Past present: Revisiting the past through documentary

When you’re curating a program for yourself at an event or conference you’re often doing so consciously and conscientiously: there are things you need to see or attend for work, or for something new you need to wrap your head around. Then there are those times when it seems like you have no agenda except […]

Soft, soft droning

There is a sound in this city, a soft, constant tattoo of hundreds of thousands of fingertips on keyboards. Ragged bitten grimy short Vietnamese precision manicured false brittle not enough calcium in the diet not enough vitamin D pitted nicotine marked. A global army beating its retreat from some unbearable now. Also, wires, fans, battery […]

Verdict by Tenzin Dickyi

Poem #3 in my selection for Berlin liest, this one representing Tibet. Verdict by Tenzin Dickyi Ladies and gentlemen, These trace fossils belong to our dearly departed Tyrannosaurus Rex. I say this with surety because his foot prints lead to his open coffin. These Oviraptors, maligned raiders of Protoceratopsian nests, are cleared on all counts […]

Poems for South Asian refugees and asylum seekers

Every year Berlin’s International Literature Festival has a public reading event. This year’s focus is the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers from Europe and around the world. I’m going to focus on South Asia. I’m creating a list of poems on themes of loss, journeying, return, home, by poets from Kashmir, Bangladesh/Bengal, Sri Lanka/Tamil […]

Berlin 1

I’m standing at the Eberswalderstrasse U-bahn intersection and looking up at the early evening light gliding over the cornices of buildings and spy two young women on a balcony looking down at us, smoking, laughing and drinking- someone is always drinking something in Berlin, it’s a city for a beverage-lovers – when I begin to […]

Kyu-Wait

  We’re going to Kyu-Wait, Kyu-Wait, Kyu-Wait, we’re going to Kyu-Waaiittt my mother would sing-chant in the days before we would travel to see my father. My mother is a champion of cute little portmanteaux of sounds and words, of cut-up techniques applied to parts of speech, word sounds and pronunciation. Kyu-wait, q8, Coo-Ate were […]

Sharing the Urban by Gautam Bhan

“Sexual violence then becomes one particular expression of a broader structure of violence, amplified by other entitlements of class, wealth, institutional authority, religion, caste, ability, sexuality and gender. In such a context, our understanding of and responses to sexual violence must broaden. The lack of safety for women on a city bus must not be […]