Cemile Sahin

  • All dogs die
  • Literature

In nine episodes Cemile Sahin tells of people who find their exile in a high-rise building in western Turkey. They have all experienced torture, violence and abduction. It is the author’s concern to make these experiences presentable.

She leaves open which war it is about – she interweaves aspects of different conflicts. The scenes described are not invented, says Sahin, and anyone who deals with the Middle East inevitably comes into contact with such stories.

Above all, however, she brings the individual people into the foreground, who are always only a pawn in any war: “What I wanted to write about was that civilians never get a chance to speak. I wanted to tell the other side of the war, about the people who are trapped in it and can hardly be heard.”

This is how Sahin describes a mother who loads her dead son onto a pickup truck. A man who puts his sleeping daughter in the bushes outside before setting fire to his house. She wants to write about people who live in countries with a strong military tradition. She does this in a mixture of script, protocol and reportage.

Cemile Sahin, born in 1990, is a German artist, writer and columnist. She studied fine arts in London and at the Berlin University of the Arts. Her debut novel Taxi was published in 2019. She was awarded the ars viva prize for young talent for her multimedia art; in 2020 she received the Alfred Döblin Medal for her debut novel and her visual works.