TICKET SALES: Last-minute tickets sometimes become available on short notice for sold-out events. If online tickets for an event are unavailable online, you can call the Autostadt ServiceLine on 0800 288 678 238 and be placed on a waiting list for tickets.
ARABISCHE APOKALYPSE (The Arab Apocalypse)
Reading from To Be In a Time of War and The Arab Apocalypse with Corinna Harfouch and Hannes Gwisdek (sound), arranged by Gerhard Ahrens
Followed by a discussion with Corinna Harfouch and Hanna Mittelstädt (Edition Nautilus).
Moderator: Bernd Kauffmann
Reading on 1 May 2017 at 18:00h in the Panoramakino
The Arab Apocalypse is a cycle of 59 poems by Etel Adnan about the first Lebanese civil war, which raged from 1975 to 1990. Adnan's poetic writing retains its urgency and topicality today in view of the ramifications of what is still an unstable situation in Lebanon following further wars and crises, continuing after the "Arab Spring", and the currently unpredictable developments in the Arab world. She depicts the apocalyptic force of the conflicts in an almost synesthetic language, describing it as barbarous madness and destructive, wilful ignorance. These are songs of lament, full of astonished observation and laconic lunacy, where both the revolution and the longed-for peace are not described as political objectives but anchored instead in the present everyday experience of the individual.
The cycle of poems was written in French and first published in 1980; the author's English translation appeared in 1989. Etel Adnan considers The Arab Apocalypse one of her most important books alongside her 1977 novel Sitt Marie Rose.
To Be In a Time of War is taken from Adnan's book In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country, a collection of essays and autobiographical texts published in English in 2005.
Etel Adnan is one of the great cosmopolitan artists of our time and has made a name for herself with her poetry, painting and literary writing. Adnan was born in Beirut in 1925 to a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father who served in the Ottoman army. She grew up speaking Greek and Turkish in an Arabic-speaking environment; her schooling was in French, her first literary language. In the 1950s, Adnan studied philosophy in Paris, Berkeley and Harvard, and taught for many years in California. She returned to Lebanon as a newspaper cultural editor in 1972, but left the country again in 1976 because of the civil war. She now lives in Paris.
Corinna Harfouch portrays the extremes of human existence in performances that often balance on a razor's edge between the darkest recesses of life. Harfouch was born in the GDR. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, she became a celebrated actress in Germany and was awarded the Gertrud-Eysoldt-Ring in 1996. Parallel to her stage career, Harfouch has also appeared in film and television productions.
The musician and actor Hannes Gwisdek is the son of Corinna Harfouch and Michael Gwisdek and composes music for theater and film. His albums are released under the name Shaban and feature thumping bass lines, hip-hop and complex beats. In 2016 he and Corinna Harfouch created a literary-musical evening based on Etel Adnan's Night at the Berlin Volksbühne.
Hamburg-born Hanna Mittelstädt is co-founder and copy editor at Edition Nautilus.