Of Gardens and Sad Elephants – The Poetry of the Border

International writers' conference on Dževad Karahasan

Dževad Karahasan, the Bosnian writer and winner of the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding in 2004, comes from Sarajevo where Muslim, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish life and culture overlap. In his works, he intensively investigates the causes of misunderstanding between East and West.
Using Karahasan's works as a starting point, the International Writers' Days in Ostwestfalen were looking for ways Western and Eastern cultures and religions could enter in dialogue, characterized by a new form of cosmopolitanism which respects the plurality of different cultures.
The goal of this project was to initiate joint cultural exchange with readings, lectures and discussions which examined the differences and similarities in various bodies of literature and religions. The project explored the theme of borders as a cultural phenomenon and a place of encounter in radio plays and theatre performances. The programme was supplemented by an exhibition titled Bosnia and Herzegovina 1888-2008 and a concert of ancient Muslim, Jewish and Christian vocal music. The project concluded with readings that took visitors on a literary excursion to places of historic, intercultural encounters in Sarajevo.

Artistic director: Brigitte Labs-Ehlert
Writers: Dževad Karahasan (BA), Ilma Rakusa (CH), Constantin von Barloewen and others

Venues and schedule:
Various locations in Ostwestfalen, 1 October - 31 December 2009


Literaturbüro Ostwestfalen-Lippe

Hornsche Straße 38

32756 Detmold