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Hanna Bervoets

Hanna Bervoets - foto: Merlijn Doomernik
Hanna Bervoets - foto: Merlijn Doomernik

(The Netherlands, 1984) writes novels, short stories, columns, scripts and plays; her essays often deal with media and technology. In the novels Efter, Fuzzie and Ivanov, Bervoets explores how stories we tell ourselves influence our acts and thoughts. Her collection of short stories Een modern verlangen (A Modern Desire, 2021) revolves around human relationships: between lovers, friends, man and animal, parent and child, human and thing. The novella Wat wij zagen (What We Saw), about the challenges of content moderators, was sold to fourteen countries. Her work has won prizes including the Opzij Literature Prize, BNG Literature Prize, J.M.A. Biesheuvel Prize, and the Frans Kellendonk Prize for her entire oeuvre. Leer me alles wat je weet (Teach Me Everything You Know, 2023) is her most recent novel.


Archive available for: Hanna Bervoets

  • Writers Unlimited 2024 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    Chat GPT - The New Bestseller Author

    Humans and machines always seemed to reinforce each other. Since the advent of AI and a tool such as Chat GPT, the relationship between humans and machines has been on edge. What is the human voice? And what does AI's influence on the human voice mean for literature? Is ChatGPT a friend or foe for authors?

    Bas Haring opened this event with a spoken essay addressing artificial intelligence and what it means for humans, and writers in particular.

    Learn more about the possibilities and impossibilities of AI and ChatGPT in a conversation between writer Hanna Bervoets, who follows the developments in the field of AI and has experimented with ChatGPT; digital strategist Ilyaz Nasrullah; and philosopher Bas Haring. Moderator Oumaima Hajri researches artificial intelligence and ethics.

    Hanna Bervoets is a writer of seven novels, several screenplays, stories and essays. in 2017 she won the BNG Bank Literature Prize for Ivanov, and in the same year, the Frans Kellendonk Prize for her entire oeuvre. In her novels, she often investigates the influence of science and technology on humans. Her novel Leer me alles wat je weet (Teach me all you know) was published recently. Bervoets also writes essays and reviews about media and popular (Internet) culture.

    Bas Haring is a philosopher who holds a PhD in artificial intelligence and is professor of Public Understanding of Science at Leiden University. In his latest book Kunstmatige intelligentie is niet eng (Artificial intelligence Isn't scary), he writes, among other things, that "computer smarts" will make our lives a lot easier. But it is also suspenseful, because what is in store for all of us?

    Ilyaz Nasrullah stresses that he is first and foremost a human, and only then an IT graduate in Data Sciences from TU Delft and a consultant advising companies and governments on digital strategy and innovation. According to him, digital technology is too often seen as an end in itself, which loses sight of people. The columns for Trouw newspaper stand out because they make difficult topics easier to understand.

    Oumaima Hajri uses her expertise at the intersection of technology, ethics and society. She currently holds the role of Senior International Advisor at the Dutch Personal Data Authority, where she works on AI, algorithms and European legislation. She is also engaged in decolonisation and demystification of AI at the University of Cambridge, aiming to stop the negative impact of digitalisation on society, especially vulnerable minorities. She holds a BSc in International Relations, an MSc in Data Science & Society and is a board member at Public Spaces. She is also the initiator of the Alliance Against Military AI and co-founder of the AI Better World platform.

    Festivaltip: after this programme, in Filmhuis Den Haag's Zaal 2 from 23:00-23:35 hours five brilliant short films (including an Oscar winner) were screened that come to grips with AI and the man-machine relationship.

  • Winternachten 2019 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Forever Clips Clips Clips

    Writers Hanna Bervoets and Mark O'Connell and film curator Gerlinda Heywegen presented and commented on video clips, short films and excerpts from games and feature films related to the festival theme 'Who wants to live forever?' You'll see visions of the future, healing elixirs, struggles between life and death, and commercials about staying young and beautiful. Prior to 'Forever clips, clips, clips', Bervoets and O'Connell conversed in the programme 'Man-machine: And Technology created the New Human', in Hall 1 of Theater aan Het Spui, from 21.10 to 22.00h.

  • Winternachten 2019 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Man-Machine: And Technology Created the New Human

    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?

  • Meer dan een Monsterboek

    More Than a Monster: Reading Frankenstein with Hanna Bervoets & Martijntje Smits

    With: Damiaan Denys, Hanna Bervoets, Martijntje Smits

    In 1818, Mary Shelley then just 19 years old, wrote a ground-breaking book that has inspired countless Hollywood movies until this day. In many aspects, Frankenstein is both a literary masterpiece as well as a pioneering text in a genre that would only gain a name decades later: science fiction. The book presents a provocative dialogue about how we should deal with the progress of technology, predicting not just the great expectations, but also the profound fears machines inspire. On the night of Friday 14 December, novelist Hanna Bervoets and philosopher and engineer Martijntje Smits shared their fascination for Frankenstein. Why is Shelley's book such a masterpiece, and why is it still highly relevant today? Each read a personal selection from the novel, kicking off a joint discussion that also included the audience. Moderator was psychiatrist, writer and theatre actor Damiaan Denys. (Duch spoken.)

    Event curated by Shervin Nekuee (Writers Unlimited)
    Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum

  • Winternachten 2017 – Saturday Night Unlimited

    My Secret City

    Can the secrets of a city — a collection of microcosms, a collection of past and layered histories — ever be completely and commonly uncovered? The festival asked seven authors to write about their own "secret" cities. Not the city that they see when they walk out the door and onto the street, but the city that they occasionally and unexpectedly come across. Participants read in their own language, with English and Dutch translations projected simultaneously.

  • Winternachten 2017 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

    "The world is a story we tell ourselves about the world," according to Indian writer Vikram Chandra. Hanna Bervoets used the quote as a motto for her novel Efter, in which she investigates the fairy tales we tell ourselves and others to come to grips with our surroundings. Because we do tell one another fairy tales: about how the world appears, but also about how we ourselves appear. On Facebook, Instagram and vlogs we show our best side: photos are Photoshopped or simply "not allowed on timeline." Thus the world is not only a story we tell ourselves about the world, but also a story we tell the world about ourselves. With Hanna Bervoets, Salena Godden and others.

  • Winternachten 2017 – Friday Night Unlimited

    Winternachten lecture: Fiction in Fake Times

    What is real, what is fake? And yet it's the fabrications that can provide insight into the world in which we live. The Anglo-Dutch Michel Faber, who kicks off the evening with the Winternachten Lecture about reality and fantasy, creates a future world in his novels, just like Dutch writer Hanna Bervoets. Czech economist TomᚠSedláček sees parallels between economics and old myths, and Mircea Cărtărescu, also a translator of Bob Dylan lyrics, filled his trilogy about Communist Romania with mythical escapes from reality. Moderator: Lex Bohlmeijer.