by Aracelis Girmay

You, selling roses out of a silver grocery cart

You, in the park, feeding the pigeons
You cheering for the bees

You with cats in your voice in the morning, feeding cats

You protecting the river   You are who I love
delivering babies, nursing the sick

You with henna on your feet and a gold star in your nose

You taking your medicine, reading the magazines

You looking into the faces of young people as they pass, smiling and saying, Alright! which, they know it, means I see you, Family. I love you. Keep on.

You dancing in the kitchen, on the sidewalk, in the subway waiting for the train because Stevie Wonder, Héctor Lavoe, La Lupe

You stirring the pot of beans, you, washing your father’s feet

You are who I love, you
reciting Darwish, then June

Feeding your heart, teaching your parents how to do The Dougie, counting to 10, reading your patients’ charts

You are who I love, changing policies, standing in line for water, stocking the food pantries, making a meal

You are who I love, writing letters, calling the senators, you who, with the seconds of your body (with your time here), arrive on buses, on trains, in cars, by foot to stand in the January streets against the cool and brutal offices, saying: YOUR CRUELTY DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME

You are who I love, you struggling to see

You struggling to love or find a question

You better than me, you kinder and so blistering with anger, you are who I love, standing in the wind, salvaging the umbrellas, graduating from school, wearing holes in your shoes

more …

Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels 2019 – Sebastião Salgado:

Der Börsenverein zeichnet mit ihm einen Bildkünstler aus, der mit seinen Fotografien soziale Gerechtigkeit und Frieden fordert und der weltweit geführten Debatte um Natur- und Klimaschutz Dringlichkeit verleiht. Zugleich hat Salgado mit seinem ‚Instituto Terra‘ eine Einrichtung geschaffen, die einen direkten Beitrag zur Wiederbelebung von Biodiversität und Ökosystemen leistet. Mit seinem fotografischen Werk, das in zahlreichen Ausstellungen und Büchern veröffentlicht ist, nimmt er die durch Kriege oder Klimakatastrophen entwurzelten Menschen genauso in den Fokus wie jene, die traditionell in ihrer natürlichen Umwelt verwurzelt sind. Dadurch gelingt es Salgado, Menschen weltweit für das Schicksal von Arbeitern und Migranten und für die Lebensbedingungen indigener Völker zu sensibilisieren. Indem der Fotograf seine aufrüttelnden, konsequent in schwarz-weiss gehaltenen Bilder als ,Hommage an die Grösse der Natur‘ beschreibt und die geschändete Erde ebenso sichtbar macht wie ihre fragile Schönheit, gibt Sebastião Salgado uns die Chance, die Erde als das zu begreifen, was sie ist: als einen Lebensraum, der uns nicht allein gehört und den es unbedingt zu bewahren gilt.

Sebastião Salgado

Eine Erinnerung an Solferino

In der Kartause von Parma hatte Stendhal das Getümmel der Schlacht von Waterloo geschildert; in den Sewastopler Erzählungen hatte Tolstoi die Kameradschaft in den russischen Feldschanzen beschrieben. Aber es gibt wohl keine schonungslosere Darstellung als Dunants Buch Eine Erinnerung an Solferino

Michael Ignatieff – Die Zivilisierung des Krieges


SIGNUM MORTIS – Doppelheft und Ausstellung

November 2019: Kunsthandel Boesner Hannover, Generalsynode der VELKD Dresden

Frühjahr 2020: Goethe Institut Zagreb

Sommer 2020: Comic Salon Erlangen

more …

RIP: …my old friend Johnny, le Zoulou Blanc

Scatterlings of Africa (1987)

Copper sun sinking low
Scatterlings and fugitives
Hooded eyes and weary brows
Seek refuge in the night

They are the scatterlings of Africa
Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Where the world began

I love the scatterlings of Africa
Each and every one
In their hearts a burning hunger
Beneath the copper sun

„Who made me here and why
Beneath the copper sun?“

African idea
African idea
Make the future clear
Make the future clear

They are the scatterlings of Africa

Each uprooted one
On the road to Phelamanga
Where the world began

I love the scatterlings of Africa
Each and every one
In their hearts a burning hunger
Beneath the copper sun

And we are the scatterlings of Africa
Both you and I
We are on the road to Phelamanga
Beneath a copper sky

And we are the scatterlings of Africa
On a journey to the stars
Far below, we leave forever
Dreams of what we were

Elevate Festival 2020

In which war do you dream?
Wie über Krieg berichten – Marko Dinić im Gespräch mit dem Fotografen Wolf Böwig
Elevate Festival

worldwide readings

The international literature festival berlin [ilb] calls upon individuals, schools, universities, the media, and cultural institutions to join a Worldwide Reading on September 11, 2019 to support freedom of expression. These readings are especially intended to draw attention to  the fate of imprisoned or disappeared authors and human rights activists who are denied these rights due to their respective political circumstances. More than 100 authors from 40 different countries have supported this call so far – including Margaret Atwood and Nobel Prize in Literature winners Elfriede Jelinek, Wole Soyinka and Orhan Pamuk.


IN EXTREMIS – the life of war correspondent Marie Colvin

a few months after her injury, she met someone who understood too well the psychological impact of seeing too much. The war photographer Don McCullin, who had taken haunting pictures in Biafra, Vietnam, Cambodia and other war-torn places … interviewing him, Marie could see instantly that he was „as much victim of the decades of war he recorded on film as the victims whose misery is pictured“. Like her, he saw a virtue in laying himself open to injury, in narrowing the difference between himself and his subjects. But what haunted him were not his own injuries – which were several – but guilt for walking away after taking pictures, for surviving.


THE NOT DEAD – Simon Armitage

The Black Swans


Through a panel of glass in the back of a wagon

the country went past. You clean your weapon,

make camp, drive around, stand guard, stand down.

Sit with a gun in your hand and you thumb up your arse.

Or you try to get a shot at – just for a laugh.


Nineteen, fighting the boredom, wearing a blue lid.

Then one day the kid who gets smokes for the lads

walks into the woods and never comes back.

Then one day the Black swans drive by in a van –

a death squad of Bennies in bobble hats, wielding Kalashnikovs,

smirking, running their fingers across their throats.

Not to be checked or blocked. A law unto themselves.


Walk in the valley. Walk in the shadow of death

in the wake of the Black Swans, treading the scorched earth.

Houses trashed and torched. In the back yard

a cloud of bluebottles hides a beheaded dog.

This wonan won´t talk, standing there open-mouthed,

tied to a tree, sliced from north to south.

In the town square, a million black-eyed-bullet-holes stare

and stare. Crows lift from the mosque. Behind the school,

flesh-smoke – sweet as incense – rises and hangs

over mounds of soil planted with feet and hands.