On Belonging: Migration Stories

On Belonging: Migration Stories

We are living through a new age of mass migration. Despite the enormous risks to their lives, millions of people are trying to cross deserts, seas and borders in order to escape poverty and violence at home. How do people who have left their homeland – either through exile, war, fear of persecution, or in search of a better life for themselves and their families – reconcile their past with their present life? And what does it take to feel a sense of belonging in a new country? This series looks at stories of migration: from the often brutal catalysts for moving, to the arduous journeys undertaken, to the process of trying to adapt to a new home. In this series, authors describe the pain of leaving those things familiar to them: the people they love, the customs, culture and traditions they’ve grown up with. They share the trauma of arriving somewhere with a vastly different landscape or climate, where they might have to learn a new language or train for a new occupation. How do hopes and dreams compare to the reality? And more critically, what do these stories tell us about the state of human compassion today?

 

 

Hoda Barakat: Lost Voices of the Arab Spring

Saturday 14 August 16:15 - 17:15

Ten years on from the uprisings across the Arab-speaking world, writers from countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Libya are offering important reflections on the uncertainty and tragedy that continues to affect people living there. In this event...
 

Michael Rosen: Migration Stories

Age 9+

Sunday 15 August 11:30 - 12:15

Captioned
Michael Rosen is known around the world for his picture books and poetry full of heart and good humour. In On the Move: Poems About Migration Michael weaves his family’s personal story into his poetry, from his childhood as a first-generation Polish...
 

Wayétu Moore & Nadia Owusu: On Belonging

Monday 16 August 16:00 - 17:00

Meet two women who combine breathtaking life stories with an uncommon ability to write about them. Wayétu Moore joined us last year with her fictional reimagining of Liberia’s history, She Would Be King. Now she returns to tell her true life story...
 

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor: Across the Indian Ocean

Monday 16 August 19:15 - 20:15

‘In this dazzling novel you will find the entirety of human experience – tearshed, bloodshed, lust, love – in staggering proportions.’ So said Taiye Selasi about Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor’s debut novel Dust in 2015 – a book that heralded the...
 

Samar Yazbek: Escapism for Survival

Tuesday 17 August 16:15 - 17:15

The TV news reports from war-torn countries such as Syria offer a picture of suffering amid the debris and devastation, with women and children often reduced to the role of ‘victims’. Can we reach a more complex understanding of how non-combatants...
Detained, fingerprinted, treated with hostility. These are some of the words used recently by EU citizens seeking entry into the UK. How do Britain’s borders reflect the government’s Hostile Environment policy, and how does its border regime link...
In 1975, at the age of four, Viet Thanh Nguyen fled from Vietnam with his family. Like so many others, these refugees from their war-torn country ended up in America. Fortunately, Nguyen is blessed with a stellar command of the written word and has...
 

Houzan Mahmoud: Smoke Coming From My Soul

Saturday 21 August 11:30 - 12:30

Kurdish Women’s Stories is the brainchild of Houzan Mahmoud, a Kurdish writer, public lecturer and anti-war activist. Unforgettable and deeply moving, it’s a vitally important book which goes beyond the common depiction of women simply as victims of...
 

Amartya Sen: Home and Humanity

Monday 23 August 16:00 - 17:00

Amartya Sen is Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. His many books include The Idea of Justice, a critique of existing theories of social justice, with which he last visited the Book Festival in 2010. Now, Professor Sen has...
 

Raja Shehadeh: The Quest for Peace

Thursday 26 August 14:30 - 15:30

For many years, lawyer and writer Raja Shehadeh has shared his wisdom about life under occupation in the Palestinian West Bank. Each year he and his wife Penny travel from their home in Ramallah to spend the summer in Edinburgh, and Book Festival...

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