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Blog Archive

Victoria Belim

In 2014, the landmarks of Victoria Belim’s personal geography were plunged into tumult at the hands of Russia. Her hometown, Kyiv, was gripped by protests and violence. Crimea, where she’d once been sent to school to avoid radiation from the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, was invaded. Kharkiv, where her grandmother Valentina studied economics and fell in love; Donetsk, where her father once worked; and Mariupol, where she and her mother bought a cherry tree for Valentina’s garden, all became battlegrounds.

Victoria, by then a naturalized American citizen then living in Brussels, felt she had to go back. She had to spend time with her aging grandmother and her cousin Dmytro. She had to unravel a family mystery spanning several generations. And she needed to understand how her country’s tragic history of communist revolution, civil war, famine, world war, totalitarianism, and fraught independence had changed the course of their lives. A young woman’s quest to uncover her family’s difficult past reveals broader truths about the present conflict.  Victoria Belim’s memoir is a personal history of her family’s turbulent past and a celebration of Ukrainian identity.

Martina J. Kohl

Family Matters follows the traces of a German family that, over generations, continues to cross the Atlantic in both directions. Like Elizabeth and Little Henry who, at the beginning of the 20th century, are forced to leave their beloved New York to return to the old country; the violinist Clara who can only live her passion for music in the America of the suffragettes; the war bride Toni, who courageously follows a G.I. to Nebraska after World War II; and, finally, the student Iris who is trying to find her place in both worlds in the 1980s. Looking back, they all ask the same question: “What if . . .?” What if they had not gone to America, or back to the old country? If they had not fallen in love? What if they had taken that other road and pursued their dreams a bit more forcefully?

Family Matters takes ordinary, yet memorable characters out of the yellowed pictures in the photo albums, gives them a voice and places them in their own time. Martina J. Kohl revives the past. She shows that today cannot be understood without the yesterday. And that migration, uprooting and the search for belonging are universal themes.

Martina J. Kohl worked in the Cultural Section of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin for many years where she developed and organized numerous programs. She especially loved the Literature Series that she coordinated with the English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center featuring established and up-and-coming American writers. Writing has been a passion ever since she taught at the University of Michigan. It is part of her seminars that she teaches regularly at Humboldt University Berlin and defined her work as editor of the American Studies Journal. As an advisory board member of the Salzburg Global American Studies Program, she continues to engage in transatlantic dialogue. Among her academic publications, Family Matters is her first book-length fictional work that is published in English and German. Born in the Rheingau region, she lives with her family in Berlin.

Publisher: PalmArtPress Berlin for FAMILY MATTERS. Of Life in Two Worlds / FAMILY MATTERS. Vom Leben in zwei Welten (2023)

Drama Panorama #3 – New Translations of International Drama

New Translations of International Drama

In nine readings from nine countries over three days, Drama Panorama: Forum for Translation and Theater e. V. will present staged readings and panel discussions that showcase the work of theater translators with its particularities and challenges along with new international plays and their cultural contexts.

With this festival of staged readings, Drama Panorama will present theater cultures that are usually underrepresented on German-speaking stages, introduce new plays from Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine), Israel, Cuba and Guinea-Bissau, and explore current issues in Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Each reading will provide an introduction to the country’s drama and theater community as well as the work of translation, which often goes beyond language transfer itself, in discussion with international dramatists and other guests.

Staged reading and talks take place every day on May 26, 27 and 28 at 3pm, 5pm and 8pm

You can reserve tickets, find an overview of the schedule and more information about the event at

Please note that this event is in German.

Friday,  May 26, 2023

Hungary: Trapped in the Patriarchy
István Tasnádi: Kartonpapa 
Translated from the Hungarian Marianne Behrmann

Ukraine: Journey Through a Country Torn Apart
Anastasiia Kosodii: Timetraveller’s Guide to Donbas
Translated from the Ukrainian by Lydia Nagel

Poland: A Bitter Pandemic Commedia dell’Arte
Ishbel Szatrawska: Totentanz. Schwarze Nacht, schwarzer Tod
Translated from the Polish by Andreas Volk

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Czech Republic: Out of the System – Shadow Economy Workers
Tomáš Ráliš: Sorex
Translated from the Czech by Maira Neubert

Israel: At the Boundaries of Humanity – Drama in Times of Catastrophe
Maya Arad Yasur: Triage
Translated from the Hebrew by Matthias Naumann
This talk will be held in English

