GLOBALE: Writers for Freedom
Links: An easel with a picture of a man with a turban. Middle: Two men sitting on chairs. Right: A man standing at a podium and addresses the audience.
The Global Fight for Freedom of Speech
Wed, January 27, 2016 8 pm CET, Reading

Jan Wagner reads for Mohammed al-Ajami

After Chinese author and musician Liao Yiwu raised his voice for his imprisoned friend Li Bifeng to start the series of »Writers for Freedom« events in August 2015 followed by Cameroonian poet and human rights activist Enoh Meyomesse in November, who told us about his time in prison, German author and translator Jan Wagner will be the guest at the ZKM on January 27, 2016. In 2015, his 2014 collection of poetry, »Regentonnenvariationen« was the first volume of poems to be awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.

As a reading partner, he is drawing attention to poet Mohammed al-Ajami, who is currently imprisoned in Qatar, who was arrested in February 2011 after the publication of his dissident poem »Tunisian Jasmine« on YouTube and was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Doha in 2012. According to his lawyer, al-Ajami has been held in solitary confinement since then, accused of insulting the emir and calling for the government to be overthrown. The sentence was »reduced« to fifteen years in February 2013, but an appeal before the final court of appeal in Qatar has been categorically refused up to now.

Together with moderator Gerwig Epkes (SWR2 LiteraturEN), Jan Wagner and the Writers-in-Prison representative and vice-president of the German PEN Zentrum, Sascha Feuchert, will discuss this case and the limited freedom of expression in many countries.
More dates will follow.

– Subject to changes –
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Karlsruhe

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