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Winternachten 2008

Forbidden words

This summer the Syrian writer and film maker Khaled Khalifa again got to know the limits of the freedom of expression in his country. In praise of Hatred , his novel about the Syrian agression against the muslim brothers (25 years ago), was banned … read more

Indonesia now: new and innovative poetry

Poets Violetta Simatupang and Tan Lioe Ie read from their work, the latter punctuating his lines with supple, ritual jumps. They talk to Tsead Bruinja about the role of engagement in modern Indonesian literature and about the question whether in … read more

Who's Afraid of Youth? Pupils have the floor

Don't miss it: pupils of Scholengroep Johan de Witt and the Atlas Onderwijs Groep, The Hague. They read their own work expressing their greatest fear. They are inspired by poet Saskia de Jong, who visited their schools, and by closereading a great … read more

Prophesies of the new generation of poets

Come and see: Seven young poets from allover the world enter the stage as modern prophets. They will conclude this Winternight prophesying with a poem assigned by the festival. What kind of future awaits us? Tamiem al-Barghuti (Palestine), Lamis … read more

Great Dicatation in Papiamento/u of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Prolongated because of its success in 2006: the public dictation Papiamento/u. Since March 2007 it is the official language on the Dutch Antilles - so high time to test your knowledge. Participants may choose from Papiamentu, spoken on Curaçao and … read more

Berber poetry and prose: In stone I'll write

Why a Berber is not an Arab. And why not all Berbers speak Tamazight. On Berbers and Berber culture there is the necessary misunderstanding and ignorance in the Netherlands. At the same time Berbers here are increasingly aware of their own backgroun… read more

Who's Afraid of Youth? Pupils have the floor

Don't miss it: pupils of the Atlas Onderwijs Groep, The Hague. They read their own work expressing their greatest fear. They are inspired by poet Ester Naomi Perquin, who visited their schools, and by closereading a great many poems. Alfred Schaffer … read more

Traditions, taboos, belief and superstition. Writers from the Antilles and Surinam

A man dies. His lover puts a set of used underpants of her in his coffin. That's the custom in Surinam. But how do you do it without arousing the suspicion of his wife? And is this the only pair of underpants? Budding talent Ruth San A Jong wrote … read more

Young + Urban + Writer

Is this a coincidence? Three debuts from countries far apart, showing striking resemblances. The novels of Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Sweden), Hassan Bahara (Netherlands) and Ahmad al-Aidi (Egypt) are set in the big city, in multi-ethnic surroundings, … read more

Turkish literature home and abroad

The Turkish writer and journalist Asli Tohumcu now lives in The Hague as a guestwriter for Kosmopolis Den Haag and AD/Haagsche Courant. She writes articles for the newspaper on Turkish migrants in The Hague. The articles are moving, often about a … read more

Between Fear and Hope Part 3: art and religion

The conclusion of the tryptich. After science, literature and architecture we now enter the fields of religion and music, and the writer has the final say. 'Hope' doesn't merely have to be aimed at the future, tradition can also play a vital role. … read more

Between Fear and Hope Part 2: literature & architecture

Part 2 of the programme lasting a whole evening in the main hall of the theatre, on the imagination of hope. After science literature & architecture are next: does art offer hope? From their own disciplines writer A.F.Th. van der Heijden and … read more

Between fear and hope. Part 1: science

A test tube? A revealing line of poetry? Moving music? In a programme lasting all evening in the main hall of the theatre, prominent figures from the world of art, culture and science talk to Michaël Zeeman about the question: what do they see as … read more

lord horror: international poetry reading

'At night lord horror's going out,' Lucebert prescribed to our foreign guest poets. Toghether with Dutch poet and P.C. Hooft Prize winner Eva Gerlach, Ashur Etwebi (Libya) and Tan Lioe Ie (Indonesia) read their poetry, presenting their lord horror. … read more

Liberation in literature

How do characters and their creators, the writers, free themselves from oppressive restrictions? Where do they find their freedom? And when does freedom turn into un freedom? Three writers discuss this. Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer has an Avatar in the … read more

Images of fear

Image of fear number one: the Twin Towers collapsing. What represented fear before this event? The mushroom cloud? Bas Heijne, Gerrit Jan Wolffensperger and Hassan Daoud show what disturbs them now and what disturbed them in the past. Joris … read more

Memory, speak

Three writers of international stature talk about the fear of forgetting the past and the task of the writer to recall that past. 'I am the Second World War', Mulisch once claimed about himself. In the work of Shafak and Krog national history also … read more

Ghost Writing

In this opening programme two well-matched authors perform: Flemish writer Dimitri Verhulst and Egyptian writer Ahmad al-Aidi. The speed in their prose is breathtaking, the use of language direct and the humour disturbingly sharp. For Winternachten … read more

NRC Reading Club Live

A city gripped by fear, and what does that fear do to people: Albert Camus wrote his fabulous novel 'The Pest' (1947) about it. Are their paralls to be drawn with our present day and age? In the section De Leesclub ( The Reading Club ) in … read more

In A State of Fear

"The only thing we fear is fear itself", said president Roosevelt. The Netherlands is one of the safest countries in the world. The government does everything to protect us. And yet fear reigns. British sociologist Frank Furedi, writer of among … read more

Winternachten Lecture: Elif Shafak

The writer as commuter The novels of Elif Shafak have been praised in the Dutch press as "cosmopolitan, with a universal human message". In 2005 Winternachten introduced Shafak in the Netherlands. Now she opens the festival with the Winternachte… read more