OCA PEOPLE: HAMID LARBI

Hamid Larbi is a journalist and poet, born in Algiers, currently lives at Montpellier. He is the author of various essays and poetry collections translated into Spanish, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Arabic and Serbian languages. He received the journalism award from the Press Circle of Milan for Giornalistàesterain Milan, Italy.He won the Silver Medal at the International Festival of Literature (LIFFT) in Baku (Azerbaijan). He was awarded the International Poetry Contest, Concours International de Poésie, « L’amour de la liberté » from the European Academy of Science, Arts and Letters in France. He also received the commemorative medal of TarasChevchenko and was elected as a member of the academy as well. Member of the Movimieto Poetas del Mundo. He has also participated in various poetry festivals worldwide.

OCA: Tell us about yourself and your activity / work?
HL: I am a journalist and a poet. I was born in Algiers. I lived in Milan for five years. After a long period of uncertainty and worries. Thanks to my meeting many Italian friends in the fields of music, theater, literature, and cinema have allowed me to gain a certain maturity and a real self development.

In 1998, another trip took me towards a new country and a new town Montpellier (France) where I have been working and living ever since. First of all, I have published two political essays and then four poetry essays : “this meadow of words” 2007, « fleeting moments » 2017, « A being without shadow » 2018, « reflexion of the verb » 2019. My poetry work has been published and translated in nine languages. 1995, I was awarded a journalism prize by « Giornalistà estera » at the Milan Press Club. In october 2019, I received a silver medal at the international literature forum (LIFFT) in Baku (Azerbaijan). Finally, I was awarded in January 2018 a price at the International Poetry contest in Paris under patronage of the European Academy sciences arts letters.

OCA: What does poetry mean to you?
HL: When I started writing poetry. My ignorance was high . Ignorance of who I was. Ignorance of the realities of life. Ignorance of what I was going to ask from life… over the years and after many travels and questionings . It appeared to me that I wrote to pull myself out of the confusion, to free myself from certain hindrances, trying to be myself. So, without knowing it, I was getting myself in a long and disturbing adventure of self acknowledgement. I was convinced that poetry is the substance that generates in myself this peacefulness that feeds my dreams. Artistic creativity contributes enormously to my self development but mostly to hope to reach this harmony between my body and mind. Poetry must provoke a kind of escape and dreams. Poems of poetics when they mention the lost civilisations, the unknown worlds, creates this kind of escape outside of reality. The magic of poetry comes from the dialogue between the poet and the pain. Poetry has other functions; it stimulates reflexions of great seriousness, it can also generate awareness, to give notice to tragic human existence. It leads man towards the truth which lights their way by affirming their faith in humanity and their optimistic confidence in the future of man.

OCA: What role should culture have?
HL: I would answer your question with a quote « culture allows a man or a woman to rise above himself or herself. Culture is an aspiration to freedom ». Culture is an open window to the wild world and to be curious. It opens someone’s mind to the new universe either technical, artistic, scientific or historical. The diversity of languages in the world is a great richness. Sharing culture is an extraordinary impulse to break imaginary walls, borders and ideologies of exclusion. Knowledge is the only barrier to obscurity and racism. A woman or a man without culture is a tree without fruits.

OCA: What is “Eurasianism” for you?
HL: Eurasianism is a space where exchange and above all a place of emancipation between different cultures. Culture in its all forms is a vision of a world without borders which reminds us that we belong to the human genre.

OCA: Who are your favorite artists?
HL: I read to surpass myself, to rise up and mostly to love. I discovered these sensations in many writers such as Nicolas Gogol. I was fortunate enough to visit his museum in Poltava (Ukraine), the French writer Margue Marguerite Duras, Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett. I had opportunity to meet also Marsel Salimov a member of Eurasian guild and russian poet Konstantin Kedrov the great specialist of the russian poet Alexandre Pouchkine at the fourth LiFFt Eurasian Literary Festival in Baku (Azerbaijan).

OCA: Have you taken part in the events of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London)?
HL: I took part in the 4th LiFFt Eurasian Literary Festival which was held in Baku from September 30th to October 3rd 2019. I am hoping to be part of 4th Eurasian culture week from October 6th to October 16th 2020 in London and in the 9th literary festival and book forum of November 2020.

OCA: What does the Eurasian Creative Guild mean to you, and how did it affect your creativity / activity?
HL: It is the venue of artistic and literary creation with the writers, poets and artists. It is a showcase for the works of all these artists. The most important thing is to discover the artistic creations of the anglosaxon world. As matter of fact I took part in the « Friends Voices’’ Poetry Almanah » with two poems which were published in English and Russian. I am convinced that the Eurasian Creative Guild can convey these intrinsic values and to be a bridge between two continents.

OCA: Do you have any personal projects that you would like to talk about?
HL: I have already several projects underway this year, a collection of poems « the odyssey of the imaginary ‘’ which will come out in September 2020, this collection will be published in France with calligraphic illustrations in latin. I have an audio CD of 22 poems bound to come out at the end of the year. The copyright will be donated to an association that helps children in Africa. ‘I am’ a mediteranean poet anthology which will be published by Harmattan Edition in 2021.

OCA: What projects have you participated in and in which do you plan to participate?
HL: I participated in several international festivals of poetry and literature in Roumania, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Italy, Mexico and France. I will be present from August 29th to September 5th 2020 at the international poetry festival of Medellin (Colombia). I would certainly be pleased to take part next year at « Open Eurasian Literature Festival ‘’ organized by the Eurasian Creative Guild and hopefully my first novel will be published next year.

OCA: What would you wish the members of the Guild, just starting their career?
HL: This Guild is a big place where people of different artistic, literary synergies meet. It is an international association which promotes values on which it was funded. A great job had been done by the organizers and I think particularly of my friend Marat Akhmedzhanov, who devoted himself to giving birth to many literary forums and artistic events organised every year.