Translating Ulysses | AKFF

Kawa Nemir's relentless pursuit to preserve the Kurdish language leads him on a journey of exile and obsession, culminating in his quest to translate James Joyce's Ulysses, all while facing political persecution and language bans in this inspiring tale of cultural resilience and defiance.

Kawa Nemir is like a walking dictionary of the Kurdish language. Whenever he hears a new word or an idiom, he records it and he never forgets. Considering the Kurdish language his home, he wanders from one exile to another. But how to transfer this collective memory into paper? With its vast, infinite range of words, symbols and anti-colonial resonance, James Joyce’s Ulysses becomes an obsession for him. A translation that would encapsulate all the Kurdish words and idioms he collected throughout the years. Exhausted from political prosecutions and language ban, he flees Turkey and takes refuge at Anne Frank’s former house in Amsterdam, now serving as a residence for exiled writers. Will he be able to finish the translation of Ulysses and publish it?