Free the Word - Oxfam Novib PEN Awards Night on Thursday, 16 January at Theater aan het Spui, and during the Writers Unlimited New Year's Concert on Sunday, 19 January at the Zuiderstrand Theatre.