March / April 2015



Kenyan writer and editor based in Nairobi.


Billy Kahora is the Managing Editor of Kwani? He also writes fiction and completed an MS.c in Creative Writing with distinction at the University of Edinburgh as a Chevening Scholar in 2007. Before that Billy studied and worked in South Africa for 8 years and in between worked as an Editorial Assistant for All in Washington D.C. He has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and post-graduate diploma in Media Studies from Rhodes University. His short story, ‘Treadmill Love’, was highly commended by the 2007 Caine Prize judges. He has recently edited Kenya Burning, a visual narrative of the Kenya post-elections crisis published by the GoDown Arts Centre and Kwani Trust in March 2009. His extended feature, The True Story of David Munyakei on Kenya’s biggest whistleblower has been developed into a non-fiction novella and released by Kwani Trust in July 2009. Billy was a Regional judge for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.




British Pakistani playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist.


Kureishi started his careerHanif Kureishi in the 1970s as a pornography writer, under the pseudonyms Antonia French and Karim. He went on to write plays for the Hampstead Theatre, Soho Poly and by the age of 18 was with the Royal Court. He wrote My Beautiful Laundrette in 1985, a screenplay about a gay Pakistani-British boy growing up in 1980s London for a film directed by Stephen Frears. The screenplay, especially the racial discrimination experienced, contained elements from Hanif’s own experiences as the only Pakistani student in his class. It won the New York Film Critics Best Screenplay Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay. He also wrote the screenplay for Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987). His book The Buddha of Suburbia (1990) won theWhitbread Award for the best first novel and was made into a BBC television series with a soundtrack by David Bowie. 1991 saw the release of the feature film entitled London Kills Me, written and directed by Kureishi.

In 2000/2001 his novel was adapted to a movie Intimacy by Patrice Chéreau, which won two Bears at the Berlin Film Festival: a Golden Bear for Best Film and a Silver Bear for Best Actress (Kerry Fox). It was controversial for its explicit sex scenes. The book was translated into Persian by Niki Karimi in 2005.

Kureishi’s drama The Mother was adapted to a movie by Roger Michell, which won a joint First Prize in the Director’s Fortnight section at Cannes Film Festival. His 2006 screenplay Venus saw Oscar, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Golden Globe nominations for Peter O’Toole in the best actor category.

Kureishi has also written non-fiction, including autobiography. As noted by Cathy Galvin in The Telegraph: “But at the core of his life, as described in his memoir, My Ear at His Heart, is Kureishi’s relationship with his father, Rafiushan, who died in 1991.”

During the residence in Venice Hanif Kureishi collaborated with Serena Nono.



Born in Venice, Italy in 1964. and in 2006 she starts to make some films. She lives and works in Venice.

Serena Nono

In 1982 to she moved to London where she attended Kingston University, receiving a degree in Fine Arts (Sculpture) in 1987. In 1989 she returned to live in Venice. She has shown in many Italian and European cities. In 2006 she starts to make some films. She lives and works in Venice.

Some of her solo exhibitions are: RITRATTI, Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Bologna; VENEZIA SALVA, Galleria Traghetto,Venezia; Padiglione ITALIA, 54°Biennale di Venezia; LE FIGURE SEMPLICI, Spazio TRART, Trieste; MEMORIA E ATTESA, Museo della Porziuncola, Assisi; PERCHE’ I POETI, Oratorio di San Ludovico,Venezia; OLTRE IL MURO, Galleria Melory & Rosenberg, Venezia; Galerie St Remy, Liegi; VOLTI, Biblioteca Comunale, Gragnano; SENSE OF WONDER, Galleria Traghetto, Roma; COETANEI, Isola di San Servolo, Venezia; ORANTI, San Leolino, Panzano in Chianti

Filmography: OSPITI (Guests) (50 min.); VIA DELLA CROCE (The way of the cross) (60 min.) (Orizzonti, 66° Mostra del cinema di Venezia); VENEZIA SALVA (Venice saved) (79 min.) (10°Giornate degli autori, Venezia); 2015 THE LAST TIME (8 min.); L’AMICO (The friend) (62 min.).

Some of her published work: “Cundu Luna Vini” Canzoni d’autore, Francesca Breschi – La Musica del Poeta; Cover: “Rombi e milonghe” di David Riondino, Feltrinell; Cover: “Dove va il cristianesimo” di Bruno Forte, ed. Queriniana; “Gesù bambino“, Cappella reale del Belvedere di S.Leucio, Ed. Saletta dell’uva; “L’invisibile“, Cappella reale del Belvedere di S.Leucio, Ed.Saletta dell’uva; Cover: “Preghiere” di Bruno Forte, M.D’Auria Ed.; “Quando comincia la notte” Catalogo del film realizzato da Elisabetta Sgarbi su testo di Hanif Kureishi; Cover: “Schoenberg & Nono” Leo Olschki Editor; Cover: “Nel segno della parola“, Centro studi la permanenza del classico; “Canti Molesti“, Francesca Breschi – Materiali Sonori Associated; Cover: “Nomos basileus“, Centro studi “La permanenza del classico”; Cover: “L’universo è un canto“, P.F.Ghetti, A.Scola, Edizioni Studio LT2; Cover: “Dire Dio“, Vincenzo Vitiello, Edizioni Città Nuova; Cover: “Il logos sensibile di Maria Zambrano“, Pina De Luca, Rubbettino Editore


Authors have met the public and students:

  • Thursday 26 March, 16,00 h at ’Auditorium di Santa Margherita, druing the event Incroci di Civiltà, Billy Kahora and Wu Ming1 talking with Ricciarda Ricorda and Shaul Bassi
  • Saturday 28 March, 18,00 h at l’Auditorium Santa Margherita, Hanif Kureishi closed Incroci di Civiltà in dialogue with Gioia Guerzoni and Pia Masiero.
  • Monday 30 March, 18,00 h at l’Auditorium di San Servolo, Billy Kahora was moderating the conference – discussion on Global Religion and Local Security in East Africa and Challenges to The Nation-State: New Roles For Contemporary Writer Within National Bordes.
  • Thursday 2 April, 18,00 h at l’Auditorium di San Servolo, Hanif Kureishi moderated the conference – discussion on ‘Sogni e Letteratura’.