FORUM ON EUROPEAN CULTURE
31 may - 4 june 2023
As an Ukrainian writer and poet, who studied philosophy, she has now two main preoccupations: national identity and gender. Her novel Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex is seen as one of the key texts in post-Soviet Ukrainian literature because she expresses dissatisfaction with the established order of relationships between sexes in Ukraine.
Oksana Zabuzhko is here at the invitation of the Ukrainian Institute, Ukraine.
Photo: European Union 2022, European Parliament
Iana Gudzenko is an Ukrainian theater producer who fled to the Netherlands. Gudzenko studies Drama Theatre in Kyiv (Master’s degree). She was rewarded with a scholarship from the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and got education as a Director of Music Theatre in GITIS Russian Institute of Theatre Art. In 2013, she got a special prize for youth director’s debut by the Theatre Member’s Association of Ukraine, for the performance Hamlet: death machine.
She is a Dutch actress, presenter and columnist with Ukrainian heritage. She speaks six languages, studied political science and can be seen in many Dutch tv and theatre productions. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she organizes charities and other activities to support Ukraine.
Photo: Marcel Krijger
Haska Shyyan (Гаська Шиян, born 1980) – Ukrainian writer, translator and poet. She studied Classical Philology at the University of Lviv. In 2012 she debuted with the novel Hunt, Doctor, Hunt!, which was partially written on a cell phone while the author was bedridden for a few weeks with a rare complication of meningitis called “Hunt syndrome”. Her novel Behind Their Backs written in 2016 – 2017 and published in 2019 won the European Union Prize for Literature and two Ukrainian literary awards. The book was also included in the list of the 100 of the most important Ukrainian novels. During the last decade, Haska lives between Lviv, Kyiv and Brussels and works in communication.
Simon Schama is one of the most famous historians worldwide, a renowned expert on European history, ecology and art history. He published numerous awarded history books such as Landscape and Memory (1995), Rembrandt’s Eyes (1999) and A History of Britain (2000). He also created famous television series such as The Power of Art, The Story of the Jews and most recently The History of Now (2022). With over 40 documentaries on his name, he keeps informing his audience about Europe’s vast history.
Photo: Peter Strelitski / Hollandse Hoogte
Olivia Laing is a widely acclaimed writer and cultural critic. She’s the author of six books including bestsellers such as The Lonely City (2016) and Everybody: A Book about Freedom (2021). Her books have been translated into 19 languages. She writes about art and culture for The Guardian and The New York Times.
Photo: Sophie Davidson
Peter Pomerantsev is a Kiev-born journalist, TV producer and writer specialized in propaganda and media developments, now living in London. He is known for his best-selling books about Russian propaganda and disinformation such as Nothing is True and Everything is Possible (2014) and This is Not Propaganda (2019). He coined the term “post-modern dictatorship” to describe Vladimir Putin’s regime. Pomerantsev is a frequently asked advisor about information wars to both the US and UK parliament.
Tino Sehgal is an artist who describes his work as ‘constructed situations’. He has German and Indian heritage and now lives in Berlin. He is thought of as an choreographer who makes dance in museums, with ‘live’ work exhibited in many prestigious venues like the Tate Modern.
Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
Ece Temelkuran is a writer and Turkey’s most read political columnist, whose journalism has appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, New Statesman, Frankfurter Allgemeine and Der Spiegel. Because of her critical articles about Turkey, she was forced to leave the country. Her book Women who blow on knots sold over 120.000 copies in Turkey alone. Her non-fiction, including How to Lose a Country: The Seven Steps From Democracy to Dictatorship, has received international critical acclaim.
Peter Frankopan is a professor of Global History at Oxford University and writer of the 2015 bestseller Silk Roads. He works on the history and politics of the Mediterranean, Russia, the Middle East, Persia/Iran, Central Asia, China and beyond. In his latest book, The Earth Transformed: An Untold History (2023), Peter looks at environmental history, at climate and the ways it has shaped the human and natural past.
Poet and writer Simone Atangana Bekono became famous for her multiple-nominated and award-winning prose debut Confrontaties (Confrontations, 2022). She studied Creative Writing at ArtEZ. In her work, militancy and tenderness constantly alternate. She shows how the personal can be poetic, political and universal at the same time.
Photo: Bianca Sistermans
Kamel Daoud is a French-Algerian writer and journalist, living in Oran. His book The Mersault Investigation (Mersault, contre-enquête, 2015) – an answer to the famous novel by Camus, L’Entranger, was his renowned debut. In 2021 he published Zabor, or The Psalms. For the last 30 years, he has been working for Le Quotidien d’Oran, a big French-language newspaper in Algeria.
