How does geographic and cultural displacement change what we can say and write? Is there a poetics of displacement? This event took these questions as its starting point as well as work done in creative writing workshops in Palestine and the UK.

The session was chaired by Dr Steve Willey (Birkbeck College, University of London) with presentations from Julian Maynard Smith, Atef Alshaer and Damian Gorman.

Julian Maynard Smith is an artist, performer, theatre writer and director. He is the Artistic Director of Station House Opera and one of the directors of AtHome in Gaza and London (Al Meshal Theatre, Gaza, and Watermans Art Centre, Brentford) recipient of a LIFT Digital Utopia Award.

Atef Alshaer is a lecturer in Arabic Language and Culture at the University of Westminster. He has several publications on the Arab world in the fields of language, literature and politics. He was educated at Birzeit University in Palestine and the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he obtained his PhD and taught for a number of years. He is the author of Poetry and Politics in the Modern Arab World, and co-author of The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication.

Damian Gorman is an award winning poet, editor, broadcaster and screenwriter. He currently works as a consultant and facilitator on City University London’s unique Olive Tree Programme which brings together Israeli and Palestinian students. He is a recipient of an MBE for services to the arts.