November 10th "Three poets: Ahmed Fouad Negm, Manal Al Sheikh & Mazen Maarouf" by May Abdalla & Roxana Vilk (United Kingdom / Qatar, 2012)
VENUE: Museum of Contemporary Art, Staendertorvet 3 A, Roskilde - 8 pm
Poetry lives and breathes in the Middle East as in few other places. In a region long dominated by authoritarian regimes, poetry is the medium for expressing people's hopes, dreams and frustrations. These three intimate portraits reflect three different poets' view of the change sweeping the Middle East and their struggle to lead, to interpret and to inspire.
The outspoken, irreverent and controversial Uncle Ahmed, as poet Ahmed Fouad Negm is known in Egypt, discovered poetry in prison in the 1950s and has been writing ever since. When the Egyptian revolution erupted in 2011, it was the words of Negm's famous poems, like The Brave Man is Brave, that were chanted in Tahrir Square. But now, just as people look to him for leadership, Negm finds himself unable to write.
"For me as a female writer in Iraq, just being female it was of course a challenge; just to live there in a normal way with my thoughts and my ambitions for a future. But really I can say the main change in my life was becoming a single mother in that society. Suddenly I found myself a widow, a very young widow", tells Manal Al Sheikh.
“It is the mission of how to reconstruct the dirt, this is poetry, maybe to make a rose out of dust.” This is how Mazen Maarouf describes his role as a poet. The Palestinian poet was raised in a refugee camp in Lebanon, but his daring and thought-provoking journalism in Beirut had led to his life being put in grave danger, resulting in him having to flee to Iceland.
Free. English subtitles.