Marjolijn van Heemstra
(Amsterdam, NL 1981) - thespian, writer, poet, journalist - took religious studies and caused a stir in 2010 with her first volume of poetry Als Mozes had doorgevraagd (If Moses Had Kept on Asking). She asked Dutch celebrities such as Ramsey Nasr and Arie Boomsma to recite her work. In 2012, De laatste Aedema (The Last Aedema), her first novel, appeared. She wrote, directed and performed in several plays about subjects including Desi Bouterse (Bouta), the widow of Hans Janmaat (Jeremia) and, in 2017, the famous YA novel Kruistocht in spijkerbroek (Crusade in jeans) by Thea Beckman. Her book En we noemen hem (And We Call Him, 2017), balanced somewhere between fiction and non-fiction, tells one mythical story from her own family.(2017)
Archive available for: Marjolijn van Heemstra
Writers talks about their favourite book - the book that inspires or moves them; the book that formed their aristic, moral or intellectual compass; the book that they would recommend to anyone.
A country goes to see the doctor! The Netherlands feels fantastic. In 2017, it held sixth place on the list of the happiest countries in the world. Not too bad when you consider, for example, the quality of Dutch health care and education. Or the freedoms enjoyed by its population. On an individual level, the future looks rosy, to say the least.
At the same time, the Netherlands seems to have lost its way. The expectations of society as a whole seem much more sombre. There is growing unrest about the collective identity. The Netherlands is frightened of losing ist norms and values.
What's going on? Writer and theatre Artist Marjolijn van Heemsta, in the role of the Netherlands, interprets these paradoxical feelings on psychiatrist Damiaan Denys' sofa.
Rage is wafting around Europe. Rage in many forms and voices, but perhaps also from a common source. Led by author and cultural historian David Van Reybrouck, writers from various European cities delineate and interpret this rage from their own environments and perspectives.
Some Europeans think that our continent is denying its origins and heading towards cultural suicide by opening itself to the culture of strangers. Others believe that Europe is mired in colonial reflexes and prejudices, and falls short in terms of welcoming new citizens. Yet others see only a Europe of interference and technocracy, bereft of passion, imagination and democratic vitality.
Multitalented author and playwright Van Reybrouck wrote high-profile books such as Congo: A history, and essays such as "A Plea for Populism" and "Against Elections". Fatma Aydemir's debut novel Ellbogen (Elbow), about escalating violence in the U-Bahn, recently divided critics and readers in Germany. Grazyna Plebanek, originally from Warsaw, lived in Stockholm for a few years and in Brussels since 2005, where she works as a journalist and writer of short stories and novels. Until 1989, art historian, poet and essayist Magda Carneci published under a pseudonym in Bucharest; these days, she is, among others, Editor of Revista ARTA.
As counterpoints, Rodaan Al Galidi recites some of his poems, Gerda Dendooven creates illustrations and Stefka and Amer Shanati play their music.
Which texts from world literature has Marjolijn van Heemskerk, a Dutch writer and theatre maker, cherished as long as she lives? This most beautiful or most inspiring text can be a poem, an excerpt from a novel or a song-text. She discusses the text with the audience. In Dutch.
The much-loved South African poet Antjie Krog introduces her son Andries Samuel, who with his much-praised poetry debut follows in her footsteps. Mother and son recite poems straight from the heart about family ties between parents and (grand)children; Wende set a poem specially written for this occasion by Antjie Krog and her son to music. She sings this new song for the first time tonight and also sings other songs. In English.
The reading club discusses The Leopard (Il Gattopardo, 1958) by Guiseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. In 2012 a reprint appeared of the much acclaimed translation by Anthonie Kee. Reason enough to (re)read this historical novel - set in 19th century Cicily, where the citizenry, under the leadership of Garibaldi, takes over from the nobility. Michel Krielaars, editor of the book pages of NRC Handelsblad hosts and there is a panel discussion with NRC editors Elsbeth Etty and Bas Heijne and guest Marjolijn van Heemstra, who based her book De laatste Aedema (The Last Aedema) on her own noble family. In Dutch.
Pupils of SG Johan de Witt and Lyceum Ypenburg climb the stage and recite poems of their own. More than ten hours of poetry lessons they have behind them. Inspiration came from poet Marjolijn van Heemstra, who visited them in class and read poetry with them. Then they started working with the teachers of Huis van Gedichten. After a lot of writing, crossing out, expanding and cutting down the pupils now read their finest verse at the festival. Marjolijn van Heemstra performs with them. Host: Nicole Terborg, musical accompaniment by Trio Koenijn. A programme in cooperation with Huis van Gedichten. In Dutch.
Poetry makes you happy! Allow yourself to be inspired tonight and get carries along by poets and performers Kees van Kooten, Rodaan Al Galidi (Iraq) and Marjolijn Heemstra, who get happy from poetry and want to share that happiness with others. Kees van Kooten brings the poetry of Billy Collins. Rodaan Al Galidi and Marjolijn van Heemstra read their own work. Host: rhymewriter and musician Peer de Graaf (singing & percussion) with his trio Lang & Gelukkig! (With Henk Koekkoek (ukelele & sax) and Piet Maas (double bass). In Dutch.