Thursday 21 March 6:30pm CET
A National Literature
Keynote by: Kapka Kassabova & Rachida Lamrabet
Presented by the Scottish Government EU Office in partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council, in association with the Northern Ireland Executive Office, the Welsh Government and the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU.
The event takes place at the Goethe Institute, Rue Belliard, 58, 1040, Brussels.
Kapka Kassabova grew up in Sofia and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, her family emigrated to New Zealand where she studied French literature and published her first poetry and fiction in English. After moving to Britain in 2004, she wrote the childhood memoir Street Without a Name, short-listed for the Prix du livre européen. Her novel Villa Pacifica is set in South America, and her travel memoir, Twelve Minutes of Love (short-listed for the 2012 Scottish Book Awards) is a story of Argentine tango and the search for home. Kapka’s latest poetry collection is Geography for the Lost. After years in Edinburgh, she now lives in the Scottish Highlands.
Rachida Lamrabet is a Belgian author and lawyer descended from a Moroccan family. She works for the Centre for Equality of Opportunity and Opposition to Racism in Brussels. In her work with the Centre, Lamrabet regularly encounters discrimination due to race and ethnicity. These experiences largely influence her writing which focuses heavily on minorities’ struggles with identity and migration. In addition, she speaks out against perceived xenophobia in Belgian politics and has been especially critical of the right wing Vlaams Belang party. She made her literary debut in 2006 with her story ‘Mercedes 207’ for which she won the ‘Colour the Arts!’ award. The book describes the experiences of a Moroccan man who regularly travels between Morocco and Antwerp. In 2007, she wrote Woman Country which tells of a woman’s struggle between her adopted Western identity and her Moroccan roots. Her 2008 book A Child of God was very well received, winning the BNG Literature Award.