People of the Mediterranean
Khaled Mattawa, Mary Fitzgerald and Lindis Hurum
Khaled Mattawa grew up in Libya’s second largest city, Benghazi. After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, he was able to travel back for the first time in many years. Upon his return to the United States, he wrote the poetry collection Mare Nostrum about the Mediterranean and its people. This evening, Lindis Hurum of Doctors without Borders will open with a talk about her encounters with the Mediterranean and Mattawa’s poetry before Mattawa himself meets Libya expert Mary Fitzgerald in conversation.
The poetry collection Mare Nostrum (Latin for “our sea”) consists of restrained texts that draw on exchanges of history and tradition from across the Mediterranean region: Psalms and tributary poems about people who left their homes on the Horn of Africa, human smugglers in the Sahara Desert, and volunteers who took in refugees on Lesbos. Mattawa also depicts his homeland’s fate after Gaddafi’s fall, where refugees from across the extended Mediterranean region are held captive based on a deal with the EU.
Irish foreign correspondent Mary Fitzgerald traveled to Benghazi in 2011, just days after the riots against the dictator Gaddafi began. Today, she resides in the historically important Mediterranean city of Marseille, but Libya continues to be a focus for her work.
The conversation will be opened by author Lindis Hurum, who has traveled to the Mediterranean on assignment with Doctors Without Borders – and through Mattawa’s poetry. The event will take place in English.