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Tout-monde - #BackToEarth

A programme about a new perspective on our Earth with authors Sulaiman Addonia and Annemarie Estor (Belgium), Amahl Raphael Khouri (Egypt) and Vamba Sherif, Chris Keulemans (moderator) and singer-songwriter Shishani. English spoken.


The image that we have of our world is purely human: a human-centred picture. It's up to us to give non-humans a voice and a stage. In this program created by Nisrine Mbarki, we give the floor to the non-human elements of our world. It was an existentially poetic evening in which the world was experienced from a different, more complete, perspective.

4:36 - Shishani (Netherlands), song performance I.
10:24 - Vamba Sherif (Netherlands), interview.
24:44 - Shishani, song performance II.
28:40 - Sulaiman Addonia (Belgium), video reading.
35:57 - Annemarie Estor (Belgium), video reading.
43:43 - Amahl Raphael Khouri (Egypt), video reading.
49:58 - Amahl Raphael Khouri / Sulaiman Addonia, interview.
1:12:53 - Vamba Sherif, interview.
1:18:12 - Shishani, song performance II.

The term Tout-monde (whole-world), coined by the Caribbean poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011) advocates the use of language and poetry as a tool of resistance. We can look at the world from the point of view of other people, animals, plants and even objects by identifying with them. In the Netherlands, writer Eva Meijer calls on philosophers, writers and artists to get to work on this.

We discussed this theme with writer and journalist Vamba Sherif who always explores the history of his family in North and West Africa, irrevocably linked to the African earth. In his novel Het land van de vaders (The land of the Fathers) he tells about his native country Liberia, where the religion of nature was adhered to by praying to trees, rocks and rivers.

We asked three guests to give a voice to beloved non-humans who, in their view, should have one. These include the Eritrean-Ethiopian author Sulaiman Addonia; the Belgian writer and poet Annemarie Estor and the transgender Jordanian playwright living and working in Berlin and Cairo, Amahl Raphael Khouri.

In their works the search for an individual, free voice plays an important role. They are especially adept at taking on alternative voices that lack the usual perspectives on the world and are therefore of great added value.

The authors' readings of their stories were filmed on location, in their own habitat by respectively Ahmed El Saaty (Khouri), Shalan Alhamwy (Addonia) en Nils van der Linden (Estor). Afterwards, writer and journalist Chris Keulemans lead a live conversation with Addonia and Khouri to reflect on what issues the assignment raised.

Shishani brings worlds together with an earthly and powerful voice and was therefore the singer-songwriter par excellence to engage us with the non-human.

Read here the contributions written for this programme on request of the Winternachten international literature festival The Hague:

(Find the Dutch-language versions here/Lees hier de Nederlandstalige versies)
Learn more here:

Read and watch on here:

Sulaiman Addonia
'Murder, migration and mother love, the making of the novelist Sulaiman Addonia, interview, The Guardian, 2019

Annemarie Estor

Chris Keulemans
Video: Chris Keulemans hosts an interview with authors Rosabelle Illes (Aruba) and Antoine de Kom, Winternachten festival 2020

Amahl Raphael Khouri
Video: conversation with Amahl Raphael Khouri; host: Alice Guthrie, Arts Canteen, July 2020

Nisrine Mbarki
Video, from 58'40'': recitation by Nisrine Mbarki in Fatena's Poëziësalon, December 2020

Vamba Sherif

YouTube-channel Shishani