Story Poem Night

For the first time:

Syrian and Scottish story poems (ballads)

Werkstatt der Kulturen (Club)

As part of our Syrian Series, we held an event full of ballads ie storytelling poems at the Storytelling Arena.

Highlight of the evening were three poems which were performed in bilingual tandem
Arabic-English or Arabic-German.

In the English language Slam Poem „Choose Truth“, porto-rican Poet Sabrina Melendes (USA), describes her feelings as she watches her generation missing the final chance to save the climate. The poem was translated for the Storytelling Arena into Arabic.  It was the English-language premiere of the poem in Germany, and the World Premiere of the slam poem in Arabic.

In the Arabic language poem „The Vacuum“, young poet Ehab Sukkariya from Damascus frees himself with a sense of catharsis from the contradictory feelings which have arisen after setline to a life in exile in Germany, for example the feeling of relief having arrived ‘in freedom’ whilst still having the longing to keeping ‘fleeing’ or even to fly away and celebrate being alive.

In the English language poem „Athens in Crisis – a love story“, storyteller Rachel Clarke from Glasgow/Berlin, we experience how two Artivists (= Artist-Activists), who meet one another in the middle of crisis-ridden Greece, become caught up in the protests of a generation made desperate by unemployment – and against the backdrop of the city of Athens in uproar – fall in love. The poem was translated for the Storytelling Arena into Arabic and performed by Ehab Sukkariya in Arabic and Rachel Clarke in English. It was the first time the poem had ever been performed.

There were also two poems, which reached us directly from Syria, sent by Roony Nofal, who managed to escape Assad’s army and has since been living in the underground to protect himself from almost certain execution at the hands of the regime. In these poems, written after 6 years of war in Syria, nothing is sacred, war affects everything. In “…and I love you”, the love of the poet to his partner is all twisted up in his feelings for the war, and in “the Wish”, in view of all the suffering and destruction he has witnessed, the poet begins to doubt everything which he once believed in. His friend Mohamad Wanli performed the poems in Arabic – with English translation.

At the next Storytelling Arena, we return to our Storytelling programmes, with a new and current theme, in which we reflect and confront the current situation of Syria and Syrians in Germany in the form of autobiographical and epic stories, in Arabic-German and Arabic-English tandem.