(Vlaardingen, NL, 1946) is a lawyer and writer. After a series of books on Dutch and world history he made his 1991 breakthrough with Hoe God verdween uit Jorwerd (How God Disappeared from Jorwerd), about the demise of European peasant culture. Eight years later he published De eeuw van mijn vader (My Father's Era), a 20th-century history of the Netherlands, partly based on his own family history. In 1999 Mak travelled across Europe, writing short daily reports for NRC Handelsblad newspaper. These travels formed the basis for his international best-seller In Europe, which was made into a 35-part TV series; a theatrical interpretation runs at the NTGent theatre until April 2016. In 2013's Reizen zonder John (In America: Travels with John Steinbeck), Mak follows in the late author's footprints to look for remaining bonds between Europe and the US. Mak was an acclaimed journalist, lecturer in constitutional and immigration law, and professor of urban issues. In 2015 he won the Golden Quill award for his engagement with national and international history and current events.(2015)
Archive available for: Geert Mak
German-American philosopher Susan Neiman delivers this year's Winternachten Lecture. She zooms in on the way nations deal with their problematic pasts. Do Germans set a good example with their "Vergangenheitsaufarbeitung"? What about the Americans' handling of Hiroshima, or slavery? And the Europeans, with their colonial histories? Neiman finds links between processing the past and the attitude of European states toward current challenges, such as the refugee crisis. After the lecture, Sheila Sitalsing moderates a debate on this subject between Neiman, Geert Mak and Neel Mukherjee. In English
Neel Mukherjee replaces Tariq Ali, who had to cancel his appearance for personal reasons.
With: Aad Meinderts, Alfred Schaffer, Antjie Krog, Bettine Vriesekoop, Elsbeth Etty, Francis Broekhuijsen, Geert Mak, Huub van der Lubbe, Jaap Goedegebuure, Jan Paul Schutten, Marjolein de Jong, Micha Hamel, Oek de Jong, Ronald Snijders, Tijs Goldschmidt, Tiziano Perez, Tom Lanoye
The Writers' Fest is the festive conclusion of the festival with a programme full of writers and other guests. The line-up consists of among others the Dutch poet Alfred Schaffer, Geert Mak, the South African poet Antjie Krog, Tom Lanoye, literary critic Elsbeth Etty, flute player Ronald Snijders and singer/poet Huub van der Lubbe.
The Writers' Fest includes the award winning ceremony of the Jan Campert Prizes, the literary prizes of the City of The Hague, with the presentation of the Constantijn Huygens Oeuvre Prize. The winner is Tom Lanoye. The South African writer Antjie Krog will do a eulogy on him and we'll hear Lanoye's words of thanks.
The F. Bordewijk Prize goes to Pier en Oceaan (Jetty and Ocean) by Oek de Jong. The novel will be praised by Jaap Goedegebuure. Composer and poet Micha Hamel is recipient of the Jan Campert Prize for his book of poetry Bewegend doel (Moving Target). Bettine Vriesekoop will recommend the book to us. The Nynke van Hichtum Prize for children's literature goes to Het raadsel van alles wat leeft (The Riddle of Everything Alive) by Jan Paul Schutten. Writer and biologist Tijs Goldschmidt will sing the praise of that book.
A programme in co-operation with the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Jan Campert Foundation. The earlier announced performance of Anne Vegter has been cancelled for health reasons.
On Sunday morning the festival was concluded by a special live broadcast of VPRO's OVT on Radio 1 from Dudok in The Hague. In VPRO's history programme OVT (simple past tense) literature and (falsified) history came together in talks with Winternachten's 2009 guests. With, among others, Nelleke Noordervliet, Kees 't Hart, Geert Mak, Shrinivási from Suriname and the Surinamese/Hindu musician/poet Raj Mohan, who treated the audience on a few beautiful and moving songs. The program was hosted by Paul van der Gaag and Mathijs Deen.
The last of Winternachten 2008 can be heard in the Sunday morning Radio 1 programme OVT (Simple Past Tense), a live broadcast from The Hague.
In VPRO's OVT history and literature come together in conversations with Winternachten guests Antjie Krog from South Africa and the Berber poet Ahmed Ziani, and writer Geert Mak. The series 'In Europe', part of the programme, today focuses on the 1930s. Can the fear of those times be compared to that in our time? In Dutch
'Strange that only one belief has survived in Holland: we still feel Dutch.', was writer Geert Mak's conclusion after describing the many changes that the Dutch may expect in society. But what about this feeling? Are we as patriottic as the Americans? Are we prepared to die for our country? Writer/historian Geert Mak discusses this subject with the Dutch 'journalist of the 20th century', H.J.A. Hofland.