United Kingdom: Drama and Climate
Dawn King: Das Tribunal
Translated from the English by Henning Bochert
This talk will be held in English

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Guinea-Bissau: Decolonising Thinking
Abdulai Sila: Zwei Schüsse und ein Lachen
Translated from the Portuguese by Renate Heß

Portugal: The Media in the Post-Fact Era
Rui Cardoso Martins: Neueste Nachrichten
Translated from the Portuguese by Niki Graça

Cuba: Water Rising on all Sides – The Present in the Theatre and on the Streets
Yunior García Aguilera: Jacuzzi
Translated from the Spanish by Miriam Denger

Funded by the Deutscher Übersetzerfonds and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR programme. The translation of the Czech play Sorex by Tomáš Ráliš was funded by the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.


Parataxe – International Literature

Dinara Rasulewa and Tomer Dotan-Dreyfus

What languages does Berlin write in? In varying locations, PARATAXE regularly invites Berlin authors, who pen their work in languages other than German, to take part in conversations, readings and new translations.

Multilingual live talks and readings by the poet Dinara Rasuleva (together with her translator Peggy Lohse) and the writer Tomer Dotan-Dreyfus.

An evening in German with some English, Hebrew, Russian and Tatar – and with literary translations into German. Hosted by Martin Jankowski.

PARATAXE is a project of the Berliner Literarische Aktion e.V. and is supported by Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Further information can be found at

Where Do Novels Come From?

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series: Where Do Novels Come From? About Writing and Creativity

Lauren Groff and Lorrie Moore in Conversation with Gregor Dotzauer

Lauren Groff is the ELLEN MARIA GORRISSEN FELLOW – CLASS OF SPRING 2023 at the American Academy in Berlin. She is the author of six books of fiction, the most recent the novel MATRIX (September 2021). Her work has won The Story Prize, the ABA Indies’ Choice Award and France’s Grand Prix de l’Héroïne, was a three-time finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and twice for the Kirkus Prize and was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Prize, the Southern Book Prize and the Los Angeles Times Prize. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.

Lorrie Moore is currently the MARY ELLEN VON DER HEYDEN FELLOW IN FICTION – CLASS OF SPRING 2023 at the American Academy in Berlin. She is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and Creative Writing at Vanderbilt University. She is the author of two short story collections, three novels and a children’s novel. Her new novel I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home (June 2023) has been listed as one of the most anticipated books of 2023 by Time Magazine. Lorrie Moore has won numerous awards such as the O. Henry Award, The Irish Times International Fiction Prize, the Rea Award for the Short Story, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Short Fiction.  She has been a finalist for the Orange Prize, The PEN Faulkner Award, The National Book Critics’ Circle Award, The Story Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. See What Can Be Done (Alfred A. Knopf, 2018) is a collection of her reviews and essays that previously appeared in publications such as The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The Yale Review and The Atlantic. A recipient of an NEA, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Lannan Fellowship, the Berlin Prize and a Pushcart Prize, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006.

Gregor Dotzauer is lead editor for nonfiction at Berlin’s Tagesspiegel.  He studied German, philosophy and musicology in Würzburg and Frankfurt am Main before beginning to write about literature and film for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Zeit and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In 1999, he joined Berlin’s Tagesspiegel as literary editor, where he also regularly writes on topics related to jazz or the humanities. In 2009, he received the Alfred Kerr Prize for Literary Criticism. In October 2022, Matthes & Seitz published his literary essay “Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen – Über Musik, Moment und Erinnerung” (A Song Sleeps In All Things – On Music, Moment and Memory).

NoViolet Bulawayo

Black History Month/The U.S. Embassy Literature Series 2023 – NoViolet Bulawayo reads from her novels We Need New Names and Glory

Moderated by Anne Potjans, Humboldt University

NoViolet Bulawayo is the author of the novels Glory and We Need New Names, which was recognized with the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Pen/Hemingway Award, the LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, the Fred Brown Literary Award, the Betty Trask Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award (second place) and the National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” Fiction Selection. We Need New Names was also shortlisted for the International Literature Award, the Man Booker Prize, and the Guardian First Book Award. NoViolet earned her MFA at Cornell University where she was a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. She has taught fiction writing at Cornell and Stanford Universities. She grew up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and is currently writing full-time from the wherevers.

The most translated author in modern Zimbabwean history, she is the first Black African Woman to be selected for the Booker List twice, and is one of only two African writers, the other being Chigozie Obioma, to be listed for both her debut and follow-up novel.

