Festival for a multilingual literature of the future
Gender, origin, class, sexuality and physicality are but some of the categories across which a person can vary. Yet one thing should always be the same: the sovereignty of the individual. But how does one exercise self-determination in a society described, conceived, dreamt of and created by so few? For five days in September, the WESTOPIA festival will explore this question through a series of readings, performances, workshops and discussions. Curated by the international collective foundintranslation, we will dream, think, write and create a new state of mind.
We are not the same. Gender, origin, class, sexuality and physicality are but some of the categories across which we vary. We may be dismissed or exalted according to these immutable characteristics. We each have our own desires, longings, stories, families, heritages, homes, friends, partners, handwriting, dreams, nightmares. Yet one thing should always be the same: our sovereignty as individuals. But how does one exercise self-determination in a society described, conceived, dreamt of and created by so few?
Together with the international collective foundintranslation, Burg Hülshoff - Center for Literature will explore this question. During WESTOPIA, we will dream, think, and write ourselves out of these blind spots and develop a new state of mind: a vision for a multilingual literature of the future.
How should we envision this long-overdue pluralising of the multilingual literature scene? How can we provide and amplify platforms for those who write in Germany in languages other than German? What texts concerning migration, homosexuality, transgenderism or racism can we devise — or rediscover? And how can we democratise access to literary events?
At a Westphalian moated castle, the birthplace of Germany’s most famous 19th century poet, we look back to move forward.
Six untranslatable words will guide us through each day of the festival:
»DOXA«: Who appears how? Who does not appear and why? Who belongs in this cultural landscape, who is excluded?
»TRADUIRE«: What is lost in translation, what is found? Are there ways to translate the physical and emotional beyond (spoken) languages? What is the role of the untranslatable in literature?
»AUFHEBUNG«: Who determines what is remembered and how? What future emerges from our memory? How different are the cultures of remembrance in the East and West, and how might we deal with them? Is something lost in the archive of the global East or South if everything must be translated for the West?
»DESENGAÑO«: Can literature counteract injustice and repression with the power of the undeceiving? How do we talk about that which almost everyone is silent: social stratification? And what does Chile and Pikachu have to do with it?
»CONSENSUS«: What do sexuality and sexism mean for a society, for relationships, for art? Who pushes themselves to the fore, who is left behind?
»COMMON SENSE«: How can literature become inclusive? In what ways might deaf people not only experience readings, but perform themselves? What does it mean to be a blind writer?
Further information on the venue and type of event will follow shortly.