Kurdistan +100: Q&A Hosted By Luciana De Mello

Belfast Book Festival

This event is pay what you decide, and the recommended price is £12.50. 

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12 June 2024

Crescent Arts Centre, 2-4 University Road
Co. Antrim
Northern Ireland BT7 1NH

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About the event

Join Luciana De Mello to interview contributors and editors of Kurdistan +100 (Comma Press, 2023) as part of Belfast Book Festival.

This anthology imagines a freer future by presenting new expressions of space and possibilities discussing the struggle for self-determination. Luciana will be joined online by Rojin Shekh-Hamo and on-stage by anthology contributors Huseyin Karabey and Ra Page as well as the editor Orsola Casagrande to discuss literature, imagination and change.

Join Belfast Book Festival for an honest and frank discussion on Kurdistan and the importance of reimagining the future.


About the Speakers

Hüseyin Karabey is a Kurdish-Turkish film director, screenwriter and producer. He attended the Fine Art Faculty of Marmara University, and was also a member of the Mesopotamian Cinema Collective at the Mesopotamia Cultural Center (MKM) in Istanbul. His first feature film, Gitmek: My Marlon and Brando, was selected for the 37th Rotterdam International Film Festival and the New York Tribeca International Film (Best Director Award). His other works include the award-winning Come to My Voice (2014) and Insiders (2018).

Rojin Shekh-Hamo, (born 1995 in Serekaniye, Rojava), graduated in English Literature at Tishreen University in 2018. She has worked as a freelance translator as well as a volunteer for the TelTamer based NGO, Hevy. As a translator she has worked on a research project into “Says”, a Kurdish singing genre similar to Dengbêj, which preserves and celebrates Kurdish history and culture through folk song. Her translations of these lyrics (from Sinjar Yazidis and Rojava) have featured in two TV documentaries Life is Beautiful and On the Rooftop, and others have been produced for the archives of the Kurdish Heritage Institute. She has also worked as a translator (into Kurdish) of film scripts for the Rojava Art Academy, and of short stories from around the world for the Rojava Literature Committee.

Orsola Casagrande was born in Venice. She is a journalist, curator and a translator. She worked for 25 years for the Italian daily newspaper il manifesto, and is co-editor of the web magazine Global Rights. Currently based in the Basque Country, she writes regularly for the Basque daily paper Berria. She has translated numerous books, as well as written her own and made some documentaries. She is editor-at-large at commapress.co.uk. She curated the Kurdistan Pavilion ‘Planet K’ at the Venice Biennale 2009 and promotes Kurdish cinema, literature and art through a series of projects.

Ra Page is the CEO and Founder of Comma Press. He has edited over 20 anthologies, including The City Life Book of Manchester Short Stories (Penguin, 1999), The New Uncanny (winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, 2008), and most recently Resist: Stories of Uprising (2019). He has coordinated a number of publisher development initiatives, including Literature Northwest (2004-2013), and the Northern Fiction Alliance (2016-present). He is a former journalist and has also worked as a producer and director on a number of short films. Ra has been recognised by the h100 Awards for the last two years running (2019/2020) for his contribution to the Publishing & Writing industry in the UK, and was included in The Bookseller 150 list in 2020, their annual guide to the book trade's most influential figures.

Luciana De Mello is a writer, scriptwriter, and Afro-indigenous cultural journalist born in Argentina. She is the author of the novel Mandinga de amor and Ninguna calle termina en la esquina, a nonfiction book about the creative writing workshop she founded in one of the largest prisons in Buenos Aires. She has been writing about literature, feminisms and queer culture for the Argentinian newspaper Página 12 for nearly 20 years. She is also part of Mandacarú, a publishing house that translates cis and trans Brazilian women writers of African descent into Spanish. She is currently finishing her second novel and working with contemporary dancer Lola Vera on a research project on dance and writing. Luciana has been based in Belfast since 2022.