Fiep van Bodegom
(India, 1984) writes for the Groene Amsterdammer weekly and is an editor with the literary magazine De Gids. She studied literature and cultural analysis at the University of Amsterdam. She regularly publishes reviews, essays, interviews, translations and prose in the aforementioned magazines as well as in Mister Motley, DeFusie, nY and DWB. Van Bodegom often appears at (literary) festivals and on stages as panel host and interviewer, including at Winternachten International Literature Festival The Hague, Perdu, Crossing Border and Spui25.(WN 2021)
Archive available for: Fiep van Bodegom
More and more authors are giving the climate and the climate crisis a prominent role in their work. Think of the recent novels of Eva Meijer, Margaret Atwood and Richard Powers, for example. Few, however, dare to address the subject of climate inequality or climate racism.
All too often, you hear the expression, "we're all in the same boat". We are indeed all caught up in the same rough seas of the climate crisis. But social-economic status, skin colour and geographic location determine whether one weathers the storm aboard a luxury cruise liner or a leaky raft. It is the opinion of programme maker Joëlle Koorneef that it's up to us to use all our literary capabilities to put this on the agenda.
The novel The Swan Book (2013) by Aboriginal author Alexis Wright takes place in a future world destroyed by extreme climate change. Due to drought, forest fires and dying coral reefs, Australia is a forerunner in experiencing the effects of the climate crisis. In Wright's work, the continent is an almost dystopian literary setting in which injustices continue to multiply.
Fiep van Bodegom, a writer, translator and editor with literary magazine De Gids, talked with Wright about the value of literature in the context of the climate crisis and the position of the writer to spur (climate) activism.
We provided fragments of Wright's work - distinguished by its raw, living language - to spoken-word artists and poets to use the power of their words to make this subject comprehensible in every way. Live from the Theater aan het Spui, these included the rebellious and deeply engaged word, rap and music artist Benjamin Fro and the filmmaker, performer and activist Chihiro Geuzebroek. There were also impressive video contributions by British poet, YouTube star and literary video essayist Leena Norms and the Indian poet and word artist Sanam Sheriff.
With Van Bodegom, they discussed how they shape their artistry as well as a desire for a more just world. Is it a balancing act, or is it the only way they can profess their artistry?
The Winternachten International Literature Festival signaled that a new generation is now rising up that doesn't view art and activism as opposing poles but operates fluidly between them. During the festival we encouraged giving this movement a voice and sharing sources of inspiration in the dedicated Facebook group we openend on 7 January.
Read here the contributions written for this programme on request of the Winternachten international literature festival The Hague:
- The Farmer's Great-Granddaughter | Leena Norms | video poem
- Sanam Sheriff
- Benjamin Fro
- Chihiro Geuzebroek | Dammed People
(Find the Dutch-language versions here/Lees hier de Nederlandstalige versies)
Learn more here:
Three countries, three authors, three novels about immigrants finding their way in a new country. Rodaan Al Galidi is a poet and writer. Born in Iraq and trained as a civil engineer, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1998. His new book Two Blankets, Three Sheets is an inspiring tale of survival, a close-up view of the hidden world of refugees and human smugglers, and a sobering reflection of our times. Annelies Verbeke is a Belgian writer of award winning novels, short stories and plays. Her novel Thirty Days about Alphonse, a Senegales immigrant, is a deeply moving story about love, outsiders and the human need to connect. Pierre Jarawan moved to Germany with his family at the age of three. Inspired by his father's imaginative bedtime stories, he started writing at the age of thirteen. His first novel about Samir's quest for his missing father, The Storyteller, became an international bestseller. Host: Fiep van Bodegom.
Program in cooperation with World Editions.
Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum Books
A discussion about family, inheritance and whether or not it is possible to escape the transferral of history, and thereby your roots, and the good fortune or grief that goes along with them. Led by Fiep van Bodegom, with music and poetry by Robin Block.
