friday 18:30 – 19:30

Reading with Emİne Sevgİ Özdamar

„There are no bones in the tongue, it twists wherever you twist it. I twisted my tongue into the German language and was suddenly happy: there at the theater where the tragic plots devastate yet also come with a utopian silver lining. In the streets, Germany looked as though it had no history. But at the theater I found history: Kleist, Büchner, Brecht. The Prince of Homburg, Woyzeck, Baal. All of these German stage characters existed in the streets of Turkey, too. There, too, one saw men that stirred as Büchner’s Woyzeck did. Turkey’s prisons held the Princes of Homburg, suffering their punishments at the hands of authority. Perhaps that was why I did not think of myself as an émigré– the German stage was an extension of my country. The theater is where the dead rise and spectators come to see and hear the dead. That is why the mood in the audience is so feverish before a play begins. People do not want to miss a single word of the dead. And the dead want to keep living so they can meddle with the coming histories of the world. The dead that I brought with me from Turkey mingled in Berlin with the dead of the German theater, with gypsies killed by the Nazis, with Jews, with Walter Benjamin, with a German social democrat who had been quartered with a hatchet, with Erich Mühsam. When my friends in Berlin would go down to their basements to get something, I would go with them and stop outside their compartments’ doors. I would wander up and down along the old cold walls, identifying with the people who had hidden out in Berlin’s basements decades earlier, trying to feel in my body the fear they had felt.“


From a recent contribution entitled „Sprachsanatorium“, (Language Sanatorium Berlin) by Emine Sevgi Özdamar, There is Fiction in the Space Between, nbk, 2019

The reading will be held in German.

Emİne Sevgİ Özdamar
// tieranatomisches theater

From Emine Sevgi Özdamar‘s archive