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Book review: Snapshots from an ongoing disaster

How to testify about avhumanisering and immeasurably suffering? The question arises in Daniel Yousefis debutdiktsamling ”The eighth continent”, by the publisher

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Book review: Snapshots from an ongoing disaster

How to testify about avhumanisering and immeasurably suffering? The question arises in Daniel Yousefis debutdiktsamling ”The eighth continent”, by the publisher is presented as a ”documentary-poetic depiction of the refugee crisis”. In 2016, worked Yousefi as an interpreter for a range of voluntary organisations in the refugee camps in Greece and Turkey, and the book, relatively short and divided into five parts, consisting of the documents and notes from these sites. Like the vittnestradition the sign in tries to the book bring to life the gruesome reality behind the news.

the Bulk consists of transcripts of interviews and conversations with the places in the camps, while the last part consists of a personal account of what it witnessed in the poetic memoarform, consistently written in uppercase. We are greeted by overcrowded tältrader that form the streets, the Greek military's excessive use of force, pregnant women who are forced to give birth under the open sky. Krigstraumatiserade who daily arrive in the thousands to a sealed limit, or washed ashore lifeless on the beach. ”A whole generation of people who melt in the sun”, as one of the interviewees says.

request is too flat. Intervjuurvalet is slightly too thin and too short, put themselves too close to journalism, straight reporting and recognizable format (which can also be said about the short diktsekvensen). In the last memoardelen I become the more kindly disposed. In Förintelseskildraren Primo Levi's imitation of christ, embracing Yousefi here a parataktiskt style of writing, where the upphuggna, sober ögonblicksbilderna writing up a subjective temperament, which at the same time manage to avoid every approach to sensationalism or sentimental identification (two constant risks when westerners visit distressed areas).

Without moralisering hails the statements alongside each other, like a bizarre verse where Angelina Jolie pops up: ”ANGELINA JOLIE arrive AT the CAMP, AND A STRANGELY ELATED MOOD ARISES. EVEN THE MOST VULNERABLE LOOKS AT HER AND SMILES”.

But unlike Levi is Yousefi a temporary visitor in Sodom. The suffering he testifies is not his, and, moreover, he seems to primarily have gone there to download the material to their writing. It raises sometimes questions. As in a passage where diktjaget abandon volunteering and trying to enter into Syria, while everyone he meets is struggling to get out of there. ”Why?”, you have to wonder. To his own testimony of the war would be so indispensable that it is worth risking life for, though it lives two hundred thousand syrians in Sweden today? In order to be able to return and give out a book of poems about it in his own name on Sweden's largest publishing house?

have a documentary streaming has grown strong in recent years, which often is deeply politically charged, with poets such as M. Nourbese Philip, and Solmaz Sharif. But where these put a great emphasis on putting the ostensibly neutral faktaframställningen, the transparent testimony, under the critical microscope – while they also engaged in the art of witness, bringing new facts exposed – expose or reflect Yousefi rarely over the eyes that sees.

this tension between the witnessing and the witnessed is never totally straightforward or innocent should each samtidspoet with the political claim to know. Reasonably ought to be included in the investigation, especially when the ostensible neutrality, as here, seems to be hiding the design of a male författarsubjekt.

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