Akademie-Forum: Asal Dardan
Observations of a Barbarian
- Lectures & Seminars
Prof. Dr. Kai Wiegandt
Asal Dardan grew up in Germany as the child of Iranian parents; the experience of exile has marked her outlook. Using her own life as an illustration, her stories focus on the deep rifts running through our society. Class differences, the repressing of one’s own story and history, a fixation on people’s provenance — Asal Dardan’s literary output plumbs the depth of our time, exploring its great themes. Her perspectives are surprising, her analysis is invariably acute. Here is a refugee child finding solace in Spitzweg’s homely pictures, which Hitler also liked so well. Here are the bureaucratic pension notices of her Sardinian neighbor that no one can decipher. Here are goldfish being released into freedom after a Persian New Year’s celebration, and choices of one’s own new traditions taking hold.
Asal Dardan, born in Tehran in 1978, grew up in Cologne, Bonn, and Aberdeen after fleeing from Iran with her parents. She read cultural studies in Hildesheim and Middle Eastern studies in Lund. As a freelance author, she writes for Zeit Online and Die Presse, among others. For her text Neue Jahre, she won the Caroline Schlegel Essay Prize. After living for many years on the island of Öland, Sweden, Asal Dardan now resides in Berlin with her family.