During his fellowship, Sam Zamrik explores the conditions of oppression under dictatorship, stigmatization and ostracism, and social and political alienation in exile; but also probes the resistance that emerges in subcultures and the positive influences that access to education and mutual acceptance enable. To highlight and address these intersections, Sam Zamrik uses an autofictional style of writing that mimics the form of flashbacks. This allowed him to delve deeper into often overlooked aspects of these issues – for example, how a country’s dictatorship reproduces itself into the private lives of its subjects, or how certain attitudes in countries of refuge can impact on the personal level of people who have fled.
The focus of Sam Zamrik’s work is the diversity of exile experiences. However, he also explores how the current world situation affects people’s private and public lives, how it impedes social progress, and how it can be overcome.
In 2017, Zamrik was awarded the scholarship in the Program for International Education and Social Change at Bard College Berlin, where he completed a double bachelor’s degree in politics and literature. As part of this, he led a discussion with international professors on multilingualism, exile, and poetry at the Berlin Volksbühne. He was accepted as an author in the project „Weiter Schreiben“ and worked there with Ulf Stolterfoht and Sylvia Geist.
His bilingual book „ICH BIN NICHT“, published in 2022 by publisher Hanser Berlin was awarded the first Wunderblock Award by the Wunderblock Foundation of the painter Katharina Grosse, and has made Sam Zamrik known in German- and English-speaking areas. This poetry debut was selected as „Lyrikempfehlung 2023“, an award given annually by the German Academy for Language and Poetry, the Lyrik Kabinett Foundation, the Haus für Poesie and the German Literature Fund. Sam Zamrik performs at numerous literary and cultural festivals in Germany, gives lectures and readings at several universities in Germany and the USA. He has also curated several civic education workshops in Berlin that focused on the intersections of language, politics, and literature.