An initiative by DutchCulture & De Balie

Focus on Poland and Ukraine in upcoming festival Read My World

Highlights from the festival program

The annual international literature festival Read My World forges connections between worlds that on the surface appear to be far apart; a journey of discovery where literary stories and journalistic questions offer new perspectives on global, social topics. This year’s edition takes place on October 6, 7 and 8 in the Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam North, with a special focus on journalism, literature and stories from Poland and Ukraine.

During Re:Creating Europe (1-3 June) we already gave a preview of the festival with Read My World curators Iryna Vikyrchak and Grzegorz Jankowicz. Now is the time to share some of our personal favourites from the programme this coming weekend. See you there!

Highlight 1: Literature & Politics
7 October, 17:30, Tolhuistuin – Grote Zaal

Ever since people study literature the question arises: does fiction follow or does it shape reality? It is obvious – from allegories on people living in caves via descriptions of utopian islands to present day dystopian novels – the two cannot exist without one another. Both deal with imagination and reflection, and sometimes the lines blur. In the recent histories of both countries we have seen many events happening we never thought of, we even never imagined, or did we?

In a public talk Jan Kapela of Krytyka Polityczna Poland and Anna Kravets of Krytyka Polityczna Ukraine will discuss these questions with writers Olga Tokarczuk and Andrey Kurkov whom both lived through various political regimes in their countries. How do they think about the relation between literature and politics? Or: what role does literature play in their countries?

This programme is supported by European Cultural Foundation (ECF).

Highlight 2: On the Border
Friday 7 October, 19:00 – 20:00, Tolhuistuin – IJzaal

The border determines where the self ends and the other begins. But how clear is that division? The borderlands of Poland and Ukraine have a rich shared history. Now that Russia wants to move its border, Ukraine is at war. Borders continually decide the course of history. Ziemowit Szczerek from Poland and Fleur de Weerd from the Netherlands take you on a journey to the borders of Poland, Ukraine and Russia.

Highlight 3: Heartland Europe
7 October, 20:00 – 21:00, Tolhuistuin – Tuinzaal
As Europe gradually becomes more detached and European countries seek to establish more independence, the search for European identity is becoming increasingly diffuse. Ukrainian writer Andriy Lyubka and Polish journalist/essayist Mariusz Szczygieł are both fascinated by the European ‘other’. An exploration of individual and national self-identification against the backdrop of the recent political shifts in Ukraine and Poland.

Highlight 4: Book Presentation ‘Diary Maidan’ by Andrey Kurkov
8 October, 17:00 uur, Tolhuistuin – Grote Zaal
Publisher Douane and Read My World present the Dutch translation of Dnevnik Maydana (Dagboek Maidan, 2015). Kurkov offers a glimpse into his daily life as a writer living in Kiev during Euromaidan, the protests that broke out when it became clear that Ukraine would not sign the association treaty with the EU. The diary gives insight into political circumstances as well as Kurkov’s experience living just around the corner from the site of one of the most turbulent episodes in independent Ukrainian history. Andrey Kurkov discusses his work with Douane publisher Arie van der Ent.


2016 RMW - banner website (6)

Tickets and Information about Read My World
For more information on tickets and the latest news, visit the Read My World website.