This is what democracy looks like
In any multicultural and healthy society, the voices of minorities and individuals and thinkers may express diversity of opinion and thought, find freedom of assembly, the right to protest peacefully, unlike Zimbabwe, from where Paul Davey, writer and photographer heralds as does Bart Wolffe who is hosting the evening as well as musician/writer Taku Mukiwa.
This is the very basis for the organisation, Exiled Writers Ink; to provide a platform for those whose freedom of expression has been curtailed in their former homelands.
Paul will be doing a presentation of slides accompanied by a talk from his recent book, This Is What Democracy Looks Like. He will be accompanied by Fiona Sze-Lorrain, writer and translator, Iraqi poet, Adnan Al-Sayegh, Nigerian born poet Chinwe Azubuike and Zimbabwean Mbira authority Taku Mukiwa.
There will also be a short open-mike session after the question and answer discussion at the end of the evening.
Paul Davey is a London based press photographer and writer. After 28 years working as an art director, copywriter and commercial photographer, and thoroughly disillusioned with the marketing industry, he has switched emphasis to news and documentary photography. With a growing reputation for his portraits, he published his 2012 retrospective, This Is What Democracy Looks Like. The book offers readers the chance to stare at unique people in unique situations, exposing all shades of the political and social gamut from the far left to the far right
Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, Chinese and French. Born in Singapore, she grew up in a hybrid of cultures. After receiving a British education, she moved to the States and graduated from Columbia University and New York University before obtaining her PhD from Paris IV-Sorbonne. Her new collection of poetry,My Funeral Gondola, is published as a Mãnoa Books title by El Léon Literary Arts in 2013. Her debut poetry title, Water the Moon, appeared in 2010. In addition to her books of translation of contemporary Chinese poets from Zephyr Press, and prose translations of Hai Zi forthcoming from Tupelo, she has translated Ghérasim Luca and American poet Mark Strand. She has co-edited Sky Lanterns: New Poetry from China, Formosa and Beyond (2012) and On Freedom: Spirit, Art and State (2013), both from the University of Hawai‘i Press/Mãnoa. With Gao Xingjian, she co-authored Silhouette/Shadow: Cinematic Art (Contours, 2007). A co-founder of Cerise Press, and a contributing editor of Mãnoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, she currently works as an editor at Vif Éditions, an independent French publishing house in Paris. Also a zheng harpist, she has performed worldwide. Her CD, In One Take, was released in 2010.
Chinwe Azubuike is a contemporary African Poet, born in Lagos-Nigeria. Much of her work explores the relationship between traditional beliefs and modernity. Her poetry highlights the complicated issues and beauty of the people of Africa, often focusing on female issues; of love, life and torture with specific references to ethnic family traditions. Chinwe believes that culture is alive and as a poet, sees herself as part of a process of renewal. She has collaborated with artists in installations and exhibitions at a number of venues including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Taku Mukiwa is a Zimbabwean musician who writes an Mbira blog which disseminates news and views on this very traditional African instrument especially as it is seen and adopted in countries ranging from Japan to the USA. He will share his vision on how this little-known musical form is an ancient voice that he is ensuring can be heard in the wider contemporary society of multiculturalism and adds to the broader picture of a democratic ideal.
Adnan al-Sayegh one of the most orginal voices of the generation of Iraqi poets that came to maturity in the 1980s,was born in al-Kufa, Iraq. In the 1980s he was conscripted in the Iran-Iraq war and in 1993 his uncompromising criticism of oppression and injustice led to exile in Jordan and Lebanon. On the publication of ‘Uruk’s Anthem’, he was sentenced to death in Iraq and took refuge in Sweden. Eleven collections of his poetry have been published in Arabic and The Deleted Part in English (Exiled Writers Ink 2009). Adnan has received several prestigious international awards.