In her new collection Hogere natuurkunde (Advanced Physics), Ellen Deckwitz writes about the war, the Dutch Indies, and consequences thereof in today's Netherlands. The grandmother in the text is her Indonesian oma, who will only tell her story to her granddaughter.
A major portion of Adrian van Dis' oeuvre addresses Indonesian influences on his family. His first novel, Nathan Sid (1983) and the novels Indische duinen (Indonesian Dunes, 1994), Familieziek (Family Illness, 2002) and Ik kom terug (I'm Coming Back, 2014) are about his mother and his family, and about how family history persists, generation after generation.
Poet, musician and theatre maker Robin Block follows the path of his grandparents, who had to flee Indonesia in 1949, in the other direction. This is the theme of his solo performance Samudra ("ocean") and the 2019 book he wrote together with Angelina Enny (from Indonesia) In Between, Di Antara.
Tip: Ellen Deckwitz and Robin Block also appear in the Winternachten program at the Nieuw Waldeck Library on 17 January 2020, as of 20:15h. On Saturday afternoon, 18 January, Deckwitz, together with fellow NRC columnist Clarice Gargard and the audience, discusses the novella Oeroeg (1948) by Hella Haasse. Both events are in Dutch.
Get to know international literary stars and their recent books. Journalist and De Gids editor Fiep van Bodegom talks to Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah about her latest novel, Out of Darkness, Shining Light, and Palestinian poet Asmaa Azaizeh about her new poetry collection, Do Not Believe Me When I Talk to You About War.
"This is how we carried out of Africa the poor broken body of Bwana Daudi, the Doctor, David Livingstone, so that he could be borne across the sea and buried in his own land." So begins Petina Gappah's powerful novel - the captivating story of the men and women who carried explorer and missionary David Livingstone's body, his papers and his maps 1500 miles across 19th-century Africa. The story is narrated by Halima, Livingstone's sharp-tongued cook, and Jacob Wainwright, a rigidly pious freed slave.
Asmaa Azaizeh is a Palestinian poet, journalist and cultural curator who currently lives and works in Haifa. Since 2011, she has published two poetry collections and a poetry anthology.
Tip: Petina Gappah will also appear at Opening Night - A Free Mind on Wednesday, 15 January at Theater aan het Spui; Azmaa Azaizeh also appears at the Free the Word - Oxfam Novib PEN Awards Night on Thursday, 16 January at Theater aan het Spui, and during the Writers Unlimited New Year's Concert on Sunday, 19 January at the Zuiderstrand Theatre.
Writer and journalist Fiep van Bodegom talked to authors Leni Zumas (US), Mohammad Rabie (Egypt) and Aafke Romeijn (Netherlands) about their expectations and speculations about the near future. All three recently published futuristic novels. In Red Clocks, Zumas portrays women in a future US where abortion and IVF are banned and and adoption is illegal for single mothers. In Rabie's Otared, a police sniper joins the underground resistance movement when half of Cairo is occupied by mercenaries. And in Concept M, Romeijn presents a surprising sketch of radicalization in the Netherlands in the year 2020.
Hanna Bervoets and, from Ireland, Mark O'Connell discussed our "trans-human" future, in part spurred by O'Connell's bestselling To Be a Machine and Bervoets' novel Ivanov. O'Connell gave his book the riveting subtitle Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death. He explores the roots, ethics and future of trans-humanism. This movement wishes to expand the natural borders of human existence with the help of technology; according to others, it is an objectionable philosophy. Bervoets combines tension and ethics in Ivanov, in which the main character gets tangled up in the dubious research of a young scientist. Fiep van Bodegom lead the conversation, with sidekick engineer and innovation philosopher Martijntje Smits.
Bervoets and O'Connell also appeared in Filmhuis Zaal 1 from 22:30-23:40 in "Forever clips clips clips", a series of excerpts, short films and games addressing the festival theme Who Wants to Live Forever?