Since October 2022, Anne Potjans has been a postdoctoral researcher in the EU-funded research project Tales of the Diasporic Ordinary. Aesthetics, Affects, Archives at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, where she currently investigates the relationship between queer subcultural spaces and discourses on race and racism in Germany and the United States. Earlier in 2022, she completed her doctoral degree with a dissertation on “‘Why Are You So Angry?’” – The Uses of Rage and Anger in Black Feminist Literature” in the American Studies program at Humboldt and is a joint winner of Peter Lang’s competition New Perspectives in Black Studies, for which she received a publishing contract with Peter Lang in 2021.  Apart from that, she has worked on diasporic connections between African American and Black German feminist autobiographical writing in the post-World War II period and the intersections of Blackness, sexuality, and racial visibility in German film productions. She was an exchange faculty in the Honors program at the University of Washington in the fall of 2019 and has presented and published her research both nationally and internationally.

Casual Baggage

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series | International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Selected Readings from the Play Casual Baggage by Michael Lederer

With Harvey Friedman as Ivo, Daniel Grave as Michael, Sarai Cole as Rada, Mareile Metzner as Player One, and Alexander Schröder as Player Two

Followed by a discussion with the playwright, moderated by Daniel Brunet

Based on the true story of a small group of Jewish refugees admitted into America during WWII. Numbering less than a thousand, they were kept behind barbed wire in an internment camp upstate NY until the war’s end. Years later, one survivor from that group finds it easier to share his story with a young Black woman he has just met than with his own US-American-born son.

Michael Lederer is a playwright, poet, novelist, short story writer and essayist. He was born in Princeton, New Jersey, where his father Ivo Lederer was a professor of Contemporary European Diplomatic History. He grew up in New Haven, New York City, and Palo Alto, California. Lederer has lived in London, Spain, Vienna, Dubrovnik, and Berlin. Member Dramatists Guild, SAG-AFTRA, AEA, PEN International, National Arts Club, NYC, Players Club, NYC. B.A., Theatre Arts, Binghamton University. Original acting member of Tony award-winning TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. Founding Artistic Director of Dubrovnik Shakespeare Festival, 2009-2012. His script Saving America was a 2019 winner PAGE International Screenwriting Award. His novel Cadaques was selected by the U.S. Embassy Berlin for their US-American Literature Series 2014. He has published two collections of short stories, The Great Game: Berlin-Warsaw Express and Other Stories, 2012; also In the Widdle Wat of Time, 2016. He has written for Politico and contributes regular essays about politics and expat life to the American Studies Journal.

The Cactus League

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series: Emily Nemens in conversation with Musa Okwonga

Emily Nemens reads from her debut novel The Cactus League and talks with Musa Okwonga about baseball and its impact on US-American society, identity, fan culture, literature and the Picador Guest Professorship.

This event is part of the U.S. Embassy Literature Series and is presented by the Picador Guest Professorship for Literature in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy and the English Theatre Berlin | International Performing Arts Center.

European Drama from Poland and Ukraine

Staged Reading and Panel Discussion

European Drama from Poland and Ukraine

Reading and panel discussion with Olha Mazjupa and Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk

Theater scholar Iwona Uberman and translator Andreas Volk introduce the Polish playwright Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk and the Ukrainian playwright Olha Mazjupa. We will read from their texts Der Schriftsteller (Sikorska-Miszczuk) and Richtung Osten fliegt der Ball (Mazjupa). We will discuss with the authors how a Polish playwright came to write a play about Salman Rushdie in the year 2020 and whether the socially critical comedy by a Ukrainian author might still provoke laughter in 2022. We will also ask the authors why drama from Poland and Ukraine has such a hard time finding its way onto German-language stages.

“For me, Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk is a theatrical free spirit. The protagonists of her plays are often well-known personalities from (contemporary) history, through whom she deals with the great existential questions in an ironic and entertaining way. In doing so, she always succeeds masterfully in maintaining the balance between the seriousness of the content and our grotesque reality,” explains Andreas Volk (translator of Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk).

The statement from the Heidelberger Stückemarkt jury describes Olha Mazjupa as finding “many different scenic styles to make her story shine and to escalate the scenario – small, sharp, gruff dialogues, silent scenes of everyday tasks, surreal images. Olha Mazjupa’s text is what, absurdly, a play must be, an unfinished work of art that cries out for the stage where it is to be finished.”


