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Mustafa Stitou

Mustafa Stitou - foto Frank Ruiter
Mustafa Stitou - foto Frank Ruiter

(Tetouan, Morocco, 1974) studied philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. In 1994, he made his debut with the poetry collection Mijn vormen (My Forms). It was followed by Mijn gedichten (My Poems) (1998), Varkensroze ansichten (Pig pink postcards) (2003), awarded the Jan Campert Prize, among others, and Tempel (2013), for which he received the Awater Poetry Prize. He was Amsterdam's City Poet for a year, has performed at numerous festivals at home and abroad, and collections with selections of his work were published in both Swedish and English translations. Waar is het lam (Where is the Lamb?, 2022), his fifth collection of poems, is a probing investigation into the meaning of sacrifice; an intriguing collection of poems in which the personal and political, dream and reality, fear and desire continually interact. The collection is competing for the Grote Poëzieprijs, the leading Dutch award for poetry, the winner of which will be announced on 17 May 2023.

(WN 2023)

Archive available for: Mustafa Stitou

  • Winternachten 2023

    De grondstof van het gedicht (The raw material of poems)

    With: Alara Adilow, Asha Karami, Caro Derkx, Dean Bowen, Irina Baldini, Johan van Dijke, Maarten van der Graaff, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, Martin Rombouts, Marwin Vos, Maxime Garcia Diaz, Mustafa Stitou, Willie Darktrousers

    For the closing event of the 2023 Winternachten festival, poets and artists seeked out the raw material of poems. How do the violence of resource extraction, the destruction of lives and worlds, and the depletion of Earth become audible and palpable in language? What are poems made of: can they, too, plunder and harm?

    De grondstof van het gedicht (The raw material of poems) was a Dutch-language event with familiar and new voices, unexpected performances, dance, music and images.

    Anyone who opens a children's book about a farm does not see hyper-modern, destructive industry, but lovely scenes. This obfuscation of reality, according to British zoologist, author and activist George Monbiot, is due to persistent images about our dealings with animals and land, borrowed from poetry. "One of the greatest threats to life on Earth is poetry," he wrote provocatively.

    Yet the plundering of Earth has indeed made its way into modern poetry. In the poem Sinaasappel, bitter je schil (Orange, bitter your peel) by Surinamese poet Michaël Slory, the minerals themselves bear witness to that history:

    'Op Afobaka wil ik zijn
    als de arbeiders staken,
    de morgen zich boort
    in de papaya,
    het bauxiet woedend zingt
    over zoveel misbruik,
    zoveel leugens
    zoveel misleiding.'

    ("On Afobaka I want to be
    when the workers strike,
    the morning drills itself
    into the papaya,
    the bauxite sings furiously
    about so much abuse,
    so many lies
    so much deception.")

    Bookstore De Vries van Stockum will be present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others — including signing opportunities!

    De grondstof van het gedicht was curated by poet and writer Maarten van der Graaff.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    The Text of My Life: Mustafa Stitou

    In the Filmhuis Studio the festival's guest writers present their favourite literary texts and explain why a particular poem, novel excerpt, or song lyric influenced their life and work. Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Arjan Peters and Nuweira Youskine. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Ode to Remco's Coat

    The spotlight shines on the poetry of Remco Campert in this festive programme. Portuguese fado singer Cristina Branco set Campert's Ode aan mijn jas (Ode to My Coat) to music especially for this event. She is accompanied by João Paulo. Mustafa Stitou, Hanneke van Eijken, and three poets nominated for the VSB Poetry Prize—Hester Knibbe, Alfred Schaffer, and Peter Verhelst—each dedicate a poem to Remco or write a poem inspired by his poetry. The Blue Moon choir concludes the programme with a song about a passage from Het leven is verrukkulluk (Life is Delightful). Hosted by Alma Mathijsen. A collaboration with Poetry International and the VSB Poetry Prize. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 1

    VPRO De Avonden: The Seers - visions in poems

    Four poets translated especially for Winternachtentheir visions into poetry. These are: the young performing poet Tjitske Janse, poet and performer Ramona Maranis, Mustafa Stitou and Erik Menkveld. Presentator Wim Brands talks during the festival with these four poets in a live radio broadcast from the VPRO De Avonden .

  • Indonesië 2001

    Jakarta and Yogyakarta

    With: Gibi Bacilio, Loit Sôls, Mustafa Stitou, Surianto

    Onder de titel 'Winternachten overzee' bracht het Haagse literatuurfestival Winternachten dichters uit Suriname, Zuid-Afrika, de Antillen en Nederland naar Indonesië. Vier dichters reisden van 24 april tot 1 mei 2001 naar Jakarta en Yogyakarta voor optredens in o.a. het festival JIPR (Jakarta International Poetry Reading). Het was voor het eerst dat het festival Winternachten zich buiten Nederland presenteerde. Het was op verzoek van de Javaanse schrijvers Goenawan Mohamad en Ayu Utami dat Winternachten zijn activiteiten uitbreidde naar Indonesië. Winternachten is het jaarlijkse ontmoetingspunt voor schrijvers uit Suriname, Zuid-Afrika, de Antillen, Indonesië en Nederland. Steeds vaker kreeg het festival het verzoek om die ontmoeting ook in de andere landen te laten plaatsvinden. Dat gebeurde nu voor het eerst in Indonesië; de voorbereidingen voor een soorgelijke evenementen in Zuid-Afrika en op Aruba en de Nederlandse Antillen zijn in gang. Winternachten maakte in overleg met de Indonesische partners de keus voor de dichters Mustafa Stitou (Nederland), Loit Sôls (Zuid-Afrika), Gibi Bacilio (Curaçao) en Surianto (Suriname). De optredens vonden plaats in het festival JIPR (26 t/m 28 april, Theater Utan Kayu, Jakarta), de Universitas Indonesia (26 april, Depok, Jakarta) en in Yogyakarta (30 april en 1 mei).

  • Winternachten 2001 – Winternacht 1

    Performing Poets

    Lasana M. Sekou is a poet from the Isle of St Maarten. He has a clear message on the history of slavery and forced migration. Together with Dutch performing poets Mustafa Stitou, Ruben van Gogh and Albertina Soepboer the theme of migration was further elaborated on. The South African poet Koos Kombuis put his poems to music. Swinging verse, combined with guitar music, performed in the theatre's foyer. In this same venue there was a performance of poet Jan Kees van de Werk. Hij read from his recent book De Vissenvrouw. The programme in this venue was presented by Basil Appollis. With his Capetonian coloured humour he also performed his own stand-up comedy.