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Witold Szabłowski

Witold Szabłowski
Witold Szabłowski

(Poland, 1980) studied journalism and political science in Warsaw. After an internship at CNN in Istanbul he wrote a series of reports about Turkey for the Polish daily newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza; some of this material formed part of his acclaimed essay collection Zabójca z miasta moreli (Assassin from Apricot City). In it, Szablowski provides a nuanced portrait of a society torn between East and West, Islamism and Islamophobia, the desire to belong to Europe and an aversion to all things European. He always chooses a particular angle; for example, he went looking for the story behind the shoe thrown at George W. Bush by an Iraqi journalist. In 2010, his reportage Dziś przypłyną tu dwa trupy (Two Bodies Washed Up Today), about immigrants trying to reach Europe via Istanbul, won the Journalism Prize of the European Parliament. At the invitation of the Flemish-Duch cultural organization Huis de Buren (Neighbours' House), Szablowski wrote Alle poorten van Lublin (All the Gates of Lublin), a literary portrait of the Polish city of Lublin.

Archive available for: Witold Szabłowski

  • Dancing Bears: Polish writer Witold Szablowski on Nostalgia for Communism

    Dancing Bears: Polish writer Witold Szablowski on Nostalgia for Communism

    With: Michel Krielaars, Witold Szabłowski

    In his latest book, Dancing Bears: True Stories of People Nostalgic for Life Under Tyranny, the young Polish writer and journalist Witold Szabłowski goes looking for what remains of the communist ideals – the dancing bears from his title are released former circus animals from Bulgaria who can barely survive in the wild. During his reporter's travels through Poland, Albania, and Bulgaria, among other countries, he records the intriguing stories of people who, like the tamed bears, have been freed but often still long for the communist era. Freedom is trickier than we think, he finds, and when inequality increases, support for communism grows. Szabłowski discussed his work with Michel Krielaars, Books Editor at the NRC and author of, among other books, Alles voor het moederland (Everything for the motherland), about Stalin's reign of terror in the days of Babel and Grossman.

    Event curated by Toef Jaeger (Writers Unlimited)
    Books for sale courtesy of Van Stockum Booksellers

  • Ways of Dialogue - Libanon 2016

    Ways of Dialogue Lebanon

    With: Maaza Mengiste, Martijn Knol, Usha K R, Vamba Sherif, Witold Szabłowski

    Van 13 tot en met 20 november reisden vier schrijvers met Writers Unlimited naar Libaonon, voor een tournee van een week naar Beiroet, Tyre, Baaklin, Beqaa en Tripoli. Martijn Knol (Nederland), Witold Szablowski (Polen), Vamba Sherif (Liberia/Nederland) en Usha Kuniga Ramaswamy (India), treden samen met Libanese schrijvers en dichters op. Uit Libanon namen deel de schrijvers Hanan Al Shaykh, Sawsan alAbtah, Rasha alAmir, Abbass Beydoun, Youssef Bazzi, Mark Daou, Maya elHajj, Zena el Khalil, Iman Humaydan, Hussam Itani, Hala Kawtharani, Roseanne Khalaf, Issa Makhlouf , Sahar Mandour, Bilal Orfali , Alawiyah Sobh, Assaad Thebian, Fadi elTofeili, Fawzi Yammine, Hyam Yared, Khaled Ziadeh en Rewa Zeinati.

    Rond het thema 'Ways of Dialogue' droegen de schrijvers voor uit eigen werk en lazen ze fragmenten uit hun literaire traditie. Centrale thema's in de programma's waren de verschillende tradities in deling van macht en besluitvorming. Het was de tweede tournee in een serie in de Arabische wereld. De eerste in de serie vond plaats in mei 2016 in Marokko. Deze tournee was een samenwerkingsproject met PEN Libanon. De optredens waren zowel voor algemeen publiek, als voor studenten van middelbare scholen en universiteiten.

    Dit project van Writers Unlimited wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door het Nederlandse Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken. PEN Libanon werkt voor dit project samen met o.a. Centre for Arts and Humanities (CAH), American University of Beirut; Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern studies (CAMES) en Aaliya's Bookshop, Jemayzeh, Beirut.

  • Winternachten 2015 – FRIDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    The Text of My Life: Witold Szabłowski

    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 Wim Brands and Fidan Ekiz. In English.

  • Winternachten 2015 – SATURDAY NIGHT UNLIMITED

    Ian Buruma Introduces Witold Szabłowski

    A conversation about the need to ask difficult questions, the importance of investigative journalism, and the rise of literary non-fiction. Witold Szabłowski is an award-winning Polish "literary" journalist and Ian Buruma is internationally acclaimed as one of the most influential thinkers of our time. In English.