While History Writes Itself

project description

How does one living in exile authentically convey the experience of flight and emigration? This is the underlying question of the writing workshop “While History Writes Itself”. The Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin has invited dramatists and playwrights from various countries to think about their personal experiences of flight and how best to write about. The organisers also want to discuss whether they see their target audience in their home countries or rather in (perhaps temporary) exile, whether writing has a therapeutic or re-traumatising effect, and how one can relate such intense experiences under the steady stream of live reporting.

The project ties into the everyday reality of countless refugees in Berlin, as well as an earlier project by the Maxim Gorki Theater, the 2015/16 writing workshop “The Escape that Defines Me”. At a time of war in Syria and rising right-wing populism in Germany, the writing workshop on “Escape” culminated in several prizewinning texts, e.g. “The Skeleton of an Elephant in the Desert” by the Syrian author Ayham Majid Agha. Today, as the world reacts to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the writing workshops headed by Sasha Marianna Salzmann and Anastasiia Kosodii will revisit many of the topics addressed in the preceding workshop. The participants include writers of different generations from Ukraine, Belarus, Moldavia, Georgia and Croatia.

At the end of the year-long writing workshop, the new texts will be presented as part of the workshop performances at Studio Я. The pieces will be staged by directors from war and conflict zones and accompanied by a discussion programme. This will be followed by a forum for young playwrights – in particular, young Ukrainians living in exile in Berlin with or without prior writing experience – who will review the experiences of the writing workshop.

Artistic directors: Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Anastasiia Kosodii, Johannes Kirsten, Oliver Frljić

Participating artists and authors: Julia Cimafiejeva, Asli Erdoğan, Molly Flynn, Wibke Charlotte Gneuß, Nino Haratischwili, Srećko Horvat, Aleksandr Marchenko, Olja Matsjupa, Selma Matter, Ivana Sajko, Roza Sarkisian, Olga Shparaga

Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin: writing workshop: 1 Jan. – 30 Nov. 2023, scenic readings/presentations: 3 Oct. – 9 Nov. 2023



Maxim Gorki Theater

Am Festungsgraben 2
10117 Berlin
Telefon: 030 - 20221-0
E-Mail: kontakt@gorki.de
https://www.gorki.de/en (external link, opens in a new window)