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Athena Farrokhzad

Athena Farrokhzad - foto Carla Orrego Feliz
Athena Farrokhzad - foto Carla Orrego Feliz

(Iran, 1983) is a Swedish poet, playwright, translator, literary critic and feminist. Her family escaped Iran in the eighties. She is an important voice in Scandinavian societal debate. Her debut collection Vitsvit (2013) was an international success and translated into 12 languages (into English as White Blight). It gives a voice to several members of a refugee family and shows how themes such as migration, integration, racism, revolution and war influence their lives. Farrokhzad also published two anthologies, Manualen with Tova Gerrge and Ett tunt underlag with the poetry group G=T=B=R=G, both in 2009. She was editor of the queer poetry collection Omslag with Linn Hansén and organized literary events such as Queerlitt, Demafor and World Poetry Day. The collection Trado, which she wrote with the Romanian poet Svetlana Cârstean, was published in 2016, followed by the collection I rörelse in 2019. She is also the literary critic of the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

(WN 2022)

Archive available for: Athena Farrokhzad

  • Winternachten 2022 – Friday Night Unlimited

    A Book to Call Home with Athena Farrokhzad

    Following up on the festival theme Whose House is This?, in A Book to Come Home to we asked one festival author the following question: which book brought you home? The answers could go in all directions. Perhaps the author chose a book that describes a house that feels like his/her own home, or a place where he/she wishes to live. But it could also be a book whose style of writing or manner of thinking makes the author feel at home. Or it could be the relief of finally reading a story in which the protagonist reflects his/her appearance. The program was a peek into the bookshelves as well as the soul of each author.

  • Winternachten 2022 – Thursday Night Unlimited

    WWZ x Winternachten Festival 2022

    Yippee, WWZ was back at Winternachten! We ordered a drink and got carried away by today's top spoken-word artists and poets.

    WWZ is a popular platform for authors, spoken-word artists and musicians that has, with energy and a deep love of language, staged the most beautiful performances and loveliest music for sold-out venues for many years. During Winternachten we joined forces with WWZ and PAARD. Besides Dutch poets and spoken-word artists, international festival authors let their voices be heard at WWZ x Winternachten Festival 2022 in an extra-long, high-profile program. Good vibes guaranteed!

    During this event you saw and heard performers such as: WWZ-founder and spoken-word artist Elten Kiene, writer and musician Aafke Romeijn, poet Derek Otte, spoken-word artists Kelvin Allison and Amara van der Elst, poet (and former Amsterdam poet laureate) Gershwin Bonevacia, poet Ellen Deckwitz, and Iranian-Swedish poet Athena Farrokhzad.

  • Winternachten 2022 – Thursday Night Unlimited

    Who's Afraid of the Female Future?

    Dystopia and poetry - with Iman Mersal, Athena Farrokhzad, Ronelda S. Kamfer (online) and Widad Broco

    Dystopia: we know it primarily as an imaginary society with various grim features. A terrifying image of the future, and a rewarding starting point for literature, where speculative stories and science fiction have long since claimed their place. Who's Afraid of the Female Future? was not about "typical" dystopian genres, but dealt with the relationship between dystopia and poetry. Because is poetry not the ideal genre in which socially critical ideas and dreamworlds find their place?

    For women, daily reality can already feel dystopian. A grand, glamorous science-fiction tale is not necessary for a personal dystopia; poetry is the genre in which female poets feel at home. In this event you met Egyptian-Canadian poet Iman Mersal, Swedish-Iranian poet Athena Farrokhzad and South African poet Ronelda S. Kamfer (online). What is the relationship of these poets with "dystopia"? How do they imagine the future in their poetry? And is "the house" still a safe space in their dystopian-poetic world?

    An intimate event for poetry aficionados, with music by poet/performer Widad Broco, the first female rap artist of the Arabic world, also known for her part in the internationally successful electro-urban music group N3rdistan. Poet and programmer Nisrine Mbarki, who put together this event, defines "dystopia" in the following way: "I see dystopian images of the world as critical images, as alarm signals of what we humans fear. Dystopian images deserve attention and space because they represent a critical voice and can shake us awake. They are a form of commentary on our current society, which is based on the liberal and capitalist system of prosperity, and therefore also the exploitation of people and the earth. We had better listen closely to such commentary."

    English spoken.