POETRY TALK: Athena Farrokhzad and Ramin Mazhar

Wenn du das Alphabet vergisst (When You Forget The Alphabet)

2023-06-13, 3:00 PM

Clubraum 7/5€ | Tickets


In their poems, Athena Farrokhzad (born 1983 in Tehran) and Ramin Mazhar (born 1995 in Bamyan) contend with traumatic experiences of violence. In her long poem “white blight,” poet, playwright, critic, and translator Athena Farrokhzad interweaves memories of oppression, war, and flight without positioning herself explicitly – instead her parents, uncles, grandmother, and brother speak: “My mother said: the heart cannot be bent of its own free will like a knee.”

Poet and journalist Ramin Mazhar writes about wounds from Afghanistan’s wars, new injuries caused by girls’ schools being closed or protests being bloodily suppressed. In his poems, which he distributes via Facebook and Telegram, Mazhar articulates a poetics of defiant resistance: “To spite the murderous traditions, I love you. / (…) You are different, your kisses are your protest / (…) I kiss you amid the Taliban.” He was forced to leave Afghanistan after the Taliban regained power in 2021 and now lives in Paris.


Athena Farrokhzad and Ramin Mazhar will read from their work and speak with critic and Iran Studies scholar Maryam Aras.

The event will be interpreted German-English-Farsi.

Project Management: Timo Berger

Schwedische Botschaft, Swedish Arts Council. The 24th poesiefestival berlin is a project of Haus für Poesie in cooperation with Akademie der Künste and is supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds.