(Suriname, 1968) is a regular columnist for De Volkskrant newspaper, sharing prominent page-two placement with Bert Wagendorp. In 2013 she won the Heldring Prize for best Dutch columnist. The jury praised her thorough factual knowledge, humorous approach, and utter lack of cynicism. Since 2014 she has reguarly presented the current-events radio programme Met het oog op morgen (Eye on Tomorrow). Sitalsing studied economics at Erasmus University, then worked for the Rotterdams Dagblad newspaper and Elsevier magazine. She became the Brussels EU correspondent for the latter in 1998. She moved on to head the economics section and become political editor at De Volkskrant newspaper. In De kiezer heeft altijd gelijk (The Voter Is Always Right, 2010), she and Hans Wansink make a joint plea for more transparent decision-making in The Hague. As a freelancer, she now writes columns for Elsevier and De Volkskrant and appears regularly on the popular Dutch TV talk show DWDD.(2015)
Archive available for: Sheila Sitalsing
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.
British author Karen Armstrong starts off the first evening of the festival with the 9th Winternachten Lecture. Her subject is violence and religion. What are the factors that lead to eruptions of violence and war? How can we live together peacefully despite religious and cultural differences? Is religion really a motive for the use of force, or are there other underlying factors? After the lecture, Sheila Sitalsing will have a conversation with Karen Armstrong. Dutch essayist Paul Scheffer and Egyptian writer Muhammad Aladdin will also take part in the discussion. In English.
See me. Hear me. Read me. Appreciate me. Be like me. Do like me. Join me: with the democratisation of the media owing to the Internet and the social media, there is a growing longing for recognition. Not only do celebrities have a stage to sparkle on, all those with a blog, Facebook or Twitter account can create their own little kingdom and think themselves a poet, a writer, a political expert or an expert on the environment. Boundaries fade; idols and politicians can be reached on Twitter, making it seem as if one really counts. And a like or a retweet is the reward. New online communities are formed, not hindered by national borders or local politics. The new world citizen creates his own virtual society of kindred spirits. What does it mean to live in a virtual world and what are the consequences for people's identities? Amin Maalouf ponders the deper layers and consequences behind a simple request: Like me. Followed by a debate on the topic. In English.
With the PEN Awards Oxfam Novib and Dutch PEN honour writers, journalists and filmmakers who, against the current, and at the risk of their own lives, search for the truth and spread it. Writer an secretary of PEN Netherlands Manon Uphoff will present the Oxfam Novib/PEN Award in Theater aan het Spui, as part of the Writers Unlimited Winternachten festival The Hague. The Syrian writer Samar Yazbek witnessed the brutal violence against demonstrating citizens in her country. She published about it, was severely threatened and consequently had to leave the country.
The other prize winners this year are Enoh Meyomesse (Cameroun), Nargess Mohammadi (Iran), Déo Namujimbo (Congo) and Büþra Ersanlý (Turkey). Samar Yazbek is the only winner present during the ceremony.
The prize-winning ceremony is followed by a debate organised by Dutch PEN about censorship, self-censorship and the ethics of writers, journalists and bloggers, chaired by Volkskrant columnist Sheila Sitalsing. Arabist Petra Stienen, Remco Breuker (a professor and an expert on East Asia), Michel Maas (a correspondent in Indonesia) and writer Joris van Casteren. Prizewinning ceremony is in English, the debate in Dutch.
'I have a Dream!' Noraly Beyer presents three Dutch/Surinamese authors (Karin Amatmoekrim, Anil Ramdas, Sheila Sitalsing), who will read a column inspired by the famous speech by the reverend King. What do the writers expect and hope for the future of Surinam? In Dutch.