Arnon Grunberg is one of the greatest Dutch writers of our time, Grunberg wrote many books and countless columns, articles and essays. As an intellectual in de public sphere, he makes use of his Dutch-Jewish heritage while living in New York to be able to reflect critically on the Dutch society. He is known for his books like Tirza and de Heerser.
Photo: Sander Voerman
Julian Hetzel believes that art should be bizarre, diverse, loud and mysterious, which can be seen in his theater productions. Fiction and reality flow without boundaries in, among his other works, There will be light and Schuldfabrik, where he explores subjects like guilt, hope, money and imagination. He describes himself as a performance maker, musician and visual artist.
Photo: Eva Roelf
Natalie Haynes is a British writer, classicist and comedian. Her expertise lie in mythology, about which she wrote several books such as Pandora’s Jar; Women in the Greek Myth, which reached number 2 in the New York Time Bestseller chart. She furthermore regularly contributes to the Guardian and BBC Radio 4.
Photo: James Betts
Ivo van Hove is a famous director of theatre and opera, whose plays travel around the world. Since 2001 he is the director of Internationaal Theater Amsterdam (ITA). He directed renowned theatre plays such as Angels in America, Roman Tragedies and A Little Life. In 2015 he worked with singer David Bowie on the performance Lazarus that was performed on Broadway.
Photo: Jan Versweyveld
Tea Tupajić is born in Bosnia. As a director at Frascati productions she tries to create space for new perspectives, discussions and reflections by using non-professional actors who perform subjects that intersect theater, performance, video art and happening. In her production ‘Dark Numbers’ (2018) Tupajić explored the collective trauma of Srebrenica in June 1995 by inviting the Dutch veterans who were part of the mission as co-creators and performers.
Eva Rovers is a Dutch writer and cultural historian, born in 1978. Eva Rovers is a writer and co-founder of Bureau Burgerberaad. In her most recent book Nu is het aan ons. Oproep tot echte democratie (“Now it’s up to us. Call for real democracy”), she passionately argues for not leaving politics exclusively to politicians. The multifaceted problems of the 21st century require a multifaceted approach, and citizen assemblies are ideal for that.
Photo: Frank Ruiter
Claudy Jongstra is known worldwide for her monumental artworks and architectural installations, whose organic surfaces and nuanced tones reflect her masterful innovations in the ancient technique of making wool felt. Jongstra’s oeuvre, often installed in large public spaces, is included in many international museums as well as private and corporate collections.
In 2001, Jongstra established her studio in the rural North of The Netherlands, where she began a sweeping ecological experiment in the local landscape. Maintaining a flock of rare, indigenous Drenthe Heath sheep (the oldest breed in Northern Europe) and cultivating a specialized dyers’ botanical collection garden, Jongstra creates a completely sustainable chain culminating in her artworks.
Photo: Christian Jaeggi, 2020
Antonis Pittas is a Greek visual artist, living and working in the Netherlands. He studied at the Athens School of fine Arts, the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. His mixed-media installations are characterized by a strong sense of history and explore topics such as security, economic crises, resistance and violence. Central to Pittas’ practice is the question of how the past relates to the present, and vice versa.
Aafke Romeijn is a writer, journalist and musician, writing and singing about politics and feminism . In 2018 she published her debut novel Concept M that was nominated for best book for young adults. A year later she produced her album M, the soundtrack to her novel. In 2020 she published her first collection of poetry Leegstand.
Photo: Bianca Toeps
Francesca Bria is an innovation economist and digital policy expert on the intersection of technology, geopolitics, economist and society. As the president of the Italian National Innovation Fund, and the Consultation on Digital Transformation, Democracy and Innovation at the UN and European Commission she works hard for, among other things, decentralization in technology.
Photo: French Tech Grande Provence
Born in Bucharest, Romania Paul Radu is the director of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), an innovative global network of investigative journalists exposing crime and corruption. As an investigative journalist Radu won, among other prizes, the European Press Prize. He fights against politicians with criminal ties, sex slavery, human trafficking and money laundering.
She is a German author and journalist based in Berlin. Famous for her book Elbow (Ellbogen) that gives insight in the life of living between cultures and countries, her career is centered around her being both German and the granddaughter of Turkish-Kurdish immigrants.
Photo by Sibylle Fendt
Meelis Friedenthal is an Estonian academic and writer whose research topic is now intellectual history of the 17th century, but used to be theology. He wrote the dystopian book the Golden Age (Kuldne aeg).
