Flanders and the Netherlands Guest of Honour at ‘Stadt Land Buch’
From 5 until 12 November, the literary festival ‘Stadt Land Buch’ took place in Berlin, Brandenburg and the surrounding areas. Flanders and the Netherlands were the Guest of Honour of this edition of the festival, as a follow-up to the joint presentation of Dutch and Flemish literature at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2016. In the course of last week, readings and events with about twenty authors from Flanders and the Netherlands were organised in Germany. The Low Countries want to keep sharing their literature with German-speaking audiences.
A full programme
The ‘regional book week’ was kicked off on Sunday 5 November by Margriet de Moor and Stefan Hertmans. The following days, there were readings, book presentations, workshops by illustrators, and so on. The closing event of the festival took place last night at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin. A large audience came to see authors Gerbrand Bakker, Gustaaf Peek, Fikry El Azzouzi and Bart Moeyaert on stage. Afterwards, they signed the German translations of their books for their readers. If things had gone according to plan, Griet Op de Beeck and Niña Weijers would also have been present at the Deutsches Theater. Unfortunately, they could not make it due to unforeseen circumstances. Still, it is good to know that the fact that only male authors were featured at the closing event was no deliberate programming choice!
The 2017 edition of ‘Stadt Land Buch’ may have come to an end, but the joint Flemish-Dutch focus on the German-speaking area has not. We will continue to present our books and our authors to German-speaking publishers and audiences and support translations into German. For 2018 events are planned in Leipzig (including the Leipzig Book Fair in March), Munich (White Raven festival in May) and Hamburg (Harbourfront Festival in September and October).
Photo Margriet de Moor and Stefan Hertmans © Holger Biermann
Photos Mattias De Leeuw and Fikry El Azzouzi © Ines Huber