Abderrahmane Bouguermouh (Foto: privat)
Abderrahmane Bouguermouh was born in Izger Amokrane/Algeria in 1936. From 1962 to 1963, he studied at the Paris Film Institute and worked as a film director with the R.T. Française production company. His stance on the Berbers created difficulties for him with government authorities in Algeria and led to his exclusion from the national film center, which he had co-founded. He also got into trouble for producing a film in the Berber language (1965); the showing of the film was prohibited. Subsequently, Bouguermouh was shadowed by state security and his phone was tapped. Between 1968 and 1980, he was not only barred from engaging in any intellectual or creative projects, but was also unable to publish his own work. Since he was denied authorization to leave the country, he documented this process which developed into an idea for a novel. In the following years, unrest in Algeria continued to escalate. With great difficulty, he managed to complete diverse film projects, but after shooting a Berber film in 1997, he was sentenced to death by fundamentalists and narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. In 1998, he received a grant from the Heinrich Böll Foundation for one-year stay in the Heinrich-Böll-House/Langenbroich. Soon thereafter, he was awarded a fellowship for the Graz City of Refuge Program until August 2002. During this time he wrote his novel Eclipse, which was published in Paris. For a year, from September 2002-2003, Abderrahmane Bouguermouh was a guest of the PEN Writers in Exile Program. In 2009, his novel Anza was published. In the end, Abderrahmane Bouguermouh returned to Algeria, where he died on 3 February 2013.