Meelis Friedenthal is here at the invitation of the Estonian Embassy.
Photo: EU prize for Literature
Klára Vlasáková is a Czech writer, scenarist, dramaturg and publicist who studied journalism and gender studies, scenery writing and dramaturgy. Her debut Cracks can be read as a critique on the capitalist consumer society.
Klára Vlasáková is here at the invitation of the Czech Centre, Czech Republic.
Photo: Ondřej Lipár
Eline Arbo is award-winningstage director from Tromsø, Norway. Since 2022 she is Associative Artistic Director at International Theater Amsterdam. Since her graduation Arbo has directed several performances, such as Het lijden van de jonge Werther, Weg met Eddy Bellegueule and The Hours: strong adaptations of classical repertoire and novels, with an emphasis on live music.
Photo: Fabian Calis
Iuliana Alexa is a writer who now works for the European Parliament in Brussels as a communication expert. She was the editor in chief of the Romanian magazine Psychologies. She wrote the book Why I left Romania, which comprises 27 declarations of people who emigrated from Romania and discusses themes like hope, fear and anger.
Iuliana Alexa is here at the invitation of the Institutul Cultural Român, Romania.
Willy Lomana & Carmelo Rodríguez are the creative directors and co-founders of CYW, an independent advertisement agency. They worked for companies like Heineken, Amnesty International, Amazon and Netflix. Their work has been rewarded at prestigious festivals in the world, such as Cannes Lions and FIAP.
Willy Lomana & Carmelo Rodríguez are here at the invitation of the Instituto Cervantes, Spain.
Franco Tirletti is an Italian-Dutch author and translator who contributes to the Enciclopedia delle Donne in Milan by writing articles about Dutch women who have ties to Italy but are not well known there. He publishes short stories and he wrote the novel Lo Specchio Indonesiano. He coordinates cultural events while living in Amsterdam.
Franco Tirletti is here at the invitation of Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Amsterdam.
Berit Glanz is a German-born writer and literary scientist living in Reykjavik. Her interests lie in media changes, modernization in the 19th century, Scandinavian film and the influence of digitalization on the production and reception of literature. She wrote four books, has a newsletter, is active on social media and writes essays.
Berit Glanz is here at the invitation of the Goethe-Institut, Germany.
Photo by Christina Raytsiz
Indrė Valantinaitė (b. 1984, in Kaunas) is a Lithuanian poet. After graduating from a Jesuit gymnasium, she studied arts management at Vilnius University and at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. She has published poems in many periodicals and debuted with her first book of poetry in 2006. Her first book “Of Fish and Lilies” won the First Book Contest of the Lithuanian Writers Union in 2006. Her second book “Tales about Love and Other Beasts” (2011) won the Young Yotvingian Prize in 2012. In addition to writing poems, Indrė is a singer, a winner of several singing festivals and also is a TV journalist, presenter and producer.
Indré Valantinaitė is here at the invitation of Litouws Cultureel Centrum, Utrecht.
Photo by: Vaiva Abromaitytė
Dalilla Hermans is a Belgian writer, born in Rwanda. She writes books about racism, African diaspora and the beauty of blackness, for example in her children’s book Brown Girl Magic. She also made a theater production ‘Her(e)’ about sisterhood. Within her activism she focuses on representation and empathy.
Dalilla Hermans is here at the invitation of the Flemish art centre the Brakke Grond.
Lana Bastašić is an internationally renowned writer. She was born in Zagreb, former Yugoslavia, but left when she was 24 years old. She won the European Literature Prize for her first novel Catch the rabbit that explores how to deal with living in a country torn by the Yugoslavian war. She also writes poetry and short stories.
Piotr Cywiński is a medieval historian and the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum since 2006. Related to his work as director, he plays a active role as initiator in the Polish-Jewish and Christian-Jewish dialogue where he strives for unity. In his work as an historian he wrote several publications focusing the Shoah and memorials.
Hans Croiset is a Dutch director and an actor in television, theater and film. He won several prizes for his work and since 2007 he also writes; a autobiography and novels. He played a large role in the Dutch theater repertoire in his 60 year long career.
Photo: Remco Zwinkels
Janni Goslinga is a Dutch theater, television and film actor. She is part of the ensemble of International Theater Amsterdam and played in many theater productions, movies and television series, such as ‘Ernstige Delicten’ and ‘A streetcar named desire’ for which she also won a Colombina.
