Know yourself and in that instant
Know the Other and see therefore
Orient and Occident
Cannot be parted for ever more
“To everything there is a season!” Goethe wrote 200 years ago in his “Notes for a Better Understanding of the West-Eastern Divan". Today we face another era in which the "West" feels threatened by the "East", by Islam, by the “Other,” by the unknown. To everything there is a season —and the season now seems right to attempt a divan for our times: A New Divan. The Barenboim-Said Akademie has invited leading poets, artists, and musicians from “East” and “West” to come together for a festival celebrating 200 years of Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan.
The program, curated by Prof. Dr. Mena Mark Hanna, Dean of the Barenboim-Said Akademie and co-produced by the Stiftung – Gingko Library, is the culmination of a four-year collaboration between the Barenboim-Said Akademie and the publishers of A New Divan. A series of poetry readings, keynote lectures, and panel discussions will explore and elaborate Goethe’s themes.
The festival program is complemented by an exhibition and the screening of a documentary film featuring the artist and activist Bahia Shehab. Admission to all events except the concert is free but tickets are required.
A New Divan, by Prof. Dr. Mena Mark Hanna, Dean of the Akademie and curator of the festival.
A Conversation with Mathias Énard and Prof. Dr. Mena Mark Hanna.
Monday, November 18
A New Divan, A lyrical Dialogue between East & West
Tuesday, November 19
The appropriated female voice: Women, Art & Revolution
Wednesday, November 20
New Divan Echoes: A Celebration of 200 Years of Goethe's West-Eastern Divan
More about the "West-Eastern Divan"
The Book: A New Divan
Gingko commissioned 24 original poems by leading world poets as well as 22 English-language poetic translations. The result is A New Divan, a life-enhancing, lyrical conversation between languages and cultures. Working directly with the original poems or via bridge translations, the English-language poets have created new poems that draw on the poetic forms and cultures of the original works. The German edition—for which German-language poems were commissioned in place of the English—will be published by Suhrkamp Verlag in November 2019. A New Divan is not only a celebration of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, but of the arts of poetry and translation.