Untold Literatures

In cooperation with Untold Narratives CIC and Weiter Schreiben from WIR MACHEN DAS e.V., KfW Stiftung offers workshops and programmes for writers in marginalised communities and makes their perspectives visible.

Literaturtandems: Untold - Weiter Schreiben Afghanistan


Villa 102


Many are currently unable to tell their stories beyond their immediate communities. In workshops, writers have the opportunity to develop their writing in their own language, grow their networks and reach international audiences through professional translation. Consisting of four components – writing, networking, publishing and translation – Untold Literatures contributes to the development of a local literary infrastructure.

Since 2023, KfW Stiftung has been developing the Paranda Network together with Untold Narratives CIC, which stems from the programme Write Afghanistan. Whether in Afghanistan or in the diaspora, the aim is to build a virtual community network for previously unheard writers. In addition, KfW Stiftung has supported Write Assamese in 2022, an initiative to promote Indian literature in regional languages and its translation.  

Untold Literatures
Untold Literatures

Paranda Network (since 2023)

In 2023, KfW Stiftung together with Untold Narratives CIC established the Paranda Network. The project was conceived out of the need to support the work of refugee, migrant and asylum-seeking writers, regardless of where they are currently located. It is a virtual network for emerging writers in their regions of origin and the diaspora who write in Dari and Pashto. The programme offers them the opportunity to support each other across national borders, to develop their writing and connects them to creative industries around the world. The Paranda Network thus creates a globally networked infrastructure that is unique to date: it offers access to the development of literary skills through writing workshops. At the same time, it creates a community in which knowledge is shared and skills are developed through joint exchange.

In 2023, the project will start with a group of 18 Afghan women writers and will be gradually built up and expanded regionally by 2025.

Write Afghanistan (2020-22)

Untold Literatures' methodology stems from the ongoing project Write Afghanistan, which created a replicable model in 2020.

Upheavals in a region cannot be understood without local and, in particular, the perspectives of women. Therefore, Untold Narratives CIC’s team of international editors and translators work with local women writers to develop their creative writing. Their perspectives formulated in the texts are intended to reach new audiences in the original language and as translations.

From 2020 to 2021, digital writing workshops took place with fifteen Afghan women writers to professionalise their literary skills. Selected texts were translated into English and German and published.

The anthology My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: New Fiction by Afghan Women (Hachette UK/MacLehose Press, 2022)was published as part of the project and shortlisted for the Jan Michalski Prize for World Literature 2022. In addition, short stories and literary letters were published in cooperation with Weiter Schreiben.

Untold - Weiter Schreiben Afghanistan

In cooperation with Untold Narratives CIC and Weiter Schreiben, KfW Stiftung offers the opportunity for selected women writers to continue the literary dialogue across national borders through tandem partnerships with well-known German-speaking authors. Over the duration of the project, the women in Afghanistan bear witness to the dramatic changes since the Taliban took power and reflect on them from their individual perspectives. Also, the programme opens doors to the German-language literary scene and facilitates literary exchange. Their literary correspondences are now being published by Weiter Schreiben next to selected stories by Afghan women writers.

Literature Tandems: Untold - Weiter Schreiben Afghanistan

Nargis (pseudonym) & Karosh Taha
Masoma Kawsary
 & Heike Geißler
Naeema Ghani 
Heike-Melba Fendel

The texts and literary dialogues are presented on the online portal weiterschreiben.jetzt and published in German as well as in the mother tongue of the Afghan writers.

Maliha Naji and Dilek Güngör
Raha Mozaffari
 and Elke Schmitter
Fatema Key
 and Svenja Leiber

For security reasons the Afghan authors publish under pseudonyms.

The texts and literary dialogues are presented on the online portal weiterschreiben.jetzt and published in German as well as in the mother tongue of the Afghan writers.

Freshta Ghani and Daniela Dröscher
Maryam Mahjube and Ilma Rakusa
Batool and Marica Bodrožić

For security reasons the Afghan authors publish under pseudonyms.

The texts and literary dialogues are presented on the online portal weiterschreiben.jetzt and published in German as well as in the mother tongue of the Afghan writers.


Write Assamese (2021)

In northeast India, nearly 15 million people speak the regional language Assamese, while the Indian literary establishment is almost exclusively English-speaking. The country's diverse linguistic wealth is barely reflected in literature, and the translation field suffers from a lack of training opportunities. Write Assamese was conceived in light of the enormous need.

KfW Stiftung supports the collaboration between Untold Narratives CIC in the United Kingdom and BEE Books in Kolkata to promote Indian literature in translation. The project focuses on new, unpublished Assamese writers and building the capacity of new, local literary translators. Through a public call for applications, promising literary talents writing in Assamese were invited to apply for a ten-day workshop in the Assam region to develop their literary techniques.

Following the programme, the stories were published in the anthology A Fistful of Moonlight, Stories from Assam (BEE Books/India and Hachette UK/MacLehose Press, 2023). In addition, the programme aims to build a literary network for and with the authors.


Untold Narratives CIC is a London based writer development programme for writers in areas of conflict and post-conflict. Local writers, who are currently unable to tell their stories beyond their immediate communities, have the opportunity to develop their writing; share their stories with wider communities in their own language; and reach new global audiences in translation.

Untold Narratives CIC is further supported by the Bagri Foundation and the British Arts Council.


Weiter Schreiben is a Berlin based platform for literature from areas of conflict and war zones. Weiterschreiben.jetzt is an online platform for authors in exile and those who cannot publish or continue to write in their home countries due to political conflicts. The project enables refugee writers, or those who live in these regions and who can no longer publish, to continue writing. Weiter Schreiben connects these writers with established authors in Germany. Together, they work in tandems on a long-term basis. Participating writers gain attention by publishing their texts on the platform weiterschreiben.jetzt, as well as through public readings and highly committed press work. In this way, they enrich the German literary and cultural discourse with their perspectives.

Weiter Schreiben is a project of WIR MACHEN DAS (wearedoingit e.V.), funded by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds.



Programme Management

Daniela Leykam

Photo credits

01. Image: Untold Narratives CIC
02. Image: Untold Narratives CIC
03. Image: KfW Stiftung / Photographer: Salar Baygan
04. Image: Jeanno Gaussi, Erased Memories, © Jeanno Gaussi
05. Image: Weiter Schreiben / Photographer: Piero Chiussi
06. Image: KfW Stiftung /  Photographer: Salar Baygan
07. Image: Photographer: Juliette Moarbes
08. Image: Untold Narratives CIC
09. Image: Untold  Narratives CIC / Photographer: Jamiul Haq
10. Image: Untold Narratives CIC / Photographer: Jamiul Haq