is the stage name of singer-songwriter Stephanie Ruijsenaars. Stefka studied classical voice and piano in Maastricht and theatre arts and Spanish in Amsterdam and Madrid. She first sang in Spanish. Inspired by the work of poets such as Pablo Neruda and Lorca, she wrote her own songs, which resulted in the 2005 album Del Recuerdo del Amor and the 2008 single-CD "Del Llanto". Later she switched to Dutch, in particular setting to music texts by Joke van Leeuwen, a writer whom she had researched during her studies. These songs are found on the album ...terwijl ik wachtte (While I Waited). She sings about being new to a city, about waiting, and about people she didn't get to know. She created the musical performance Eerst was er Thuis (First there Was Home) together with Syrian-Palestinian oud player Amer Shanati. Stefka frequently works with musicians from all corners of the world and appears regularly in theatre and on radio.(2017)
Archive available for: Stefka
In spring 2017 the joint poetry collection Me Here You There by Palestinian-Syrian poet Ghayath Almadhoun and the former Poet of the Fatherland Anne Vegter was published. For Writers Unlimited, they have collaborated with two exceptional musical talents: the Hague-Syrian-Palestinian oud-player and music professor Amer Shanati and singer-songwriter Stefka.
Vegter wrote the following about the creation of Me Here You There: "I first heard Ghayath Almadhoun during an interview with his translator Djûke Poppinga. He said that he fled Syria before the civil war broke out. He asked for asylum in Sweden and wrote the Poem 'I Cannot Be Present' in Stockholm, which articulates his discomfort at the distance between himself and the war in his native country.
As someone born and living in a safe country, my situation is of course much different. The world is burning and I refuse to look the other way. It's easy to do so with a roof over my head. My own discomfort led me to write poetry about war. My war is not his war. Ghayath and I decided to collaborate on a volume of poetry: his voice, my voice, my poems, his poems."
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.