2008, Tue, Sep 16

Europe / Migration / City

Zafer Senocak (Berlin) encounters Azouz Begag (Paris)

Banlieue, Kiez, district - how do immigrants from the former colonies find it living in French cities? What is the situation of immigrants in urban areas of Germany? The two authors will be taking up these questions from a literary and socio-political perspective within the framework of a Franco-German dialogue.

Host: Susanne Stemmler, the House of World Cultures


In co-operation with the Deutsch-Französischen Dialogreihe (Franco-German dialogues) staged by the Institut Français, Berlin


Zafer Senocak was born in Ankara in 1961. He studied politics, philosophy and German literature and language in Munich. Quite early on, he published poems and essays on the subject Orient-Occident, on German-Turkish cultural relations and on interculturalism in German and Turkish. As frequent writer-in-residence, he has taught at a number of universities in the USA. His much-awarded and, above all, internationally acclaimed works have been translated into a number of languages. By translating works by Turkish authors, he has made in important theoretical contribution to German-Turkish literature. One of his best-known prose works is the Berliner Tetralogie. In 2001, his work Zungenentfernung. Bericht aus der Quarantänestation was published. Senocak lives in Berlin.


Azouz Begag, who has a doctorate in economics and sociology, was born in France in 1957 as the son of Algerian immigrants. He is one of the best-known representatives of litérature beure. A central theme of his works is the mobility of immigrants, their affiliation to two cultures and the everyday experience of racism. With his works, he has made an important contribution to Franco-Maghreb identity. In addition to his scientific studies, he has also received much acclaim for his novels for children, young people and adults. His very first novel Le gône du chaâba deals with life as a youth in the Banlieues. As Minister for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities under the French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, he implemented policies in line with his views. Begag was made a Chevalier dans I’Ordre National du Mérite and a Knight of the Foreign Legion.