The LEILA project promotes Arabic literature in Europe via a number of activities. LEILA has organised, partnered, and participated in public events targeting a wider audience including the Brussels-based Bozar and Mahmoud Darwish Chair’s “Literature Talks” or the Paris-based Adab literature festival, run by iReMMO.
Adab Festival, Paris, 2023
On December 8, 9, and 10, 2023, iReMMO will curate and coordinate a literature festival in Paris open to the public at Maison de la Poésie, that focuses on contemporary literature from the Mediterranean and the greater Middle East.
Gathering authors, publishers and multidisciplinary artists from around Europe and the Arab world, the festival pays tribute to the ways literature can move and reach us.
The venue and main partner, Maison de la Poésie is an internationally recognised reference for literature and the arts, and is perfectly positioned to promote Arabic literature to a wider audience.
More information to come soon
Literature Talks, Brussels, 2021-2023
Over the course of 2021, 2022 and 2023, BOZAR and the Mahmoud Darwish Chair in Brussels curated literature talks open to the public, bringing together authors from the Arab world to present their art and works. All events were filled to maximum capacity proving that Arabic literature interests a great diversity of people.
Language exists not only in words, but also in silence and time. This is all the more palpable in the case of writers who do not live in their home country, but live in a language other than the language of their books. Iman Mersal, from Egypt, lives in Canada, Adania Shibli, from Palestine, lives in Germany; both write in Arabic. What does this mean for their writing? Mersal and Shibli discuss the relationship between language and being at home, silence and time.
At the intersection of two cultures, Sudan and South Sudan are home to a number of important writers who are rarely heard in Europe. Here they addressed themes such as their country of origin, exile, the Arabic language, but above all the universal language of literature.
With Lina Attalah, Ahdaf Soueif and Iman Mersal, in a discussion moderated by Catherine Vuylsteke
A political and poetic evening about the role of authors under repressive regimes. Writing serves as an act of resistance and a way to remember oppression, but it also creates a foundation for new ideas for a different future. The title given to the event was inspired by independent philosopher and political prisoner Alaa Abd el-Fattah’s titular book, published in English in 2022.
With Ali Chahrour, Chloé Mazlo, Dima Abdallah, Dima Matta, Elias Khoury, Farouk Mardam Bey, Leila Shahid, Katia Al Tawil, Ryoko Sekiguchi, Samira Saleh, Ziad Majed and others.
With its rich historical and cultural past, the Lebanese capital captures the imagination. But Beirut is also a political chessboard of sectarianism, abuse of power, and corruption. The 2020 explosion in the port area will be forever imprinted on our minds, and in 2021 the city remained in the news with its turbulent demonstrations. It is against this background that the Mahmoud Darwish Chair and Bozar presented the three-day Beirut echoes festival with talks, film and dance performances in solidarity with Lebanon, as a platform where art and literature can be shared in an artistic dialogue between Europe and the Middle East.