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The Sea Opens: Bejan Matur and Stefano Battaglia

Poet in the City

Thu 1 Mar 2018

The Sea Opens: Bejan Matur and Stefano Battaglia

Poet in the City

‘And as we fall the sea opens it opens to Being’

Looking out onto the same Mediterranean Sea, but from opposite sides of the coast, Turkish-Kurdish poet Bejan Matur and Italian jazz pianist Stefano Battaglia have synthesised their art in an exploration of the recent refugee crisis. With the Mediterranean as their stage, Matur and Battaglia have created a one-off performance inspired by its culture, history and mythology, uniting their poetry and music to question the meaning of home for all of humanity, past and present. Acclaimed pianist Battaglia has made seven albums for ECM in the years since 2005 and he makes a rare London appearance as part of this exciting cross-genre performance.

‘Battaglia is a player possessed of an alluring refinement and polish carried over into his jazz work via his classical training.’ ★★★★ All About Jazz

The event is hosted by writer and academic Yasmin Gunaratnam and features readings of the English translations of Bejan’s work by celebrated British actor Anna Madeley.

Bejan Matur is multi-award-winning Kurdish poet and writer, currently living in London. She is a leading figure in the bold new poetry emerging from the Middle East. Her poetry has been translated into 20 languages. Her poetry engages directly with the struggles of her people, and yet there is also a mysticism in her writing, a closeness to nature, an embracing of mythology. Her first collections of poetry, Rüzgar Dolu Konaklar (Wind Howl Through the Mensions) won several literary prizes.

Stefano Battaglia is an Italian classical and jazz pianist. He has played extensively on the international circuit, performing as a soloist with the European Youth Orchestra in Barcelona, and winning the ‘J.S. Bach Festival’ award in Düsseldorf as the best new pianist of the year and the Brussels National Radio Award as the best young European pianist.

Yasmin Gunaratnam is a writer and teaches Sociology at Goldsmiths. She has written and edited several books including Go Home? The Politics of Immigration Controversies (2017), The Long White Thread of Words – poems for John Berger (2016) and Death and the Migrant.

Anna Madeley is an English actor born in London. She started as a child actress before performing in three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has appeared in multiple off-West End productions and starred in BBC TV films, and on Channel 4. She most recently appeared as Clarissa Eden in the Netflix series The Crown. She has a longstanding love of poetry and is a patron of The Watford Festival.

Date:Thu 1 Mar 2018
Start time:7pm (Doors: 6.30pm)
Venue:Hall Two

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