(1954) worked as a correspondent in Paris and Warsaw before becoming a research assistant at the Wiardi Beckman Foundation. Since 1978 he has written about 200 essays for NRC Handelsblad and Volkskrant newspapers and De Groene Amsterdammer magazine, gaining particular notice in 2000 for The Multicultural Fiasco. In 2007 he published Het land van aankomst (Immigrant Nations), a book that seeks out what really goes on under the surface of multiculturalism. He held the position of Professor of Metropolitan Issues at the University of Amsterdam from 2003 to 2011. Since 2011 he has been professor of European Studies at the Universities of Tilburg and Amsterdam. In 2013 he published Alles doet mee aan de werkelijkheid. Herman de Wolf (1893-1942), his grandfather's biography followed by the essay De grens van de vrijheid (The border's freedom, 2016) in which he states that an open society can only exist by a certain spatial demarcation.(2017)
Archive available for: Paul Scheffer
Equality reconsidered: in the 20th century, the Soviet Union added a strange flavour to the second ideal of the French Revolution. Equality reduced to the repression and monotony of state socialism and the dullness of old Ladas.
Writers Unlimited investigates the value of equality as a European ideal in the framework of the intellectual legacy of Karl Marx*. What can we learn from the socialist era in Central and Eastern Europe? Can Marx remain a fount of inspiration after the Soviet debacle?
In his revolutionary pamphlet Resist! (Querido, 2017), novelist Gustaaf Peek proposes that, after thirty years of capitalist domination, it is high time to aim for equality and to reconsider and reevaluate a communist-style redistribution of wealth.
He discussed this subject with the Georgian-German writer Nino Haratischwili and the Romanian poet and essayist Magda Carneci. Professor and essayist Paul Scheffer moderated the conversation. Classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko and his trio provided music.
*More Marx? During Saturday Night Unlimited, Winternachten festival screened the Dutch premiere of The Young Karl Marx by Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck, whose earlier successful documentary I Am Not Your Negro focused on writer James Baldwin. His feature film is an intense reimagination of the birth of communism and the meeting of Marx and Engels.
How do we deal with borders in an era of globalization? Writers Unlimited presents a conversation about the necessity and the impossibility of national borders in an ever-shrinking world.
In his new, contemporary love story Exit West, the successful Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid describes life in a time of global migration. In the book, nominated for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, a young couple flees violence in their country via secret doors that lead to Greece and other places.
Paul Scheffer, author and professor of European Studies at the universities of Tilburg and Amsterdam, published the esssay De vrijheid van de grens (The border's freedom, 2016) in which he states that an open society can only exist by a certain spatial demarcation.
Ghayath Almadhoun read from his work for this event. The poet, a member of a young and engaged generation of Arabic writers, has a Palestinian-Syrian background and has lived in Sweden since 2008. He was a journalist in Damascus and set up a house of poetry there.
The musical contribution to this program was by The Hague oud-player, composer and music teacher Amer Shanati; visual artist and illustrator Gerda Dendooven made live drawings.
One of the most popular programmes on Radio 1 is VPRO's OVT (Simple Past Tense). Every Sunday the contemporary relevance of history takes centre stage.
It has become a tradition for OVT's radio professionals to relocate to The Hague during the festival in order to broadcast live from the cozy lobby of Theater aan het Spui. The public is most welcome; admission and coffee are free. The programme includes a spoken commentary by Nelleke Noordervliet, an interview with Bas Heijne on Couperus, and a focus on writer Reggie Baay and his just-published book Daar werd wat gruwelijks verricht (Something Terrible Happened There), about the hidden history of slavery in the Dutch East Indies. With live music by the The Hague band De Règâhs. Don't forget to reserve your spot via the blue link above. Programme in Dutch.
In the Filmhuis Studio the festival's guest writers present their favourite literary texts and explain why a particular poem, novel excerpt, or song lyric influenced their life and work. Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Arjan Peters and Nuweira Youskine. In Dutch.
British author Karen Armstrong starts off the first evening of the festival with the 9th Winternachten Lecture. Her subject is violence and religion. What are the factors that lead to eruptions of violence and war? How can we live together peacefully despite religious and cultural differences? Is religion really a motive for the use of force, or are there other underlying factors? After the lecture, Sheila Sitalsing will have a conversation with Karen Armstrong. Dutch essayist Paul Scheffer and Egyptian writer Muhammad Aladdin will also take part in the discussion. In English.
Five panel members, chaired by publicist Michaël Zeeman, discuss the situation of mutual distrust between East and West. From where does this distrust arise? Are the anti Western sentiments that are now felt, specifically of these times, or do they go much further back in history? How does the Eurpean Islam evolve?
Including Tariq Ramadan, philosopher, now living in Switzerland, author of To be a European Muslim, who enjoys a great deal of support amongst young Muslims living in the French suburbs; Paul Scheffer, professor in the field of urban issues and publicist in the field of multicultural society in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe; the Malaysian writer, poet and editor Eddin Khoo; Farid Esack, Muslim scientist from South Africa and former apartheid fighter, and Olivier Roy from France, an expert on the Islam and author of the recently published book The globalisation of the Islam.
The afternoon will be openend with an introduction by Michaël Zeeman, and finishes with a discussion amongst the audience.
On these pages, you can listen to the first or second part of the debate.