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In the summer of 2014 poets Somaya El-Sousi, Hanna Hallgren and Jenny Tunedal were working together in a translation workshop via skype that had been ongoing for more than a year. When war broke out in Gaza, where El-Sousi lives and works, this translation workshop transformed into a daily conversation on war, despair, food, rooms, objects, women, children, mothers, intimacy, fear, news, weather and writing.
The differences and distances always present in translation work became enhanced and acute, as did a sense of closeness. The circumstances of war cut into our work and somehow into the everyday quotidian life of Sweden; as a shock, as a difference, as an acute experience of a lack of experience. The computer screen became, in El-Sousis words: “a blue window of hope”; the hope of continuing, linearity, future.
Continuity is complicated for anyone living in Gaza. Life is a secluded incarceration not only in space but maybe even more so in time. Future as well as political and personal history are constantly being cut off from and / or conditioned by a claustrophobic present. The disaster that war is adds enormous pressure and fear to this present, to the extend were chronological time seems almost entirely dissolved.
We would like to examine this sense of time and how it conditions the work of female writers in Gaza. We have gathered literary texts by women living in Gaza that were written during the 51 days of war and aim to perform a reading of how the temporality of war becomes readable, and possibly shareable, in these texts; as structure, as experience, as knowledge, as the unanswerable question: ”How long is that night, how hard is that darkness?” (from Somaya El-Sousis “It does not end”, written in late July 2014)
Our work and our friendship takes place on skype. During the conference we would like to use skype and together, yet apart, perform a poetic conversation piece on the temporality of war, of literature, of translation and of friendship.
Göteborg, 2015

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PARSE Conference, Nov 4-6, 2015 The 1st PARSE Biennial Research Conference on TIME, Göteborgs Universitet & Platform for Artistic Research Sweden An international initiative based at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, aimed at supporting a multidisciplinary research culture – exploring the contemporary challenges of artistic research and the dialogue between research in the arts and research in other disciplines and domains.