Olha Mazjupa, born in 1988 in Pidbirzi near Lviv, is a playwright and theater studies scholar. She studied Serbian language and literature at the Ivan Franko University Lviv and graduated with a PhD from the Marie Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin in theater and literary studies. Her plays have been performed in Lviv, Chust, Sievierodonetsk and Chernivtsi, and she has worked with theatres in Rzeszów and Sosnowiec. In 2017, her play Öko-Ballade won the internation author prize at the Heidelberger Stückemarkts.



Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk is a multi-award winning playwright, librettist and scriptwriter in Poland and abroad. She studied journalism and political science at the University of Warsaw. She is also a graduate of the scriptwriting program at the State School for Film, Theater and TV in Łódź. Recipient of scholarships from CEC ArtsLink in the USA, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Stiftung Genshagen. Author of plays that are performed both in the original and in translation, as well as radio plays, opera libretti, film scripts and plays for children. In 2011, she was invited to the Berliner Stückemarkt.



We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.

Hanoch Levin

Staged Reading and Panel Discussion

Israeli dramatist Hanoch Levin and his translations into German – staged reading, panel discussion and book launch: Die im Dunkeln gehen

Hanoch Levin (1943–1999) was the most important Israeli dramatist of the 20th century, whose work left important artistic and socio-political marks on the Israeli theater. Today, his plays are part of the canon in Israel and are frequently produced. Levin is also well known and performed in other countries, especially France and Poland, while many of his plays remain yet to be discovered in Germany.

Translations and productions must help to make this happen. Matthias Naumann published the first German monograph on Levin (Dramaturgie der Drohung. Das Theater des israelischen Dramatikers und Regisseurs Hanoch Levin. Marburg: Tectum 2006) and initiated the first German-language productions with his translations of Levin’s plays. Now six of Levin’s plays will appear for the first time in German translation in the anthology Die im Dunkeln gehen (Berlin: Neofelis Verlag 2022).

Israeli theater studies scholar Freddie Rokem and translator Matthias Naumann will present the new book Die im Dunkeln gehen and together with Barbora Schnelle (who will moderate the discussion) and director Antje Thoms, who directed the first German-language production of Levin’s Das Kind träumt in Augsburg in 2018, will discuss which of Levin’s plays are interesting for German-language stages and audiences, along with which challenges they pose to translations and         productions.

In a staged reading, we will present excerpts from Das Kind träumt and other plays from the book Hanoch Levin: Die im Dunkeln. Levin’s best-known play, Das Kind träumt, draws on historical experiences of persecution and tells the story of a mother and her child’s flight from soldiers to the land of dead children, where the Messiah is supposed to appear. Die Kofferpacker, in contrast, is a comedy that draws the lives of several families in a flurry of short scenes between departures, returns and unfulfilled dreams, and between weddings and funerals.

Freddie Rokem is Professor Emeritus at the Department of Theater at Tel Aviv University, where he was Dean of the Faculty of the Arts (2002–2006) and held the Emanuel Herzikowitz Chair for the Arts of the 19th and 20th Centuries (2006–2016). He has been a guest professor at various universities, such as the Freie Universität Berlin, the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main and the University of Chicago. The following of his books have been published in German translation: Geschichte aufführen. Darstellungen der Vergangenheit im Gegenwartstheater (2012) and TheaterDenken. Begegnungen und Konstellationen zwischen Philosophen und Theatermachern (2017). Rokem also works as a dramaturg and translator.



Antje Thoms studied applied theater studies in in Gießen and was then an assistant director at the Niedersächsisches Staatstheater Hannover. There she worked with directors including Sebastian Nübling, Luk Perceval and Jossi Wieler. Since 2003, she has worked as a freelance director and writer, and in 2007 founded the independent Zürcher Theaterformation Trainingslager with the writer Jens Nielsen and actor Dominique Müller. From 2014/15 to 2021/22, Antje Thoms was house director at the Theater Göttingen and starting in the 2022/23 season is director of drama at the Theater Regensburg.



Matthias Naumann is a writer, translator and publisher. Since 2011, he has been the director of Neofelis Verlag, Berlin, which published the series Drama Panorama – Neue internationale Theatertexte. His plays have been invited to the Autorentheatertagen and to the Heidelberger Stückemarkt, since 2014 he has mainly worked as part of the collaborative theater group Futur II Konjunktiv. He also translates plays from Hebrew.




We are very pleased to partner with Drama Panorama to host this event. Please click HERE to read the complete event information on their website.