Writer & poet

Derwan received a creative grant in partnership with the Atelier des Artistes en Exil.

What is your artistic background ?
I have always had a particular attraction to literature and writing. I wrote my first texts when I was at the university of Çukurova, in Turkey. At that time, I worked a lot on theatrical scripts, and I was involved in an amateur theatre company for which I wrote plays. I was involved in many different areas such as staging, set design, backstage, directing and script writing. I was expelled from my university because of my political views and was imprisoned for the same reason in 2005. My first novel, Jinek Berxwedêr, was published while I was incarcerated, in 2012. In 2014, my second novel Reşeba and my first poetry collection Serêkaniyê were published. My third novel Kenên Hinekirî was published in 2016. I got out of prison in 2017, at that time I decided to take a break from writing, the political pressure was too strong. I arrived in France on March 15, 2020 and obtained political asylum. In 2021, my second collection of poetry entitled Pirseke Serjêkirî was published.

How do you view your profession today ?
Today, I can detach myself little by little from the problems linked to the exile that I may have encountered: from the difficulties and impossibilities that I am confronted with both in my profession and in my personal life. I find again the pleasure and the motivation to write.

How do you see yourself in 5 years ? In 10 years ?
I don't think I'm able to predict what will happen in the next ten years, but I hope, first of all, to improve my French, to have my work translated into French and, of course, that all my literary projects will come true.


This interview was conducted in 2022
Photography credit : Julie Glassberg