Wiam El-Tamami talks about revolution and aftermath, disaster as a catalyst, ways of living, mediated truth and literary truth, and lying down.
“There was this assumption that you were totally in this together, just because of being there. You shared the same vision of life, the same dream, the same longing for a different world. That was the illusion of that moment, but also the beauty and magic and reality of that moment.”
Wiam El-Tamami is a writer from Egypt.
Wiam writes, translates, edits, teaches yoga, cooks, gives bodywork, talks and listens. Sleeps and wakes and dreams. Moves, a lot. She has been semi-nomadic for the past 18 years, spending time in many places across Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
Her work has been published in Granta, Ploughshares Solos (forthcoming), Social Movement Studies, Freeman’s, Jadaliyya, Alif, and in various anthologies, including Translating Dissent, The Uncanny Reader, and Road Stories. She has just finished writing her first book — a memoir of questions about her time as a volunteer on the Greek island of Lesbos — and is currently working on a second. She is based, for the moment, in Berlin.
Repatterning is a series of talks about being turned inside out. It is about the experience of being radically upended, the work of dreaming, and the ghosts that travel along the way. Concentric circles rippling outwards from art, crisis, music, sickness, reinvention, mourning, renewal, collapse, and enchantment. Picking through the remnants and imagining what might emerge, as the grains of sand pile upwards, the hope drone swells, the gamelan chimes, and the distant bells peal.