Ahmed Naji (Photograph); Yassin Mohamed, The Swing, 2018, ink and color pencil on paper.

In conjunction with Occupational Hazards

Rotten Evidence: Reading and Writing in Prison

Thursday, July 25, 2019, 7:00 pm
291 Church Street, NYC

How do prisoners kill time in prison? Why do kids become fanatic terrorists in Egyptian jails? What books can and can't you read in prison? How do you hide your written novel inside one’s body? Don't you agree that Dostoevsky is a funny writer? What is the difference between books that British embassy give to its people and books the American embassy give... all of this and more questions about reading and writing in the prison. You may or may not find answers in this event.

Ahmed Naji, Egyptian novelist, journalist and winner of the 2016 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, will share excerpts from his forthcoming book, which includes illustrations by Yassin Mohamed.

This event is a public program presented in collaboration with the Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) for the apexart exhibition, Occupational Hazards.

Transcript available here.

Ahmed Naji, writer and official criminal, worked for years as a journalist. He published his first novel, Rogers, in 2007 and his second, Using Life, in 2014. In 2016, Naji was sentenced for two years for obscenity and disturbing public morality in Egypt after a chapter from his novel was published in a weekly literature magazine. Currently, he is a fellow in BMI at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, where he lives with his family.

Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) serves as a hub for freedom of expression and artistic freedom organizations worldwide, networking together to support artists at risk. ARC is a collaborative project led by PEN America, which has been committed to protecting open expression in the United States and worldwide since 1922. PEN America, a champion of the freedom to write, stands at the intersection of literature and human rights.