It is difficult to write anything after yesterday’s events in Cairo. But if you’re in London, PalFest alumnus and playwright Omar El-Khairy’s “Keepers of Infinite Space” is now open at the Park Theatre
On Saturday Octoer 19, starting at 3 p.m., the Boston Palestine Film Festival will present “Palestinian Narratives Across Genres,” featuring short films, readings by novelist and poet Susan Abulhawa, and a roundtable on Palestinian narrative.
At the usual sort of literary festival, a visiting author appears briefly and does a public reading, Jeremy Harding said on PalFest’s final night in Ramallah. After that, the author either goes back to his hotel room or wanders around the host city.
But the Palestine Festival of Literature is different, Harding said.
Oud player Basel Zayed has translated two poems by Mahmoud Darwish, five or six by Najwan Darwish, and “a lot of 3ameya” poetry into music. In a Ramallah cafe on PalFest’s last night, he talked about the process.
On Thursday, the author-participants of PalFest 2013 met with Omar Barghouti, one of the founding committee of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), to ask questions about the campaign.
More than 200 people were at PalFest’s biggest event yet on Wednesday night in Nablus: The night began with an excerpt of Omar El-Khairy’s Sour Lips. A play, necessarily, is a collaborative translation by the director, actors, and others. Wednesday night’s rendering was also a translation into… Read More ›
PalFest South finished up its run after a final breakfast. For the writers of PalFest North, Tuesday presented the most intense of psychological shifts.
On Monday evening, the PalFest of the South — in Gaza — held their closing-night event at the restored Dar al-Basha house. Meanwhile, the PalFest of the North held its second literary evening in the garden of the British Council in Jerusalem.
Many of the spaces that the PalFest’s northern group traveled through on Sunday — from Ramallah to Birzeit to Jerusalem — were mute. Some were narrativized only by half-thoughts such as KEEP THE TERMINAL CLEAN and HAVE A SAFE AND PLEASANT STAY signs, which book-end Qalandiya’s cattle-prod checkpoint.
The six-city festival opened in Gaza on Friday (after a group drove up from Cairo) and in Ramallah on Saturday night (after a second group crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan).
Today, the 2013 Palestine Festival of Literature begins. Hopefully by later this afternoon, or at least by evening, posts will start to arrive. In the meantime, this week on Poetry Foundation, Alex Dueben has a very interesting interview with (Palestinian) poet-translator Fady Joudah.
This year’s Palestine Festival of Literature will split into two separate groups. The larger group will go to Ramallah, Jerusalem, Haifa, Nablus, and Birzeit while the smaller group — which includes writers Ali Abunimah, Nora Younis, Susan Abulhawa, and Lina Attalah — will go to Gaza.