Heidi Trautmann

869: The Poetics of Refuge – Aydin Mehmet Ali and Alev Adil at the Home for Cooperation

By Heidi Trautmann


Poets and writers came from both sides of the green line and met in the Home for Cooperation, the centre for bi-communal work in many fields. I have been here before for a similar literary event organized by the Literary Agency Cyprus, short LAC with Aydin Mehmet Ali and literary friends, poets and writers. You can also follow their activities on face book. … workshops, walking and exploring Nicosia, bringing it to paper and discussing it… and simultaneously encouraging Greek and Turkish Cypriot writers and poets to write in English to reach a broader audience. Here are three links giving the reader an idea of their activities. Both, Aydin and Alev are included in my recently published book ‘Art and Creativity in North Cyprus, Volume II’.






I had not met Alev before in person, we had a very animated interview by mail and – when I met her on this occasion – I had the feeling of knowing her very well for many years. That is what communication can do… Alev mainly lives in London and it is on her visits to Cyprus that we can see and listen to her in person. Her longtime friend Aydin has organized this event and they both would read and invite for discussions on the topic of REFUGE – the Poetics of Refuge –

How do we in general deal with it, how do poets and writers explore the term for their work, what images come up. Alev Adil opened the event, gave her own thoughts to the audience and invited people to help define and bring forward the background scenery, thoughts,  stories and poems already written, or own stories of experience.

For two hours we listened to what some of the LAC authors had prepared and what it meant for other guests. Refuge is a place, a shelter you seek when your home is not in order when the shelter for yourself, your family, your people is destroyed, vanished for reasons of war, nature catastrophes, political oppression, draught, economics or even for personal reasons of inequality or domestic violence. For some years now this alarming phenomenon disturbs the whole world with consequences of political changes.


I appreciate the urge of literary people, artists of all disciplines to react openly to this phenomenon reigning in our world. In my opinion we have to look beyond the apparent, look for the reasons why this wave of migration came into motion and why the terms of home, refuge and shelter are endangered to become meaningless – and not only for human species, many species of animals are disappearing from our globe.


Alev Adil read and performed from her work, I know many of her books, and one of her poems is about the reflections of a refugee how to pack the only suitcase, what is important to take and what to leave behind. Aydin Mehmet Ali read from her last book ‘Forbidden Zones’, short stories about conflicts in personal and political circumstances.

It was a thought provoking evening; we should all do more in this direction to bring awareness to society.


Please click on posters to read about the two authors.



Books by LAC authors
Books by LAC authors

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