Solidarity and Literature
Book below for this in person workshop. Please note spaces are limited, only book if you are sure to come. If you are unable to afford the ticket price, email email@example.com for a free ticket.
Facilitated by Azad Ashim Sharma, Luke Williams, Rogelio Braga, Sarona Bedwan, and Hadeel Himmo, the workshop encourages the exploration of contemporary literary formation with a focus on aesthetics and politics. How does literature inspire and create solidarity between disparate peoples in increasingly hostile and turbulent contexts? How do specific literary forms (for example, a lyric poem or a thesis of critical theory) encourage solidarity’s building in a way that disavows (b)ordering whilst also exposing the frames of inherited perception from dominant models of power? How should we reimagine our own processes of writing when we consider our writing as invested in alter-political models of solidarity-building, rights-formation, and aesthetic justice?
As the 21st century continues apace, many artists and writers turn to different textures of literary form to pursue and express solidarity with the oppressed and in this workshop we want to explore how the tradition of the oppressed can provide a way into writing, suitable for any level of writer and reader. The only requirement is a commitment to attend the workshop and read course materials in advance.
Materials for the workshop will be sent upon booking.
Sarona Bedwan has a Masters degree in Art & Politics from Goldsmiths University. She has been published in Berfrois, MAP Magazine, the 87press’ Digital Poetics series, KOHL among other platforms. Her debut poetry collection, Why so few women on the street at night, published by the87Press, is a queer phenomenology of collective Palestinian futurisms and memory building. She is the Outreach & Programmes Manager at Makan.
Rogelio Braga is an exiled playwright, novelist, essayist, publisher, and human rights activist from the Philippines. They had published two novels, a collection of short stories, and a book of plays before leaving the archipelago in 2018. Braga was a fellow of the Asian Cultural Council in New York for research on political resistance in theatre and performance across Southeast Asia in 2016. Their works were read and performed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, Mercury Theatre in Colchester, National Theatre Studio, and Soho Theatre. Miss Philippines (New Earth Theatre) is their first play written entirely in the English language was recently awarded by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain in their inaugural New Play Commission Scheme. Braga currently lives and writes in London as a refugee under the Convention.
Hadeel Himmo completed her Masters in World Literature at the University of Warwick, with her research focusing on Palestinian literature. Currently, she is the Programmes and Communications officer at Makan. She is also involved in community organising efforts, aiming to recenter the role of the diaspora in the Palestinian struggle. She has written for gal-dem and The New Arab.
Azad Ashim Sharma is the director of the87press and the author of Against the Frame, Ergastulum: Vignettes of Lost Time, and the forthcoming Boiled Owls. He was awarded The Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Outstanding Book Award 2023 by the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He is currently a CHASE funded PhD Candidate in English and Humanities at Birkbeck College. His next collection of poetry, Boiled Owls, will be published by Nightboat Books in 2024.
Luke Williams is a Scottish writer based in Cove. Luke is the author of The Echo Chamber and with Natasha Soobramanien, co-author of the 2022 Goldsmith’s Prize winning novel Diego Garcia (Fitzcarraldo Editions).
This event is co-organised with the87press and Makan and part of the programme for Small Press Fest, an annual fair celebrating independent publications and publishing practices.