Vamba Sherif: als Hemingway nu naar Europa kwam, zou hij de Damstraat bezoeken

In de New York Times vindt op het moment een grappige discussie plaats over de vraag: waar zou de 50 jaar overleden Ernest Hemingway heen gaan als hij nu Europa bezocht. Als Nederlands auteur werd Babel & Voss auteur Vamba Sherif gevraagd hieraan een bijdrage te leveren. Wij drukken – met zijn instemming – zijn bijdrage aan de discussie hieronder af.
Door Vamba Sherif

There’s a street I frequent in Amsterdam called Dam Street, just off the famous Dam Square. It is dotted with antiquarian bookshops, snack bars and cafés where Hemingway would have come across beauties before whom the beauty in his “A Moveable Feast” might have paled. He would then have traded Paris for Amsterdam.
Beyond Dam Street are the canals, shops and residences, some with courtyards that offer unalloyed intimacy. Anything goes in this city, which bustles with cultural life and offers the hungry artist the right atmosphere to blossom.
A home for blossoming artists, and a city where the population is increasingly of non-Dutch and non-European origin.
The city contains a large number of nationalities, a Chinatown, and neighborhoods where one may feel as if he’s in Africa. In 10 years’ time, Amsterdam should have the largest concentration of people of non-Dutch and non-European origins in the Netherlands.
Long known for its tolerance, Amsterdam is hosting

debates on the waves of changes affecting Europe. The problems with immigration, budget cuts, and the emergence of right-wing populist parties are reflected in the city. Along with it are the chorus of voices rising for and against populist ideas. Amsterdam is a pulse for a changing Europe.

Van Vamba Sherif verschijnt in oktober bij Babel & Voss de roman De Getuige.

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