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Xenitia – understandings of home, identity and belonging

Join us for an evening of readings and conversation with the 2020 Creative New Zealand Randell Cottage writer in residence Michalia Arathimos.

Yearning for a lost home

What is the meaning of home? For Michalia Arathimos notions of home are inextricably bound up with the notion of xenitia — a feeling common in the Greek diaspora, a feeling of being in exile, or of longing for ‘home’. But the real meaning of xenitia is untranslatable. It is a longing for a home that no longer exists, or which perhaps never existed in the first place.

How does this longing, this loss play out in the life of a writer who is the child of migrants living in a colonised country? And how does she explore that in her work?

Randell Cottage

About the speaker

Michalia Arathatimos is a Wellington-born writer of Greek descent and writer in residence at the Randell Cottage and working on ‘Cartographia’, a novel exploring questions of home and identity.

Her first novel ‘Aukati’ was published in 2017 by Wellington’s Mākaro Press. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Victoria University’s IIML and is currently fiction reviewer for the Melbourne’s ‘Overland Magazine’.

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Woman wearing a black dress standing in front of a fence with diagonal palings.

Michalia Arathimos — the 2020 New Zealand Writer in Residence at Wellington’s historic Randell Cottage