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The Middle Ground series is dedicated to literary festivals from around the world to explore the global diversity of written and oral literary practices and networks. Each year, a different festival is invited to the HKW.

The title is inspired by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe's reflections on "Middle Ground" - the common ground, the in-between - as a position that is aware of "a future we are heading towards and a past that offers us support." It is "home to doubt and indecision, to unreserved immersion in fiction, to reveries, to playfulness, to the unexpected, to irony."

Middle Ground takes established festival concepts and yet leaves them behind. It celebrates the poetics of multiplicity as the foundation of diverse epistemologies of literary production by expanding the geographies of knowledge creation and dissemination.

In Poétique de la Relation (1990), Édouard Glissant writes: "The cultures of the world have always maintained more or less close or active relations; but it was only in modernity that a series of crucial conditions worked together to create an enormous dynamic in the nature of these connections."

Glissant's and Achebe's words provide an important framework for the ethical considerations around North-South cooperation. Based on a deeper understanding of the historical and sociocultural contexts of such collaborations, Middle Ground develops paradigms for exchange that benefit all parties.

As part of a larger endeavor that grows beyond the physical site of HKW and imagines itself into the possibilities of a borderless world, the hybrid forms of the festivals invited to Middle Ground explore the dynamics of such gatherings: Interaction, transaction, reciprocity-a dynamic that brings into focus the kaleidoscopic nature of literary practices across geographies, cultures, and languages.

The festivals invited to Berlin will have the opportunity to engage with writers in Germany - including those from transnational and diasporic communities here - through lectures, seminars, readings, and performances.

The first guest festival at Middle Ground is PREE: Caribbean. Writing. from Jamaica. Founded in 2018 by writer and editor Annie Paul as a literary festival and online platform, PREE explores Caribbean writing and maps the literary landscapes and practices of different countries. "The Caribbean has always been at something of a crossroads," Paul writes in the inaugural issue of the eponymous literary journal.

PREE aims to (re)strengthen Caribbean writing and help shape discourse. The festival is interested in contemporary texts This makes PREE an ideal partner to explore and expand geographies of knowledge. PREE published authors and theorists address art and politics, racialization and gender, technology and power, among other topics.

As part of Middle Ground, PREE-selected writers participate in performances, readings, lectures, and panels, and give seminars for writers.
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