State of Emergency

“An inspired reporter”

“Despite all his academic training, Kermani thinks like a poet. This sets him apart and conveys fascinating insights.”

“It could be relentlessly grim, but Kermani is a superb writer with an unaffected poetic touch.”
Brisbane times

Ausnahmezustand. Reisen in eine beruhigte Welt (State of Emergency. Travels in a troubled World), 253 pages, München 2013.

You could call it “the world beyond Lampedusa”: the belt of places in crisis stretching from Kashmir across Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Arab world to the borders and coasts of Europe.

This is the region covered by Navid Kermani’s reportage, and no matter how distant it may appear to our media-based awareness, it is in fact in our immediate vicinity.

Kermani has a gift for conveying individual fates and situations vividly, making it instantly clear that geopolitical problems affect us and our own existence directly. Our world does not begin this side of Lampedusa.

Navid Kermani has visited the places where there is no CNN camera team but where smouldering conflicts nevertheless pose a threat to world peace.

In his wonderfully fluid yet careful prose style that has received so much praise he covers the NATO wars and the dark side of globalization in India, the revolt in Syria and the precarious situation in Palestine.

Kermani was the sole western reporter on the scene when the mass protests in Teheran were crushed, and he has seen first-hand the catastrophe of refugees in the Mediterranean.

His riveting coverage lets us understand a world in tumult and follow the crises with our hearts in our throats, but at the same time he conveys a feel for the seemingly insignificant details of everyday life in these regions.

Excerpt, translated by Venkatakrishnan Srinivasan: Ausnahmezustand