(Turkey, 1972) writes novels, essays, reviews and translations for various newspapers and magazines. She studied international relations and political science in Istanbul and hotel management in Switzerland. Her second novel Sürgün (Exile, 2010) won the EU Literature Prize and has been sold to 27 countries. In short stories - some of them only a page or two in length - ordinary Turkish citizens speak about being alienated from their homeland, their families, and the community to which they belonged. Injustice plays a big role, and Ilhan often gives a voice not only to the victim but also to the perpetrator. She plays with genres and storytelling perspectives as if the book were a literary laboratory. Ilhan is a member of the Turkish and Dutch chapters of PEN, the international writers' association that fights for oppressed writers and journalists and freedom of expression.(WN 2019)
Archive available for: Ciler Ilhan
The Winternachten Story Festival at Theater Dakota came to its festive conclusion on Sunday afternoon. 'Stories from Afar' was a large and varied programme with stories, music and dance from and about India, Turkey and the Dutch Indies. The programme had two parts: before the intermission you chose one of three country programmes, each in a separate room. You heard music and stories of writers and local residents about their country of origin.
The India programme included an appearance by writer Arshia Sattar. She's an expert on the Ramayana and a great storyteller. Dancer Anima Jhagroe-Ruissen, pupil of Sangeet Natak Academy Awardee Guru Geetanjali Lal, performed with a music ensemble consisting of Viresh Kisoendajal (tabla), Lehra (sitar), Martijn Barendregt and Shivant Jhagroe (harmonium) en Ilyas Nadjafi (vocals).
The Turkey programme included appearances by writer Ciler Ilhan, currently famous for her story collection In Exile, and vocalist-ud player Duygu Alkan. Wieteke van Dort told the most beautiful stories about the Dutch Indies. After the break came a stunning finale for all visitors. Francis Broekhuijsen introduced performances by all the above-mentioned and more artists in the great hall of Theatre Dakota: music by Hindi pop band Shagun, the choir Turkuaz from Escamp and The Hague-based singer-songwriter Jhilani Wijsman. When you reserved tickets, you also chose the country programme that takes place before the intermission. Your ticket was of course also valid after the break.