Wintertuinfestival is one of the biggest literary festivals in the Netherlands, taking place in Nijmegen every year. This time the theme of the festival is: What do we hear, when we really listen? and it aims to open up forms of conversation about urgent social issues and debates. From 21 until 25 November, literary presentations, performances, interviews and workshops took place throughout the city, which CELA was also a part of.
On Friday evening 23 November, CELA writers and translators performed together with authors from De Nieuwe Oost | Wintertuin during the Avond van de Grote Beloftes (‘Evening of great promises’). Two emerging writers presented their chapbooks with unique performances, while the CELA writer-translator duo’s presented translation on stage. Carmien Michels (Belgium) and translator Cătălina Oșlobanu (Romania), Rebekka de Wit (Belgium) and translator Guillermo Briz (Spain), Anna Kalimar (Romania) and translator Jan Willem Bos (the Netherlands) presented themselves and their work on stage with readings and performances. Joost Oomen, also a CELA-writer, was the vibrant and lively host of this special evening.
On Saturday 24 November, four different writer-translator duo's took the stage during the big festival evening in Doornroosje. Mariana Torres (Spain) and translator Heleen Oomen (the Netherlands), Andrei Crăciun (Romania) and Jan Willem Bos (the Netherlands), Valério Romão (Portugal) and translator Anne Lopes Michielsen (the Netherlands) and Maurizio Amendola (Italy) and Lies Lavrijsen (the Netherlands) talked with none other than renowned author Abdelkader Benali about the joys and sorrows of telling the same story differently. A very fitting host for this evening, since he published his debut novel at a young age and it grew to be a bestseller which was translated in many different languages.
Afterwards, Benali wrote in his column in Dutch newspaper Trouw about the beauty of the evening:
'Connection is created when speaker and listener allow each other space.
The European authors that I introduced read their texts side by side with their translators.
From the stage they offered their talent, the audience received it.'
Also during the festival evening, Anne Lopes Michielsen offered the Wintertuinfestival public insights into translation problems in a workshop. In the cosy setting of the backstage dressing room, the audience dove into the work of the CELA authors and tackled translation challenges together with Anne:
During Friday afternoon, two CELA writers gave a creative writing workshop at the Wintertuin offices. Spanish writer Mariana Torres provided the participants with tips, tricks and exercises on creative writing, while Romanian writer and journalist Andrei Crăciun talked about the relationship between journalism and literature and the way in which reality can turn into fiction. It was a fun and inspiring afternoon with a lot of positive reactions from the participants.
Finally, in both Nijmegen en Pisa we presented transmedia work by Maud Vanhauweart. ‘I do not live in the house anymore (but the house still lives in me)’ is a unique audiotour made by Maud in collaboration with Ibo Ibelings (student Interaction Design, ArtEZ). Listeners could roam the dreams of five characters who lost their childhood homes and follow their own route from front door to bedroom.
In December, the CELA festivaltour will continue to travel to Literary Festival Tinto no Branco in Viseu, Portugal from 7-9 December. Come and meet our artists there - we look forward to seeing you!