We were honoured to be invited to take part in the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year as part of the Jura Unbound events.
Reel Iraq presented The Golden Hour, a cabaret of poetry and music from and for Iraq on 19th of August. The evening began with an introduction from Reel Festivals literary coodinator, and Golden Hour founder Ryan Van Winkle. Following this we were joined by Iraqi poet Ghareeb Iskander and Scottish poet John Glenday, who read his translations of Ghareeb’s poetry, including the incredible ‘Gilgamesh’s Snake’. Following this the hugely talented actress Dina Mousawi presented a deeply moving excerpt from her play ‘Return’.
A key element of the night was the participation of Baghdad based poet Sabreen Kadhim. Sabreen read a number of her works with translations provided by Krystelle Bamford and Jen Hadfield. This was then followed by William Letford presenting his translations of Iraqi poets Awezan Nouri and Zaher Mousa.
The night wound up with a packed Speigeltent full of people dancing to the hypnotic sounds of Iraqi choobi, courtesy of Matti Tuza and Walid Kamal.