24th March 2023: 8.00pm

Homing in on Human Rights
With Sally Hayden, Stella Nyanzi, Ammar Al Naggar & Liz McManus

Part of:

Democracy Day 2023

This event presents Irish journalist Sally Hayden, Ugandan human rights advocate, writer and medical anthropologist Stella Nyanzi in conversation with Liz McManus, with poetry in Arabic and English by Ammar Al Najjar.

Sally Hayden is an Irish journalist and writer. A foreign correspondent, she has reported from Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Rwanda, among other countries. Her book My Fourth Time, We Drowned, an investigation into the migrant crisis, was published in 2022 and awarded The Orwell Prize for Political Writing, the Michel Déon Prize and is the 2022 An Post Irish Book of the Year.
My Fourth Time, We Drowned is a staggering investigation into the migrant crisis across North Africa. Following the shocking experiences of refugees seeking sanctuary, Sally Hayden gathers testimony from a wide range of people, revealing an appalling level of abuse, corruption, and cruelty.

‘A wrenching account of what people will endure in search of a better life’. The Washington Independent Review of Books

Stella Nyanzi is a Ugandan writer and scholar who was arrested in 2017 after writing and posting a poem online, in which she criticised Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his mother. In January 2022, she found refuge in Germany on a writers-in-exile programme run by PEN Germany, with her three children. Dr. Nyanzi writes about HIV, sexuality and women’s health, and is a prominent scholar in African queer studies. Dr. Nyanzi is also an activist. She leads Pads4Girls, a campaign to provide free sanitary pads. Within her activism, she practices “radical rudeness” a tactic used widely in Uganda during British colonial rule to disrupt relationships with oppressors that manners and polite conventions protected.

This event includes a poetry reading in Arabic and English by Ammar Al Najjar, a Yemeni poet, writer, and cultural activist, who has found refuge in Belfast, is integral to this event. Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, he is Artist in Residence with Quotidian – Word on the Street.

President of the Al-Sharq Cultural Foundation, founder, and co-ordinator of the Yemeni Network for Cultural Policies, he was active through his institutional work in changing cultural legislation, and research in arts and cultural management and intercultural dialogue. Poetically he is of the most influential of the ninety’s generation of poets in Yemen and has published five poetry collections: A Tree Bears Axes (2002), Man and the Butterfly (2005), Ramadi’s Steps (2012), Dancing with the Old Man (2012) and The Whole (2019).

This event will be introduced and chaired by Liz McManus, a former Irish Labour TD and Minister for Housing, whose latest novel ‘When Things Come to Light’ has just been published. Liz is a member of the Board of Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann.

Organised by Irish PEN/PEN na hÉireann and Quotidian – Word on the Street

Learn more:  irishpen.com • Twitterquotidian.ie

date & time

date & time

Fri. 24th March
Duration: 1.5 hours



Cube Theatre, Crescent Arts Centre, University Rd.




book tickets

Tickets for this event can be booked below, or on the event’s Eventbrite page.

event partners

Upper image: Hanna Zhyhar