Thu 15 January - Sun 18 January 2009
The theme of this festival's fourtheenth edition was 'Fake!'. It opened with the Winternachten lecture by the Somali author Nuruddin Farah, in a full Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague. In his lecture 'A Sense of Belonging - A Comtemporary Story on Migration' Farah starts of with some personal anecdotes like his first visit to Paris in the early seventies. Encounters with African migrants brought him to the subject of identity.
The two main festival nights on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 January in Theater aan het Spui and Filmhuis Den Haag were characterised by an excellent atmosphere. Friday's overall theme was Lies, on Saturday the Truth was explored. On both nights you could choose from programmes on five stages in one venue. Over eighty writers, thinkers and musicians from over twenty countries performed For reviews, pictures and recordings see the seperate programmes on this website.
Friday 16 January
On Friday afternoon the international company of writers and thinkers vividly discussed with the sceptical and critical students of the Institute of Social Studies. The eventually formulated 'five Do's and Don'ts for Barack Obama' were send to the White House. We did nog receive a reaction yet.
Saturday 17 January
On Saturday afternoon you could take part in a conversation with literary critics of NRC Handelsblad in Leesclub Live. Nuruddin Farah's book Maps was discussed.
In the program 'How to Bluff Your Way into Turkish Literature', also on Saturday afternoon, the invited authors proved to be very socially commited, and that Turkish literature can be considered very vivid.
Who's Afraid of Youth
The influence of students and pupils from the Hague was noticeable throughout the festival. With the project Who's Afraid of Youth Winternachten works closely together with the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten Den Haag, Huis van Gedichten and four local schools. Thirdyear art students' work was exhibited. One of the festivals highlights was undoubtely the pupils presenting on stage with Gerrit Komrij, their poetry on 'Fake'.