This is a question.
​Nhã Thuyên
Angélica Freitas

PLUS Performative Reading of „Enigma“ by Ingeborg Bachmann feat. Tanasgol Sabbagh and Fabian Saul

Nhã Thuyên, Angélica Freitas. Photos: Jasper Kettner

CCA Berlin is pleased to announce “This is a question.“—an evening of reading with Nhã Thuyên and Angélica Freitas, as part of the literature project Displayed Words. The reading will take place on 14 March 2024 at 7 pm at the daadgalerie, Oranienstraße 161.

“This is a question” brings together old and new works by Nhã Thuyên and Angélica Freitas, both participants of Displayed Words, an experiment in thinking with language, text and poetry through digital and public formats. For its second edition, Displayed Words takes place at Bezirksamt Mitte, Rathaus Tiergarten from December 2023 to April 2024, where texts by different writers and artists are presented on a digital display panel on the balcony above the main entrance. Placing poetry at such a public site where everyone can access regardless of race, gender, class, religion, status, or background, the project wants to ask: Who and what defines the space in which words are made legible and meanings are produced? How does the perception of text change from one medium to another? How is poetry mediated, and in which language are dominant discourse and literature communicated in a metropolitan like Berlin? 

From December to January, Nhã Thuyên’s poem “This is a question: I write in Vietnamese” was on view in both English and Vietnamese. Since 1 March, the display is currently showing “Nachhinein / Pós” by Angélica Freitas in German and Portuguese. The readings of Nhã Thuyên and Angélica Freitas will be held in Vietnamese, English and Portuguese, with a contribution in German from translator Hieu Hoang, and a music element from special guests. The evening will be hosted by Mathias Zeiske at the daadgalerie. Free entry, no registration required.

Displayed Words is a collaboration between CCA Berlin and Bezirksamt Mitte, in cooperation with the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, featuring works by Ingeborg Bachmann, Angélica Freitas, Hassan Khan, Otis Mensah, Rafael Moreno, Nazanin Noori, Nhã Thuyên, Kinga Tóth. All works on display can be seen also on The project will be accompanied by a series of reading events and a concert. 

Supported by Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa, project funds from Draussenstadt and the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program.

Nhã Thuyên, poet, essayist, editor, micro-press publisher and intrepid explorer of the Vietnamese language, conjures her alter-ego as a shapeshifter who visits graves, digs nonstop through barren land to locate a subterranean spring, knocks on silent doors, converses with the dead, and tells stories that can “prolong the longevity of older villagers, help the lonely reconnect with their beloved dead, reunite lovers, generate children’s laughter as lovely as the morning sun, and deepen the greenness of grass …” (Đinh Từ Bích Thúy). 

Angélica Freitas is a Brazilian poet whose work often merges humor and satire with a lyrical lightness to create imageries of the quotidian as well as reflect on themes such as poverty, depression, loneliness, and gender identity. Freitas’s poems have been translated and published in German, Spanish, and English. She coedits the poetry journal Modo de Usar & Co. and is based between Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, and Berlin. Freitas was a literature fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2020.