(1978, Morocco) is a writer and journalist (for among others Vrij Nederland and Nieuwe Revu) who grew up in Amsterdam. In 2006 his debut appeared, Een Verhaal uit de Stad Damsko, about the life of a young pupilfrom a migrant family, in the underprivileged part of Damsko, the Surinamese name for Amsterdam. De Volkskrant wrote: "Bahara is not yet thirty and made his debut last year with this novel, which is reminiscent of the De Avonden by Reve: the same oppressive desolation." Een Verhaal uit de Stad Damskowas nominated for the Selexyz Debuutprijs. Pollo de Pimentel, director of among other films De oesters van Nam Kee, has an option for the film rights. Bahara is working on a second novel. In 2000 and 2001, using a ps, he won the El Hizjra-literature prize for prose for young people to age 25.(WIN 2008)
Archive available for: Hassan Bahara
Is this a coincidence? Three debuts from countries far apart, showing striking resemblances. The novels of Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Sweden), Hassan Bahara (Netherlands) and Ahmad al-Aidi (Egypt) are set in the big city, in multi-ethnic surroundings, and the main characters share the same radical anti-attitude: they rebel against the dominant culture or against their own insensitive milieu. How to rebel? By manipulating, bastardising, by silencing language, by, as is the case with Al-Aidi, mixing street language with classical Arabic. These young urban writers give us their image of contemporary, chaotic city life and although this is not particularly cheerful, at least their free use of language makes for an agreeable vitality. New literature of the 21st century. Interviewer: Paul van der Gaag. In English.