Spielzeit 26.08. - 09.10.

Far is my Prison

a reading from the works of Assia Djebar read by Elisabeth Orth

“I come back to this previous self of mine, my dispersed self, which is reviving once again in my memory, and which, in abandoning itself to the wind of writing, is inclined towards self-accusation because it cannot deny or forget!  To say farewell to myself.” / Assia Djebar

Assia Djebar is the leading contemporary author from the Maghreb, a unique writer and chronicler of life between the two worlds of tradition and western modernity.  In her books she describes in a “giant refugee movement” her search and that of many other women, their curiosity about life beyond the harem, the women’s house, the apartments which they are not allowed to leave ‘naked’ i.e. uncovered, without a veil and cloak. 

The thirst for freedom of these women leads them out from the protected and restrictive parental and married houses of Algerian society into a world of European-influenced behaviour, thinking and feeling.  But repression and disrespect is also to be found in the world of the colonizers, the French, and one’s own way has to be fought for painfully, it costs considerable trouble and hides many dangers.

Assia Djebar tells concise and clear stories with poetic images and great linguistic power, stories which are closely connected to her country’s history and that of her own life – stories of an external and an inner life: intellectually irresistible, spiritually energizing and politically challenging.