Reading and Conversation
YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal

There Is No Poetry in This Place

With Maaza Mengiste, moderated by Natasha Ginwala

In her reading at the Gropius Bau, author and photographer Maaza Mengiste will address how time and memory keeping are marked in the sensorium of the novel and landscapes of historiography. The reading will be followed by a conversation with Natasha Ginwala, the Gropius Bau’s Associate Curator at Large.

Maaza Mengiste is sitting with her head tilted down

Maaza Mengiste

photo: Nina Subin

Past Dates

Aspects of repair, de-erasure and communal healing appear in Maaza Mengiste’s approach to gathering stories of wartime, migration, and revolution. Her second novel The Shadow King, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize, is set in 1935 and traces Ethiopian history and Mussolini’'s invasion through women ancestors, and bold fighters. This evening will bring forth elements of her recent writing and visual approach as she encourages us to seek out reading as a corporeal experience.

Maaza Mengiste is the author of The Shadow King, named a Best Book of 2019 by New York Times, NPR, Time, Elle, and other publications. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, her debut, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books. Maaza Mengiste is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Capital, DAAD, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and the Fulbright Scholar Program, among others.

This event is part of Breathe, a discourse programme that unfolds in echo to the exhibition YOYI! Care, Repair, Heal and explores how different power relations impact our ability to breathe. The programme is curated by Magnus Elias Rosengarten.