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Winternachten Lecture - Nuruddin Farah

Nieuwe Kerk
€15,- (Uitpas €13,50 CJP/Studenten/Ooievaarspas €7,50)
foto Serge Ligtenberg
foto Serge Ligtenberg

'Nuruddin Farah poses questions which, once asked, don't give you a moment's rest, the American weekly Newsweek wrote about the Somali author. Nuruddin Farah (1945) delivered the annual Winternachten lecture, which was organised for the third time. He spoke about migration and exile, a topic which as a writer has occupied him for a long time. You can download the lecture as a pdf-file here.

Farah describes how the situation of young migrants round 1970 – who wanted nothing but assimilate fully – differs painfully of that of young migrants today. In his lecture he asks an urgent question about identity: what makes us into who we are? Is it the country we come from, the language we speak, the culture we were raised in or the passport we carry? Or is it a coincidental process that makes us into who we are? Farah painstakingly queries what the Somali identity means to someone like himself, who has lived in half a dozen countries.
Nuruddin Farah is seen by many as the most important African candidate for the Nobel prize for Literature. In 1998 he was recipient of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His work has been translated into seventeen languages. Seven of his books appeared in Dutch, among them Secrets and Maps. The translation of Links will be published in 2009. Farah lives in Cape Town.

Kristien Hemmerechts
(Brussels, 1955) gave an introduction on Farahs work and talked to him after his lecture. Hemmerechts is a novelist, travel writer, essayist and script writer. Her novels include Ann, and Taal zonder mij (Language without me). As a writer she actively participates in the public debate in Flanders and the Netherlands.
Previous Winternachten lecturers include Elif Shafak (2008) and Pankaj Mishra (2007).

Visitors of the Winternachten lecture received the publication in English and Dutch.
You can order the publication for € 5,- + postal charges by sending an email with your name and full adress, to We will send it to you with an invoice of € 5,- plus shipping costs.

Stichting DOEN supported the Winternachten lecture 2009 as international writers here get a chance to share their views with their counterparts at the festival and with a varied audience. So new insights arise, contributing to the social debate in the Netherlands. DOEN supports the Winternachten lecture 2009 with a grant from the Nationale Postcode Loterij.