Two-time Orange Prize nominee Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan) will be reading from her newly published novel Home Fire, one of the most anticipated novels of the year.
A contemporary reimagining of Sophocles’ Antigone, Home Fire is an urgent, fiercely compelling story of an immigrant Muslim family torn apart when loyalties and politics collide. Set against the multiple backdrops of modern London, American academia and the Syrian conflict, Kamila’s novel explores the complexities of nationalism, religious extremism and bigotry, ultimately asking: What sacrifices will we make in the name of love?
Raised in Karachi and now living in London, Kamila Shamsie is the author of several previous widely-praised novels, including Broken Verses and Burnt Shadows among others. She has been a finalist for the Orange Prize (twice) and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and has been named one of Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
“A heroic film… a film of terrible beauty, of the ongoing life it captured and of the spirit embodied by Rogosin and his fellow artists.” — Martin Scorsese
Come Back, Africa chronicles the life of Zachariah – a black South African living under the rule of the harsh apartheid government in 1959, and one of the hundreds of thousands of Africans forced each year off the land and into the gold mines.
Shot in secret in order to portray the true conditions of life in South Africa at that time, the film contains a cast of non-professional actors improvising their own real dialogue from a framework of loose plot points. Come Back, Africa experienced censorship worldwide, and many of the actors in the film left the country after the film was made.
After the screening, Sabira Bushra of Sembène – The Film & Arts Festival will lead an optional Q&A discussion about the history and themes of the film.
Join PEN America representatives Julie Trébault and Rebecca Stump to discuss new initiatives by PEN America, including the Artists at Risk Connection, new regional programming and more!
PEN America will discuss the upcoming regional programming expansion, its partnership with City of Asylum, local press freedom opportunities and the ARC program. All community members are invited to come and help guide an open discussion of all facets of PEN and share ideas about what sorts of programming you’d most like to see locally.
The event is free and open to anyone interested in the realm of free expression, literature and artistic freedom.
A reception will follow this discussion, which will give attendees the chance to chat with representatives one-on-one.
PechaKucha Nights are informal, fun gatherings held in more than 900 cities worldwide, where creative people share their ideas, works and thoughts in a 20×20 format; a presentation style with 20 images that advance automatically for 20 seconds each, as the presenter talks along with the images.
Tuesday, July 18 at 7:00 – 9:30 pm
City of Asylum, 40 W North Avenue
Doors open at 5:00 pm
Among the 11 local presenters will be Allegheny West’s own Brian O’Neill, author of the 2009 book The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the 21st Century. Brian will talk about the inadvertent plug his book just got from Donald Trump and what has changed about the city since the book was written.
Arrive early for dinner or drinks at Casellua. Enjoy great food, wine and artfully curated cheese plates.
Shop and browse City of Asylum Books, an independent bookstore specializing in works in translation and world
If you have questions about PechaKucha Night or how to pronounce “PechaKucha”, please contact Greg Coll at firstname.lastname@example.org . We look forward to packing the house!
Co-organized by Greg Coll with AIGA Pittsburgh, AIA Pittsburgh and Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council
Melba Janneth Rey Rey (Colombia) performs traditional Colombian harp music with an unusually rhythmic flair. She discovered her passion for harp music at the age of ten, while attending the academy of Joropo & Arpa. Under the tutelage of maestro Hildo Ariel Aguirre Daza, she became a master of the Colombo-Venezuelan harp music traditional in the Llanos region in Colombia.
Melba is an internationally-lauded musician and has performed with premiere ensembles Arpas de Colombia and Agrupación Femenina Cayena and in many major Colombian venues.
In 2013, The Nest Collective (a Nairobi-based arts collective) began interviewing people identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex in Kenya. After collecting hundreds of stories, they wrote scripts for 5 of the most compelling and transformed them into Stories of Our Lives, an anthology of short films.
“Stories of Our Lives is both a labor of love and a bold act of militancy, defying the enforced silence of intolerance with tales rooted in the soil of lived experience.”
– Toronto International Film Festival
Stories of Our Lives was an Official Selection of the Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals, and was a winner of the Special Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, among other notable accolades.
Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic and author Margo Jefferson will be reading from her multi-award winning autobiography Negroland, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Heartland Prize.
Margo places a critical lens to her childhood growing up among the Chicago’s upper-crust, elite black social sphere – a world she dubs “Negroland.” Widely regarded as one of 2016’s Best Books of the Year (as noted by such publications as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Time Out New York and others), Negroland is a provocative work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America.
Jefferson is a national treasure and her memoir should be required reading across the country. – Vanity Fair
Margo is a professor at Columbia University and has been a staff writer for The New York Times and Newsweek, and has published in New York Magazine, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Believer, Guernica, Bookforum, O, the Oprah Magazine, Vogue and Grand Street. Not shy about tackling potentially controversial subject matter, Jefferson’s essays have weighed in on such topics as Ebonics, “race ennui” and black feminism. She also wrote and performed a theater piece, Sixty Minutes in Negroland, at The Cherry Lane Theater and The Culture Project.
Adults and children alike will be spellbound during this unique Saturday-morning program. While entertaining with multi-cultural stories, folklore, poetry, and even a few songs, Marc Spiegel also teaches the mechanics of storytelling. Audiences become part of the story itself in his interactive program that is sure to inspire the storyteller in your family.
Marc has performed his original stories offering a multicultural repertoire of traditional folktales for more than fourteen years. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, The International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap Farm Park, as well as off-Broadway at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater. He was a featured storyteller at the White House “Millennium on the Mall” celebration held at The Smithsonian Institute.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s popular chamber music series, Play N’at, comes to Alphabet City!
Comprised of chamber groups formed by musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, this series showcases these ensembles in alternative venues around Pittsburgh. The Play N’at series provides opportunities for audiences to enjoy music selected by the musicians themselves in more intimate environments around the ‘Burgh.
City of Asylum @ Alphabet City’s concert will feature the Pittsburgh Cello Quartet and the Trapeze Ensemble, a wind and strings quintet. The repertoire is eclectic, featuring selections ranging from the Baroque to the Beatles. Come meet and mingle with musicians in a casual atmosphere.
Moolaadé – the final film of Ousmane Sembène, after whom this film festival is named – is at once a passionately critical look at an African practice of female genital mutilation (practiced in more than 38 countries) and a tribute to everyday heroism of African women and men against the tremendous internal problems facing modern day, post-colonial Africa.
In a small village, four young girls facing ritual ‘purification’ flee to the household of Collé Ardo Gallo Sy, a strong-willed woman who has managed to shield her own teenage daughter from mutilation by invoking the time-honored custom of moolaadé (sanctuary). Though the subject matter may seem weighty, the film maintains a buoyant hopefulness through its depiction of vibrant village life laden with mythic overtones and spirited song.