Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-07-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Chicago literary initiative embraces exiled writers
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Melissa Wasserman
2017-02-22

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


A celebration for the Chicago City of Refuge project for exiled writers was held at Loyola University Chicago, Lake Shore Campus' Piper Hall on Feb. 19.

The project is a collaboration between the International Cities of Refuge Network ( ICORN ) and PEN International, the Chicago Network for Justice and Peace and the Guild Literary Complex. Its purpose is to assist exiled writers, unable to express themselves in their homelands, with developing and promoting their works, establishing and fostering connections with other writers and artists and contributing to the cultural life of various institutions and organizations within Chicago.

The launch celebration featured readings from Unoma Azuah, in exile from Nigeria because of her writings on sexuality and freedom for women, and Osama Alomar, in exile from Syria because of his writings on human rights and dignity and his work for freedom of expression. Both read passages from their own works at the event. Riad Ismat, a Syrian playwright, short story and screenplay writer, critic, theater director and diplomat also spoke to highlight his work that will be performed for the Chicago City of Refuge project.

Azuah, who identifies as a lesbian, teaches writing at the Illinois Institute of Art. At the event, she read from her recently completed book, titled Blessed Body: Secret Lives of LGBT Nigerians. In a statement to Windy City Times, she said that the LGBT community is demonized, particularly in Nigeria, and it is necessary to find an outlet and voice that opposes the impression that LGBT people have nothing positive to offer.

"Most of the narratives in Nigeria about LGBT are always negative and incidentally, Blessed Body happens to be the first LGBT true life stories to come out of Nigeria and that's very affirming for us as a community in Nigeria," said Azuah. "I feel that gradually from text we may move onto visual representation to illustrate our lives, the way it is exactly, instead of the propaganda they use in Nigeria to demonize us. So, it's important that I share my story and I share the stories of my transgender, bisexual, lesbian, gay family in Nigeria."

"It breaks my heart because any writer or artists always loves to share his work with an audience," said Alomar, unpublished in Syria, but has his short story collection Teeth of the Comb and Other Stories being published in April 2017. "The American audience has encouraged me a lot and I'm so happy for that."

Loyola University Chicago's Ann Ida Gannon Center for Women and Leadership sponsored the event.

"It's more important today, than it has been even before January, to hold an event where we celebrate how the arts are liberating and how an environment, like the Chicago environment, in which people are free to create, free to critique and free to dialogue, fosters an environment of stimulation and free expression and we think that free expression is the seedbed of democracy," said Janet Sisler director of the Gannon Center.

"We see a mutually beneficial situation between our [American] writers and the exiled writers who come here to live," said Nick Patricca, president of the Chicago Network for Justice of writers contributing to each other by sharing experiences. "We see this is not an alien thing, this is not foreigners, this is a universal process."

To learn more about the writers and Chicago City of Refuge project, visit www.facebook.com/ChicagoCityofRefuge/.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

German president OKs marriage law 2017-07-21 - German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, allowing the bill to take effect this fall. Lawmakers approved the bill ...


Gay News

Attorney General Madigan defends Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) 2017-07-21 - Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 19 other attorneys general, today issued a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain ...


Gay News

Groups join to call on IL Chief Justice to halt immigration enforcement in courts 2017-07-19 - Chicago — Calling on adherence to the tradition and mission of Illinois' courts to be open to all persons in our state, a ...


Gay News

Senate Republicans Confirm Trump's Anti-LGBTQ Judicial Nominee 2017-07-19 - WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) denounced the Senate's confirmation of John K. Bush to the U.S. Court of ...


Gay News

Quigley leads 32 dems in letter to FDA urging end of discriminatory blood ban 2017-07-19 - WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley ( IL-05 ), who serves as Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, led 32 of ...


Gay News

United State of Women holds Chicago summit 2017-07-19 - More than 1,000 women from all walks of life convened at McCormick Place to kick off the United State of Women Galvanize Program ...


Gay News

BOOK Raising the Transgender Child 2017-07-19 - By Dr. Michele Angello and Alisa Bowman, $17; Seal Press; 275 pages Your preschooler has always had an active imagination. Flights ...


Gay News

BOOKS Steven Gaines explores memories in 'One of These Things First' 2017-07-19 - Steven Gaines is an openly gay author who has written several best-sellers. In his most recent project, One of These Things First, Gaines ...


Gay News

W&CF event revolves around author Gwendolyn Brooks 2017-07-19 - On July 13, Women & Children First bookstore hosted a reading and panel discussion of Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of ...


Gay News

W&CF hosts poetry event 'How To Get Over' 2017-07-18 - Women and Children First hosted three poets who performed original work July 7. The event not only drew folks to the bookstore ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.