The Language Of Grief vis-a-vis The Dialectics Of Freedom And Autonomy

The Language Of Grief vis-a-vis The Dialectics Of Freedom And Autonomy
There is a universality of the language of grief and melancholy. Grief is a common denominator in all human experience. It is as universal as it is isolating, as collective as it is individualistic. Sweet sorrow is an age-old, wise companion to humanity. Unbeknownst to many, grief imbues the spirit of unity albeit in the garb of verbal discomfort.

On April 12th, 2023 at 8.20 PM UAE time, AnankeWLF’s panel will, in a panel discussion, explore The Language of Grief vis-à-vis the Dialectics of Freedom & Autonomy. This session centers on acknowledging grief as a universal phenomena and how different expressions of grief, especially on a linguistic level, can help us examine and process lived experiences.

The event will be live-streamed on Ananke’s Facebook page – @anankemag with the option to participate in all live sessions via Zoom. To attend the session, email: (please write: Zoom registration in the subject line).

“It seems like such an obvious thing to say that language is cathartic. I knew it at the level of a distant cliché but I discovered its true meaning with two of my own projects recently. I felt that writing those books was integral to making peace with some parts of my life and fully healing around those areas,” remarked Naima Rashid, one of the guest speakers of the panel.

Adding, she said: “To some extent, we need pain to create art, but we also need to heal from past trauma, forgive someone or cope with an ongoing sense of loss. It was a pleasant discovery that apart from the healing aspect of writing about grief, there is also an empowering and liberating aspect, something whose extent I only realized recently. When you write about your grief, you normalize it for others. I used to think everyone could say or write what they wanted to. It was easy for me so I thought it was easy for everyone. I didn’t know that most people are locked in a Permission Syndrome, waiting for someone else to say it first so they can say it next, even if it’s a lifetime of waiting.”

Guest speakers on the panel include: Naima Rashid, Sascha A. Akhtar and Safinah Danish Elahi.

Naima Rashid is an author, poet and translator. Her published and forthcoming books include Sum of Worlds (Yoda Press, 2023-2024), Naulakhi Kothi (Penguin Random House India 2023-2024), Chicanes (Les Fugitives, 2023) and Defiance of the Rose(Oxford University Press, 2019). Her writings have been widely published in journals of repute, including Asymptote, The Scores, Wild Court, among others. Her work was longlisted for National Poetry Competition 2019 and Best Small Fictions 2022. She is a collaborator with the UK-based translation collective, Shadow Heroes, which teaches young people to embrace all aspects of their linguistic and cultural heritage.

Sascha A. Akhtar is an ACE supported writer, translator and educator. Over a span of 20 years she has published six poetry collections and a collection of short fictions set in Pakistan entitled Of Necessity & Wanting (2020, The 87 Press). Akhtar has the distinction of being one of a handful of Pakistani women writing in English to be published in the experimental stream of U.K. poetries. A Poetry School London tutor, her work is widely anthologised and has been translated into Armenian, Portuguese, Galician, Russian, Dutch and Polish. Her translations of the work of writer Hijab Imtiaz (1908-1999), the first female pilot in the Subcontinent, published by Oxford University Press, India is coming out soon.

Safinah Danish Elahi is a lawyer, writer and poet. She has authored two books, a collection of poetry by the title ‘The Unbridled Romance of Love and Pain’ and the novel ‘Eye on the Prize’ that is being commissioned for screen. She is also the founder of Reverie Publishers and has recently been signed on by Neem Tree Press.

Partners of the event include Zubaan Books, Seagull Books, Zuka Books, Neem Tree Press, Yoda Press and Readomania. More partners and collaborators will be announced soon.