Highlights from Coming ‘Reel Iraq’

Reel Iraq is now spreading out across the British Isles. Sarah Irving shares her highlights:

By Sarah Irving

BEGnAAPCcAAbisIOver the next few days, Reel Festivals events across England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland (nothing in Wales…yet!) will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, celebrating Nawroz, and bringing Iraqi art, film, literature and music to British audiences. The events planned are too many to list here, so since this is a literature blog, the literary highlights include:

‘Found in translation: poems for & from Iraq’

Iraqi poetry from Ghareeb Iskander, Sabreen Khadhim, Zahir Mousa, Awezan Nouri with new translations from John Glenday, Jen Hadfield, William Letford and Krystelle Bamford.  At the Scottish events, Reel Festival will also present short readings for Iraq by well-known poets from Scotland. This event is the culmination of the Reel Iraq translation project, which began in January 2013 when four Scotland-based poets met their Iraqi counterparts in Erbil, Kurdistan for the first time and workshopped translated versions of each others’ work for the Erbil literature festival.

Dumfries 21/3, London 22/3, Edinburgh 23/3, Bristol 24/3, Glasgow 24/3

‘The Iraqi Christ: Hassan Blasim reads from his new short story collection’

Award-winning (and controversial) Iraqi short story writer Hassan Blasim reads from his latest collection.

Edinburgh 24/3, Glasgow 25/3

Blasim will also take part in ‘The Invasion of Iraq: A panel discussion on the artistic and political responses to the war in Iraq‘, along with Maysoon Pachachi and Alan Ingram (Edinburgh, 24/3). The London (23/3) version of this event features two panel discussions, with (amongst others) Charles Tripp, Saad Jawad and Nadje al Ali. On 22/3 the Mosaic Rooms in London will also host a day-long series of debates on art and the war on Iraq, featuring writer Nadje al-Ali and a selection of visual artists.

These, and all the film, music and other events around Britain, can be found on http://www.reelfestivals.org

Sarah Irving [http://www.sarahirving.co.uk] is author of a biography of Leila Khaled and of the Bradt Guide to Palestine, and has been a journalist and reviewer for over a decade. She is currently a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh and is dipping a tentative toe into the waters of Arabic-English translation.