The Slave Pens by Najwa Binshatwan



Saturday, 10th March 2018, 14:30 - 16:00


Ghazi Gheblawi will be hosting a conversation with author Najwa Binshatwan to discuss the themes running through her highly acclaimed novel ‘The Slave Pens’. Shortlisted for the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), the book sheds light on an ugly period of Libya’s history - when slave trade markets flourished during the Ottoman era, way before the Italian colonisation and prior to Libya’s declared independence in 1951.


In ‘The Slave Pens’ Binshatwan brings forth the narrative of the slaves in a sensitive romantic tale that touches upon the era and taboo subjects that have not been exposed before within Libyan culture. She bravely tackles the cruel trade of human beings, coming at a time when Libya has turned into a smuggler’s paradise again with African migrants being unfairly bartered.


Najwa Binshatwan is a Libyan academic, novelist and playwright, with a doctorate from La Sapienz University in Rome. The recipient of many literary prizes, she has authored three collections of short stories and three novels, including ‘The Slave Pens’. Most recently, her short story ‘Return Ticket’ was featured in ‘Banthology: Stories from Unwanted Nations’ published by Comma Press. She is currently at St Aidan’s College, University of Durham where she has taken up the Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship for the duration of three months.


Ghazi Gheblawi is a Libyan physician, writer, activist and blogger based in the UK. He runs and hosts the ‘Imtidad’ cultural blog and podcast that focuses on literature and arts in Britain and the Arab world. He was one of the founders and cultural editor of the newspaper ‘Libya Alyoum’ (2004-2009) and involved in many start-up online media and cultural projects. He is also a council member of the Society for Libyan Studies in Britain and a trustee of the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature. He is the senior editor at Darf Publishers, an independent publishing house based in London.


Tickets £3 online or £5 at the door

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