FORUM ON EUROPEAN CULTURE
31 may - 4 june 2023
Europe has a long tradition of utopian and dystopical novelists. ‘Utopia’ from the sixteenth century by Thomas More or ‘Brave New World’ from the twentieth century by Aldous Huxley. But what future do contemporary authors envision? Should literature alert us, congratulate us or inspire us with hope?
Ten European writers get together to reflect on the utopian and dystopian mirrors of current society.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.