Munition Poem (Radioplay)

By Helgard Kim Haug / Thilo Guschas

The Egyptian military dictatorship is back, the media curbed, even demonstrations are forbidden. But the verses are still out there. Poets broadcast their self-spoken poetry on the internet, and TV talk shows celebrate them like pop stars. Arab poetry is alive and may well become political fuel. The strophes of the hippy poet Ahmed Fouad Negm inspired the Egyptian masses to peaceful protest in 2011; written in political imprisonment in the 60s, they were a message in a bottle over the decades. Today, tens of thousands are being held as political prisoners – from Islamists to left-wing activists. Are they producing the new ammunition that will break through walls? The author duo Helgard Haug and Thilo Guschas use secret messages to correspond with the poet Omar Hazek, who once won the pan-Arab casting show “Prince of Poets” in front of millions of viewers. He was just imprisoned. Now he is being released. What is it that contemporary Arab poetry invokes? What are the new deeds that they herald like lightning before thunder?

Written by: Thilo Guschas and Helgard Kim Haug

Technical realisation and direction: Helgard Kim Haug

Sound design: Frank Böhle

A co-production by SWR/NDR/WDR.