Roanne van Voorst
(Utrecht, 1983) is a dr. in anthropology, writer, investigative journalist, (TEDx) speaker and university lecturer. She has written seven books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest book, Six in Bed, explores the future of love and friendship. Her work has been translated into several languages and some of her books are published internationally. As an 'anthropologist of the future', her research focuses on what a sustainable and desirable future of our world could be. She mainly thinks about what she calls 'sustainable humanity': how do we keep hope in an era characterized by climate change and 'fake news'? What keeps us human, in times of robotization? Will we soon fall in love with robots, dine with avatars, and leave our work tasks to algorithms? What is the effect of this on our society, and on our individual happiness and well-being? And which skills do we need to teach ourselves in order to remain successful, both humanly and professionally, in a high-tech future?(WN 2022)
Archive available for: Roanne van Voorst
A literary relay with Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Neske Beks, Aafke Romeijn, Rebecca Solnit (online), Robin Block, Pola Oloixarac et al.
Whose House is This? is Winternachten 2022's festival theme. In this event, we presented an exciting relay of readings and music, in which our festival authors put their own spin on the theme. Together they breathed new life into the house of family, society and literature.
All angles of the four-day Winternachten Festival were covered in Whose House is This? during a colourful parade of authors and performers. Various voices gave completely different answers to the great question underlying the festival. We listened to stories about being at home, to critical stories about the institutions to which we are subject, to cozy stories built on a solid foundation, and much more.
Author and artist Neske Beks got her teeth into our theme (and the question is what was left over); author Pola Oloixarac let us in on the fun of Mona, a parody of the literary world; multitalent Aafke Romeijn treated us to music; and writer and activist Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me) came home to us on the podium all the way from the United States.
Following up on the festival theme Whose House is This?, in A Book to Come Home to we asked one festival author the following question: which book brought you home? The answers could go in all directions. Perhaps the author chose a book that describes a house that feels like his/her own home, or a place where he/she wishes to live. But it could also be a book whose style of writing or manner of thinking makes the author feel at home. Or it could be the relief of finally reading a story in which the protagonist reflects his/her appearance. The program was a peek into the bookshelves as well as the soul of each author.
Chris Keulemans interviewed Roanne van Voorst, who chose and spoke about Wintering by Katherine May.
Women, meat and women's flesh - with Agustina Azterrica, Roanne van Voorst, Elianne van Elderen and Gwen Stok
What is the connection between women's bodies and flesh? Both are widely objectified - in advertising, film and language use. Is there also, then, a possible link between the consumption of meat and the objectification of the female body? Argentinian author Agustina Bazterrica and Dutch anthropologiest and writer Roanne van Voorst have both written highly intriguing books about this connection. During Meat:Woman they discussed this with each other.
Agustina Bazterrica makes the connection between woman and meat in her novel Tender is the Flesh. In a dystopian Argentina, cannibalism is legal and people eat their fellows - those that are least visible, anyway. Roanne van Vorst wrote Ooit aten we dieren (Once Upon a Time We Ate Animals), an investigation into the future of food that's a must-read for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters; in Van Voorst's future, we no longer eat any meat at all. Two totally different narratives, yet we'll discover whether the authors are perhaps driven by the same impulse.
Commissioned by Winternachten Festival, new talent Elianne van Elderen got inspired by the work of illustrator Gwen Stok, who made three extra drawings with reference to Bazterrica's work.
Want to get in the mood? Listen to the podcast Short guide to: Meat, in which programmer Joëlle Koorneef talks to Ruth Ozeki, the Japanese-American author who has written about meat like no other. My Year of Meats is a humorous yet highly critical novel about the meat industry, among other subjets, which made a huge impact in 2000.
Despite their popularity with readers, fantasy and science fiction remain on the margins, even though these imaginative and expressive genres enrich and elevate literature. Usually, little attention is paid to speculative fiction at literary festivals. Time for change! During this Winternachten Festival (theme: Whose House is This?) we not only approached the idea of "house" in a traditional sense, but also made room for stories in which Earth no longer suffices as house or home.
In today's world, we could easily picture a house, or an inhabitant. We recognized our forms of cohabitation and communication. But how will we live together in 2060? What does a house look like in another dimension, and how would people speak to each other there? And what if Earth no longer provides a "home" - where will we find a new one? And what if someone else is already living there? For Moving into Space, we talked to authors who think outside the borders of our current ideas of what constitutes a house. We celebrated the diversity and creativity of speculative fiction. And in the process we encountered a new world where we can feel at home.
"Anthropologist of the future" Roanne van Vorst took on the house of the future, while poet and performer Robin Block, a great science-fiction fan, offered an ode to the genre. In his beautiful and poignant work, American author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah reminds us that the future can be a whimsical place. Moving into Space showed why speculative fiction is also eminently political, and why precisely this genre is so important for the future of literature. We explored the present and the past but especially the future - we followed dimensional paths and interplanetary avenues...
The evening was concluded by the great band N3RDISTAN, known for their mythical electronic tunes, N3rdistan created a compelling poetic fusion that was serene and unsual. We danced into the future!
Reading tips to get in the mood (by event authors):
- Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
- In Between, Di Antara by Robin Block
- Met zijn zessen in bed by Roanne van Voorst
Want to read more? These speculative works inspired our event programmers Fleur Jeras and Nisrine Mbarki:
- The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories by Amal El-Mothar et al.
- Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
- Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
- Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
- Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler
- Popisho by Leone Ross