Poems and Texts

“Empty Shells” by Omar Berrada

Omar Berrada & Tinashe Mushakavanhu
Friday, December 7, 2018

The museums there are empty
shells so said the scholar
from Syracuse lovely
outside ruins inside
Preserve and educate
is what we ask of you
engage and transform
Instead you lie quietly
out of date in
dejection unworthy
of thy name break
our hearts we
who believe
and remember
even the past
needs to breathe

Home is an intimate stranger

(from “All the Birds”, published in Seedings #3, ed. Jerrold Shiroma).

Photo: Argenis Apolinario

Omar Berrada

Omar Berrada is a writer and curator. He is editor, with Erik Bullot, of Expanded Translation – A Treason Treatise, a book of verbal and visual betrayals; and, with Yto Barrada, of Album – Cinémathèque de Tanger (Tenov Books). He recently edited The Africans (Kulte Editions), a book on migration and racial politics in Morocco. He has translated books by Jalal Toufic, Stanley Cavell, and Joan Retallack. His poetry was published in Wave Composition, Asymptote, Seedings, and the University of California Book of North African Literature, among others. In 2017 Omar was the guest curator of the Abraaj Group Art Prize and a co-editor of Sharjah Biennial’s web journal tamawuj.org. He is the Director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists residency in Marrakech, and lives in New York, where he teaches at The Cooper Union and co-organizes the IDS Lecture Series.

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