Photo: Jan Versweyveld
Gijs Scholten van Aschat is first and foremost a theater actor, but gained fame for his role in movies as Doodslag and Tirza, for which he won the Gouden Kalf. He is part of the ensemble of International Theater Amsterdam where he played countless parts over the last four decades.
Photo: Huib van Wersch
Drago Jancar, born in Maribor in 1948, is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and playwright. His works have been translated into many European languages, and his plays have enjoyed a number of foreign productions. In 1974 he was taken into custody over alleged propaganda, and he was active in the democratization of his native country as President of the Slovenian PEN Centre between 1987 and 1991. In 1993 he received the highest Slovenian literary award for his lifetime achievement, and in 1994 he won the European Short Story Award. He lives in Ljubljana.
Photo: Jože Suhadolnik
Clare Farrell is an active citizen, devoting her creativity, her energy, and occasionally her personal liberty, to fight against climate collapse and the wider environmental crisis. As one of the cofounders of Extinction Rebellion her work to date has included coordinating the creative team that delivered the name, identity, and messaging that the movement set out with in 2018, co-editing the bestselling book, This is Not a Drill, and now works with the UK media team and acts as a spokesperson.
Melyn Chow, born in Singapore, works at Frascati productions in physical theater, mime, and contemporary dance and performance. Her work investigates intimacy, sensuality and the erotic through the female gaze. Her most recent works ‘I happen to be doing this for you’ (2023) and ‘Shaking Shame’ (2023) revolve around these subjects.
Photo: Eva Roefs
Mame-Fatou Niang is a scholar, writer, filmmaker and racial justice activist. Niang is an Associate Professor of French & Black Geographies and the founder/director of Center for Black European Studies and the Atlantic. She wrote two books in which she discusses the notion of the French identity: Universalisme (2022) and Identités Françaises: Banlieues, Féminités et Universalisme (2019).
Ata Güner is a musician and composer, born in Istanbul, currently working in Rotterdam. He has been playing drums and synthesizers since he was 16 years old. As a composer he worked with many theatre companies such as Frascati, ITA en Theater Rotterdam. Güner has a unique composer style that blends live instruments with digital technology to create immersive soundscapes for theatre performances.
Kehinde Andrews is an academic and author of British African-Caribbean heritage. Andrews is UK’s first Professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University. He regularly appears in the media discussing issues of race and racism, colonialism and slavery, and British nationalism. He is a frequent contributor to British media outlets as The Guardian, the BBC and Good Morning Britain. He wrote multiple books on race and colonialism, like The New Age of Empire (2021). Andrews is the director of the Centre for Critical Social Research, founder of the Harambee Organisation of Black Unity, and co-chair of the UK Black Studies Association.
Sofia Lovegrove is an independent researcher and heritage professional born in the UK, brought up in Portugal and based in the Netherlands. Her research lies at the intersection of critical heritage and memory studies, with a focus on (re)presentation of the Portuguese and Dutch colonial pasts and their afterlives in museums, heritage sites and public memory. She currently works at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) where she focuses on the topics of multiperspectivity, inclusion, the slavery and colonial past and international heritage cooperation.
Wouter Veraart (1971) is Professor of Legal Philosophy and head of the Department of Legal Theory and Legal History at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Veraart has a strong interest in questions of historic injustice, restitution, victimization and the rule of law. Since 2021, he is one of the investigators of the research program Pressing Matter, which deals with the provenance and destination of colonial collections in Dutch museums. Veraart’s publications include articles on the value of apologies and reparations in relation to slavery and other forms of colonial injustice, most recently “Apologies from the heart: Some reflections on national apologies for colonial slavery” (in Dutch) in Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht (2022).
Loes Damhof was elected as Lecturer of the Year of all higher education in The Netherlands in 2016, and decided to use the Comenius Grant to further advance the skill of Futures Literacy. In short terms, training Futures Literacy invites us to use different conceptions and ideas about the future as lenses for interpreting, understanding and seeing anew our world and ourselves in it in the present. In 2018, Loes received the UNESCO Chair on Futures Literacy in Higher Education at Hanze University of Applied Sciences.
In addition to her research and teaching practices, Loes consults and trains staff of global organizations such as FutureWomenX, UNESCO, UNFCCC, ClimateKIC, Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies and Oxfam. Over the years, Loes and her team have set the golden standard for training and teaching Futures Literacy. Currently she is building The Emergence Academy; new school for new activism, that fosters a new attitude towards complexity, uncertainty applied to wide range of societal domains.