Strong voices in contemporary literature - Ruhrtriennale presents ‘Brave New Voices’


Brave New Voices gives young, strong authors a stage at Ruhrtriennale. Every Sunday in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, they engage in dialogue with the audience and give an insight into their work and their creative writing process. The focus is also on current social issues and developments, since ultimately no text is created without context.

In the Brave New Voices series, Édouard Louis (18.8), Sivan Ben Yishai (25.8), Fatma Aydemir and Hengameh Yaghoobifarah (1.9), Jeremy O. Harris (8.9) and Cemile Sahin (15.9) will talk about their texts and the world with moderator Fatima Khan. The talks with Édouard Louis and Jeremy O. Harris will be simultaneously translated from English into German. Sign language interpreters will be available for the entire literature and discourse series.

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Édouard Louis often incorporates autobiographical elements into his works, which he interweaves with social themes. His books (including The End of Eddy and History of Violence) offer unmediated insights into life on the margins of society. Louis writes in clear, unembellished language that captures the raw emotions of his protagonists. Through his literature, he aims to draw attention to social injustices and make the voices of those who are often overlooked or marginalized heard. His writing is an act of empathy and resistance against the structures of oppression. Eduard Louis is a significant voice in contemporary French literature and an important representative of literary activism.

Sivan Ben Yishai is an Israeli playwright and theater director. Since 2012 she is based in Berlin. Her plays have been performed at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin and the Münchner Kammerspiele as well as in Tel Aviv and New York City, among others. In 2022 and 2024 she was awarded the Mülheim Playwriting Prize and was voted Playwright of the Year 2022 by Theater heute. In 2022 and 2023, her plays were invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen. In 2023, she was awarded the Berlin Theater Prize. According to the jury, the playwright has "appeared in the firmament of German-language theater like a comet". This is the first time the prize has been awarded to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to German-language theater without writing in German.

Jeremy O. Harris is known for his provocative and innovative works. The African-American playwright and author deals with topics such as race, sexuality and power/powerlessness. His best-known work is the Broadway play Slave Play, which has triggered controversial discussions. Harris combines different theatrical styles and elements to create an immersive and provocative experience. As an emerging voice in contemporary theater, Harris is committed to pushing the boundaries of theater and offering new perspectives on complex social issues.

Fatma Aydemir is a writer and journalist. Her debut novel Ellbogen won several awards and was adapted into a feature film in 2024. She was nominated for the German Book Prize and awarded the Robert Gernhardt Prize for her second novel Dschinns. Aydemir is a columnist for the British Guardian newspaper, author of the play Doktormutter Faust and curates the discourse series Materien at Schauspiel Essen. 

Hengameh Yaghoobifarah lives in Berlin. They work as a writer, editor (Missy Magazine) and DJ. Hengameh's publications include the essay collection Eure Heimat ist unser Albtraum, co-edited with Fatma Aydemir, the debut novel Ministerium der Träume, the taz column collection Habibitus and the WDR radio play Unverpackt. Hengameh's second novel Schwindel will be published in September 2024.

Cemile Sahin was born in Wiesbaden in 1990. She studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London and at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and is an ars-viva award winner for Fine Art. Her debut novel TAXI was published in 2019, followed by her book ALLE HUNDE STERBEN in 2020, both of which are integral to her artistic practice. Her third novel KOMMANDO AJAX will be published by Aufbau Verlag on 17 September 2024. Sahin was honoured with the Alfred Döblin Medal for her writing.  

Fatima Khan is a freelance writer, artist, curator and moderator. She writes poetry, prose and essays and is currently working on her debut novel. She studied Ancient Languages and Cultures, Classical Literature and German Studies at the University of Cologne. In 2018, she was the initiator and co-founder of q[lit]*clgn, Germany's first feminist literature festival. Since 2022, she has been studying Media Arts with a focus on Literary Writing at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM). She is currently also a participant in the Textwerkstatt Kölner Schmiede and a mentee in the 1:1 mentoring program of the Literaturbüro NRW with the writer Mithu Sanyal.

Detailed information on the artists can be found on our website at

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