Homosexualities and Literature: Mask, Body, Writing – International festival with exhibition, discussions, texts, performances and music

Abdellah Taïa © LCB

Personal experience plays a central role in the work of every writer, as it does in the reception of literature: How relevant, for example, is one’s sexual orientation for understanding and discussing texts? How are biographical experiences expressed in literary processes, formats and stylistic structures? And in what way does one’s social environment and intellectual lines of discourse influence European contemporary literature? These questions have been the focus of discussion at a writers’ conference hosted by the Literarisches Colloqiuum in Berlin in summer 2016. The title of the event is a reference to the book The History of Sensibility, Homosexuality and Literature which caused quite a stir when it was published in 1987. The author Hubert Fichte tried to answer the question of whether a specific style of writing could be used to determine a writer’s sexual orientation. His book initiated a series of contentious debates involving the most diverse positioning, self-definitions and aesthetic concepts. The current project had invited writers, scholars and leading figures of the European GLBTI community to Berlin to examine and discuss homosexuality as a topos of European literature in public forums, discussions, readings and performances. An accompanying exhibition featuring photos by Leonore Mau on the theme “Mask, Body, Writing” served as a source of inspiration for the participants and will later be shown in Austria and Slovenia.

Artistic directors: Samanta Gorzelniak & Thorsten Dönges
Writers: Mario Fortunato (IT), Masha Gessen (RU/US), Saleem Haddad (GB), Hilary McCollum (IE), Murathan Mungan (TR), Masha Qrella & Band, Antje Strubel, Abdella Taia (FR), Suzana Tratnik (SI), Michał Witkowski (PL) and others


Literarisches Colloquium Berlin

Am Sandwerder 5

14109 Berlin (external link, opens in a new window)