Marina Warner

Work in progress

Sanctuary: Living in the Country of Words

Marina Warner is currently working on a historical study of Sanctuary in relation to the current displacement of so many. The work on this book is interwoven with the project Stories in Transit, started in collaboration with Valentina Castagna in 2016 and funded with the money awarded with the Holberg Prize which Marina received in 2015. In The Holberg Conversation with Kari Jegersted, Marina presents the project’s foundational ideas about the function of storytelling in society – also as a refuge.
Turning theory into practice, Stories in Transit organises storytelling workshops in the UK and in Palermo, bringing young migrant students together with artists, writers and musicians.
The project aspires to work with displaced individuals, whatever their status. Its work does not extend approval, tacitly or otherwise, to conditions that curtail the right to freedom of movement and work for refugees; no man or woman should be made to pay for their survival with their dignity. The project’s hope of improving those circumstances should not be taken as an acceptance (“normalisation”) of the restrictions imposed on arrivants from any country.

Videos and photos of previous workshops can be found on the official website:

Additionally, Marina has organized additional workshops in the UK and published a number of articles about the project:

Loss Sings Arabic Poetry and Stories in Translation: a series of workshops at Birkbeck and SOAS. Presented by Marina Warner and Wen-chin Ouyang at Birkbeck College, University of London

Marina Warner and Valentina Castagna – ‘Refugees in Sicily’ published in Letters To The Editor, The TLS 09 November 2018, p6

‘Stories in Transit/Storie in transito: Storytelling and arrivants’ voices in Sicily, with Valentina Castagna’, Migration and the Contemporary Mediterranean (2018), pp. 223-243