Poetische Kämpfe: Unsere Waffen sollen unsere Worte sein*

— 16/07/2020

Poetische Kämpfe: Unsere Waffen sollen unsere Worte sein*, Sample Reading with Tunay Önder (migrantenstadl), Ismahan Wayah and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, 16 July 2020, District Berlin. Photos: Chiara Faggionato.

[Poetic Battles: Let our weapons be our words]*

Sample Reading

with Tunay Önder (migrantenstadl) and Ismahan Wayah
and via live stream with Hengameh Yaghoobifarah

16 July, 7.30 pm

Location: District Berlin

Language: German

Hygiene concept: The event takes place in a well-ventilated 400 m² hall with seating at 1.5 m intervals. We provide disinfectants at the entrance. Please keep the minimum distance and wear a mouth and nose mask.

Registration: Please register at post@district-berlin.com if you want to take part at the analogue event. The number of participants is limited to 40 persons.


Texts preserve unheard story(s). What traces have anti-discriminatory struggles left in the literature of the immigration country Germany?

Writing is an important act of activism and resistance capturing one’s own experiences, history(s) and struggles from a very personal and intimate perspective – contrary to dominant culture and society. Many writers, poets and activists like Audre Lorde, May Ayim and Semra Ertan did not let their voices be silenced. They have left us manifestos of empowerment.

For Poetische Kämpfe: Unsere Waffen sollen unsere Worte sein* [Poetic Battles: Let our weapons be our words]* we invited Tunay Önder, Ismahan Wayah and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah to share text samples of a post-migrant society. With this, we want to contribute to transforming the poetic voices of migrantisized women* and their struggles into a living and empowering archive, thus making them audible loudly and lastingly. We will not be silent! A reading session with three anti-racist attacks.

*The title is a reference to the poem Ratschlag [Advice] by Semra Ertan. It says, “Eure Waffen sollen eure Worte sein” [Let your weapons be your words].


Tunay Önder works as an author, publicist and curator. After studying sociology, she founded the blog Migrantenstadl together with Imad Mustafa in 2010 as a virtual playground for postmigrant stories and perspectives with a Dadaist twist. Since then, she has continued the family tradition as a guest worker in various factories of the culture industry, developing artistic-activist as well as journalistic formats for a migration society free of domination.

Ismahan Wayah is currently doing her PhD on contemporary Muslim novels at the Chair of English, Media and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Münster. She also works as a curator at the Historical Museum Frankfurt on Migration and Diversity

Hengameh Yaghoobifarah writes journalistic texts, satirical columns, essays and prose. The literary essay volume “Eure Heimat ist unser Albtraum” [Your home is our nightmare], edited together with Fatma Aydemir, was published by Ullstein fünf in 2019.


This event takes place within the framework of Memory Care. A project by Nuray Demir and Andrea Caroline Keppler / District*School without Centre. We see the event series Memory Care as an attempt to counter the dominant narrative with intersectional memory cultures and to trace the stories of migrant workers and other marginalized protagonists. Using very different forms of protest and resistance, they have done important pioneering work and left an empowering legacy that is still more than relevant. We want to make this legacy visible.

In cooperation with Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. With kind support from Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa.