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Babah Tarawally

Babah Tarawally
Babah Tarawally

(Sierra Leone, 1972) is a writer and journalist. In his essayistic book Gevangen in zwartwit-denken. En hoe we kunnen ontsnappen (Trapped in black-and-white thinking. And how we can escape, 2018) he describes how this mechanism determined his thinking for a long time, until he let it go. He pleads for a Civil Rights Movement, inspired by Ubuntu, the African philosophy that revolves around giving and taking, and sharing in groups to strengthen the 'us'. In 1995 he fled Sierra Leone. In 2010 his novel De god met de blauwe ogen (The god with blue eyes) appeared. He was programme coordinator of the Winternachten Festival 2012 and wrote columns in One World; he is also project leader at De ToekomstAcademie (The Future Academy) that is part of New Dutch Connections, an organisation that motivates and inspires (former) refugees. In 2016 he published his second book, De verloren hand (The Lost Hand), a novel about the experiences of asylum seekers and their struggle to overcome traumas.

(WN 2021)

Archive available for: Babah Tarawally

  • Erfstukken

    Erfstukken

    With: Annemarie Estor, Babah Tarawally, Babeth Fonchie, Eva Meijer, Fleur Kotten, Jens Meijen, Jessica Bacuna, Kenneth Aidoo, Mignon Nusteling, Rachel Sender

    At the request of Writers Unlimited, five authors wrote a letter to a family member of another generation asking: "What concern or fear about this time would you like to present to a family member in the past or in the future?" Five artists responded to the letters and created an unique illustration. Graphic designer Herman van Bostelen turned it into a paper gem: from leporello to postcard.

    We launch the analogue issue (in Dutch only) of Inheritance with an online program. Enjoy the conversations with four authors and illustrators involved: Eva Meijer, Fleur Kotten, Babeth Fonchie and Jessica Bacuna talk about the special collaboration from our favorite bookshop in The Hague, De Vries Van Stockum. (Dutch spoken)

    With: authors Annemarie Estor, Babeth Fonchie, Jens Meijen, Eva Meijer and Babah Tarawally and artists Mignon Nusteling, Jessica Bacuna, Rachel Sender, Fleur Kotten and Kenneth Aidoo. Read the English translation via our site. Paper edition (in Dutch) available from Friday 30 April (€7,50) via bookstore or webshop De Vries Van Stockum.

    Read and watch the English translations of Inheritance:


    Program concept: Joëlle Koorneef (Writers Unlimited)
    Design: Herman van Bostelen
    Book sales: De Vries Van Stockum Boeken
    Videoregistration: Wilbert Eerland

  • Winternachten 2017

    Reading the Bible with Sedlacek

    With: Babah Tarawally, Stevo Akkerman, Tomas Sedlacek

    Reading the Bible with Sedlacek promises to be a highly inspiring experience: a meeting plus lecture plus dialogue with the world-famous macro-economist Tomas Sedlacek about the extremely fascinating relationship between the economy and Bible stories. With the audience he will discuss Genesis chapters 2 and 3, Job chapter 1 and Luke chapter 15. To prepare yourself for the discussion, you can download them as pdf here. The programme is in English. Babah Tarawally, writer and columnist, reads the Bible stories selected by Sedlacek. Stevo Akkerman, writer and journalist for Trouw daily newspaper, will introduce Tomas Sedlacek.

    In an interview published in Trouw newspaper in early 2016, Sedlacek said the following about economy and faith: "Something must have gone wrong with creation, because even though Adam had a relationship with God, he felt lonely. He needed a helper. Thus there were already cracks in the creation process - which has enormous theological implications."

    But is this also related to the economy?
    "Yes, because the conclusion is this: even if one places a person in an ideal setting, he will still not be happy. We carry within us an existential feeling of imperfection, which explains our urge to consume - it is meant to fill the void. This feeling of imperfection is independent of the political and economic system in which we live (...) A belief in the idea that people can be defined by numbers, that the meaning of life is the satisfaction of needs and the meaning of business is maximizing profit - these are irrefutably moral notions. And together they form a new religion."

    Tomas Sedlacek is known for his clear, associative and sparkling ideas. He convincingly combines economic phenomena with, for example, religious insights, myths and philosophy.

    Sedlacek (Czech Republic, 1977) enjoys a kind of pop-star status since his 2009 book The Economy of Good and Evil became an international best-seller. In it, he argues that the economy cannot be summed up in mathematical formulae but emerges from our culture. To understand the economy, his arguments draws on myths, religion, theology, philosophy, psychology, literature and film. In a nutshell, the economy is about good and evil. "Brilliantly written," commented Samuel Brittan of the Financial Times. "You just keep on reading."