Haytham el-Wardany is a writer and translator, living and working between Berlin and Cairo, whose practice combines fiction, essays, prose, theory, poetry, and experimental writings. Reflecting on the experiences and aftermath of protests and uprisings in Egypt and the surrounding region, el-Wardany’s work explores what it means to live together. His current research concerns examining the fugitive and fragile spaces where the process of inheriting a (traumatic) past can take place. His forthcoming book, Banat Awa and The Missing Letters, considers forgotten expressions of hope within Arabic fables—where animals speak and humans listen—as crucial to a moment of post “Arab Spring” speechlessness. In previous publications, including The Book of Sleep (Al-Karma 2017, Seagull Books 2020) and How to Disappear (Kayfa ta 2013-2017), el-Wardany has examined the agency and potential of passivity, through regimes of listening and the dialectics of sleep and vigilance amid social protests.
El-Wardany is the recipient of the Cairo International Book Fair award for best collection of short stories for his most recent book Irremediable (2021); art residencies with Thkio Ppalies (Cyprus, 2020) and Para Site (Hong Kong, 2018); and grants from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (Beirut, 2019) and the State of Berlin (2021). El-Wardany has organized and conducted workshops around creative writing and is a member of different collective learning and reading groups. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Cairo University.