Written by: Joshua Al-Najar. On a preliminary reading, Dante Alighieri’s Inferno seems entirely unconcerned with political realities. Its setting is a fantastical reimagining of hell, imbued with mythological creatures and terrifying landscapes: an illusory space for Dante to contend with sin’s dramatic consequences. However, behind this veneer is a deeply incisive reflection on reality, as Dante seamlessly blends his own political convictions with the Inferno’s plot.
Written by: Justin Biggi. Euripides’ Bacchae features some of the stranger imagery the playwright employed throughout his works. Focusing on Dionysos’ return to his homeland of Thebes, the play sees Dionysos’ cousin, Pentheus, meet a grisly end at the hands of, amongst others, his own mother, driven mad with other women by Dionysos himself. Pentheus’ grisly death becomes a reminder for the audience of what happens when one attempts to go against a god’s will – especially given the fact that this is blatant punishment for Pentheus’ actions of outlawing the cult of Dionysos.
Written by: Kvitka Perehinets. Written by a second-generation Palestinian refugee, The Pianist from Syria offers a detailed account of the life of a musician growing up in an unofficial refugee camp in Yarmouk before and after the outbreak of the Syrian war.
Written by: Lewis Twiby. The Uganda Railway appeared to be one of the best examples of imperial negligence by the British Empire. One of the big disasters to strike the railway was at the Tsavo River where two lions killed around thirty workers. The story of the man-eaters offers an insight into labour and colonialism in East Africa.