Leading writers, scholars and artists in dialogue with the Bidoun editorial collective in a series of Saturday seminars. All of these 3pm Saturday Seminars are free and occur at the Bidoun Library installation at the Serpentine Gallery.
This week’s seminar will be hosted by Nawal Al Saadawi who is in London for the week in advance of this talk. We are so excited to have her in town… this could turn out to be a busy one so do arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Nawal El Saadawi (born 1931) is an Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician and psychiatrist. She has written many books on the subject of women in Islam, paying particular attention to the practice of female genital mutilation in her society.
She was among the protesters in Tahrir Square, Cairo in 2011 and was very active in the international media in helping raise awareness of the demands of protestors and the history of struggle in Egypt.
As an activist, Saadwai has spoken and written prolifically against corruption and the foreign policy of the Egyptian Government under the rule of Anwar Sadat. Saadawi was detained at Qanatir Women’s Prison and her incarceration formed the basis for her memoir, Mozakerati fi signel nissa (Memoirs from the Women’s Prison, 1983). Earlier, contact with a prisoner at Qanatir served as inspiration for her earlier novel, Emra’a enda noktat el sifr (A Woman at Point Zero, 1975). In 1988, when her life was threatened by Islamists and political persecution, Saadawi was forced to flee Egypt. She accepted an offer to teach in America at Duke University’s Asian and African Languages Department in North Carolina as well as the University of Washington in Seattle. She has since held positions at a number of prestigious colleges and universities including Cairo University, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Sorbonne, Georgetown, Florida State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1996, she returned to live in Egypt. She was awarded the 2004 North-South Prize by the Council of Europe.