"My mind is now much more open"

"My mind is now much more open"

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Interview mit Amir Valle

 

When did you start writing and what do you write about?

I wrote my first literary writings when I was 8 years old in Spanish language in Holguin, Cuba. I write about the reality of my country, Cuba, and the protagonists of my literature live in that reality. I consider myself a realist writer.

Did your experience as a migrant influence your work in some ways? What is the role of your cultural origins or background in your work?

Migration allows the writer to expand the scene of his/her culture. In my case, I am writing as a Cuban, but now I write also based on my experience of emigration, for example about the ability to know other worlds, other cultures. My mind is now much more open than in the time when I lived in Cuba and knew only my country.

Is there a so called „The Space between” two cultures? How would you describe this space?

I think it is the natural state of any writer. A writer must live in the open space of convergence between the cultures. The world that we inhabit today is moving each day closer to that world where all cultures come together, enriching each other.

What impact has this on your figurative speech? Is there anything that could be illustrated differently because of bilingualism? What is the role of hybridity in your writings?

Knowing other languages and other cultures allows writers to expand their references and this appears in their work, inevitably. In my case, the English language has allowed me to enter the territory of the precision of the language and German language has helped me greatly in finding the precise word to express each thing.

What does 'Integration' mean to you?

Integration is a difficult but a necessary process. In my personal case, I have been enriched as a writer and as a human being. But I suffered a lot. Integration in this country, I believe, is a consequence of exile to which I was launched by the Cuban government. It was very traumatic.

In your opinion, does art open a new perspective for culture or cultural identity?

Of course, you can always see this new perspective, even in those cultures that are more closed to these changes and confluences that are happening today, culturally, at the universal level.
 
What does the word 'Home' mean to you? Is Germany a homeland for you?

Cuba is my reason to live, is my home and my homeland, and is always with me. Spain is my second home, because my cultural roots and my family roots are there. And Germany is my third home. I feel here as if I had always lived in this country.

Can artists in Germany have an impact on reshaping the existing image of migrants? Or, can art begin a “Dialogue among civilizations and cultures”, which has not been carried out by political discussions? Do artists have political responsibility?

Germany today has one of the richest cultural confluences of the world due to emigration. That is clear. It is the proof that this “dialogue of civilizations” exists, where the dialogue occurs under the tolerance and desire for cultural enrichment. I think also that an artist is a political animal (animal thinking, of course), although many artists say they are not. And all my work is a reflection of that belief.

What does your last work deal about?

My latest work is a history book on the great figures in world history who have lived or visited Havana since Havana was founded. It will be published this year in Spain.

How would you continue this sentence?: “My Germany is ...

My Germany is the land of writers that I read in Cuba and still admire. It is a land of philosophers who formed me as a writer, as a thinker. Is the scene of my last three books. It is my third home. And, especially, it is the land where my youngest child Lior (born in Cuba) feels as if he was born here.

 

The interview was conducted by Sibel Kara.
 


Amir Valle

 

Über den Autor
(weiter)

„Die Eselsohren”
Leseprobe von Amir Valle (weiter)