Friday Finds: Ghayath Almadhoun’s ZEBRA-winning Filmpoem, ‘Évian’

Ghayath Almadhoun’s (إيڤيان) Évian – 2019, with English translation by Catherine Cobham, has won the “Best Poetry Film” at the 2020 Zebra Poetry Film Festival:

The announcement was streamed live at a November 22 festival event.

The film can be watched online:

According to organizers, this year, 34 films from around the world were in the running for four awards, having been selected from nearly 2000 submissions that came in from more than 100 countries.

From the jury citation: “A story that could only be told if this image of the deep ‘stands behind’ the words of the poem. And it does that. Like a visual representation of the unconscious it is a big unknowable that flows without a break, wave after wave, thought after thought, bearing the words of the poem.”

Almadhoun is a Damascus-born Palestinian poet who has lived in Stockholm, Sweden since 2008. He’s published four collections in Arabic and two in Swedish: Asylansökan (Ersatz, 2010) which won the Klas de Vylders Stipendiefond for immigrant writers, and Till Damaskus (Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2014) a collaboration with the Swedish poet Marie Silkeberg. His acerbic, relentless Adrenaline, tr. Cobham, is the poet’s first collection to cross into English, and it was longlisted for the 2018 Best Translated Book Awards

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has been around since 2002, and it is the largest international platform for filmpoems.

More filmpoems:

Ghayath al-Madhoun’s YouTube channel


Editoriaraba: Ghayath al-Madhoun and Marie Silkeberg: Damascus in Two Voices

ArabLit: Watching Poetry Films: ‘Arab Countries Were the Only Ones Not Taking Part’