Forum: But What Is Going On Outside the Room of One’s Own?

This forum wants to approach how women’s rights and the freedom of writing itself is conditioned and framed by the specific politics and social conditions that exist both in totalitarian and anti-democratic countries as well as in more open and democratic nations. In less autocratic regimes or countries with greater what we might call democracy, the act of writing is supported by the state; scholarships, translation facilities. Women writers in less democratic countries are not encouraged and they are also exposed to direct political pressure, prohibition, arrest, and even condemnation. Although, there are of course great women writers in these countries, the question remains does their necessary activism move them away removing from writing fiction, or limit their freedom of expression in the name of their social responsibility. Are women only as free their countries are? Or are they as prisoners of their countries? What could be the exit points that confine? What hidden circles or forms of captivity limit their freedom? Although the conditions in more open societies can strengthen and support the development of literature, how do writers in more open societies choose the subjects the wish to write about? Are they also confined and restricted by their relationship to the socio-political context they finds themselves in? Can a woman writer create a separate, independent or even universal language free from national politics of where they live?

Moderator: Ayşe Düzkan; Conversation Partner: Marjaneh Bakhtiari
MSFAU Bomonti Conference Hall