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Elona Beqiraj

Author, journalist, curator, political educator

What drives you?
All the people who surround me and people who have fought before me to make this world and this life more liveable and fairer for all people. People who were pioneers of migrant (resistance) struggles with their poetry from the 70s and 90s (Semra Ertan, May Ayim) and who inspire us today to keep going because it’s worth it.

The best advice you’ve ever received?
Go exactly where it hurts. Look exactly where it hurts.

What are you learning right now that you’re not so good at yet?
Standing up for myself and my achievements and recognizing that what I have to say is valuable and should be given more space.

What would you change if you had the power to do so?
That all people, regardless of their (supposed) origin, come together and want to work together for social change. Even if we look at the current political situation in Germany (AFD), we can see that we need to form alliances and show more solidarity than ever before. But above all, Germans without a history of migration need to be involved in our struggles and feel affected by current events.

What superhero power would you like to have?
To be in several places at once.

Elona Beqiraj

Author, journalist, curator, political educator

Elona Beqiraj was born in Lower Saxony in 1997 and grew up there. She currently lives in Berlin. As a child of Albanian migrants, she has been dealing lyrically with the feelings and experiences of people who feel torn between different worlds since a young age. In her poetry collection “und wir kamen jeden sommer” (and we came every summer), published by Resonar Verlag in 2019, she makes the long-term consequences of war and migration poetically tangible and addresses the question of belonging and not belonging to Germany. At the Maxim Gorki Theater, she directed the activist art project “Weil wir nicht vergessen” (Because We Don’t Forget) from October to December 2021 for Gorki X, which is dedicated to a more dignified culture of remembrance regarding right-wing violence in Germany. She
also gives writing workshops for migrantized people with the focus on poetry as a form of self-empowerment. Currently, her exhibited poems can be visited in the framework of Manifesta at the Grand Hotel Prishtina under the chapter “Everytime after leaving your ground”.

Topics

(Anti-)racism, belonging, feminism, life in Germany, migration, solidarity, remembrance (politics)

 

 

Languages

German

 

 

Formats

Keynotes
Impulse lectures
Panel talks
Workshops
Moderation
Interviews
Podcasts

ReferenCES

  • Arte (Tracks East): Preparation, hosting and moderation of Season 4 episode 4 “Kosovo” (broadcast Feb. 2024)
  • Lower Saxony Media Prize 2023: Laudatory speech for the award winner Pauline Plasse (contribution: Woman, Life, Freedom? The Iran Special), honouring the revolutionary struggles of women in Iran
  • Maxim Gorki Theatre: Planning, design and realisation of the educational art project “As long as we remember”, which initiated a day of remembrance for the right-wing extremist attack in Hanau in two Berlin schools and at the Maxim Gorki Theatre.
  • Goethe Institute Hamburg: Project management and curation of the Solingen memorial exhibition
  • Freelance educational and workshop leader for political education, anti-racism and creative writing (conception and realisation of writing workshops for Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, I.Slam e.V., Kargah e.V., WIB e.V. with a focus on identity, memory, right-wing violence and belonging)
  • Moderator for interactive literary and cultural events
  • Engagement in the field of literature, cultural mediation and event moderation through interactive lectures, development and moderation of events as well as participation as a panellist (e.g. for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, for the German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM) and for the Federal Immigration and Integration Council (BZI))
  • activities as author of the poetry collection “Und wir kamen jeden Sommer”:
  • International Reading (u.including for the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Literaturhaus Berlin and Salzburg, Young Islam Conference), Diaspora Blues reading tour in Germany, Switzerland and Austria
  • Exhibition and reading of her poems within the Manifesta Biennale 2022 in Prishtina, Kosovo
  • Publications in various anthologies, magazines and exhibition catalogues (e.g. in the anthology “Machtschaffend” and “Überlieben”, magazine “Qamar”, “Tuerspion” and “Bella Triste”)

What drives you?
All the people who surround me and people who have fought before me to make this world and this life more liveable and fairer for all people. People who were pioneers of migrant (resistance) struggles with their poetry from the 70s and 90s (Semra Ertan, May Ayim) and who inspire us today to keep going because it’s worth it.

The best advice you’ve ever received?
Go exactly where it hurts. Look exactly where it hurts.

What are you learning right now that you’re not so good at yet?
Standing up for myself and my achievements and recognizing that what I have to say is valuable and should be given more space.

What would you change if you had the power to do so?
That all people, regardless of their (supposed) origin, come together and want to work together for social change. Even if we look at the current political situation in Germany (AFD), we can see that we need to form alliances and show more solidarity than ever before. But above all, Germans without a history of migration need to be involved in our struggles and feel affected by current events.

What superhero power would you like to have?
To be in several places at once.

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