Travelling and Translation: Abdelkader Benali (31 January 2014)

15 January 2014

Students, alumni and friends of the UCL Dutch department are warmly invited to a talk and wine reception organised by the UCL Centre for Low Countries Studies.

Abdelkader BenaliIn the first part of the programme, Dutch writer Abdelkader Benali will be reading from his 2009 novel My Mother’s Voice (‘De stem van mijn moeder’) in which a boy from Morocco becomes a photographer and infiltrates the cultural elite of the Netherlands, leaving behind his parents’ world. Reconciliation becomes possible when the family confronts one tragic event and one life-affirming event.

The programme continues with Abdelkader Benali in a wide-ranging conversation on travelling, border crossings, east meets west, translating between languages and cultures, and how this affects lives.


Abdelkader Benali was born in Morocco. When he was four years old, he and his family, of Berber background, migrated to the Netherlands and settled in Rotterdam. When he was twenty-one his debut novel Bruiloft aan zee (‘Wedding by the Sea’) appeared and was a huge critical and commercial success (1997). It was translated into many languages and nominated for the renowned Libris Prize for Literature that he received for his second novel, De langverwachte (‘The Long-Awaited’, 2002) in 2003.

Where and when?

This event is organised by the UCL Centre for Low Countries Studies and will be held at: Arts and Humanities Common Room G24, Ground floor, Foster Court University College London

Friday 31 January, 6.00–7.30pm.

Attendance is free but subject to registration: click here to register.