• Akademie der Künste

Program of the European Writers’ Conference

9 May 2016 • 9–17:00
Akademie der Künste • Pariser Platz 4 • 10117 Berlin

09:30 Greeting
Jeanine Meerapfel • President of the Akademie der Künste


09:35 Welcome
Mely KiyakNicol LjubićAntje Rávic StrubelTilman SpenglerFrank-Walter Steinmeier


09:45 Opening Remarks
Frank-Walter Steinmeier


10:00 Panel I: What Do European Values Mean Today?
How can we reconcile with a clear conscience our intention to uphold the greatest values of civilization, such as humanitarianism and human dignity, while watching scores of refugees drown in the Mediterranean, closing borders and tightening the rules for granting asylum? What do our traditional values mean to us in times of crisis when refugees from around the world come to Europe for these very achievements? How are these values transformed today when put to the test?
Opening remarks: Nicol Ljubić
Panelists: Kefah Ali Deeb (Syria) • Joanna Bator (Poland) • Doris Kareva (Estonia) • Shumona Sinha (France)
Moderator: Shelly Kupferberg
Languages: German, English, Arabic (simultaneous translation into German, English)


11:30 Coffee Break


12:00 Panel II: How Much Immigration Can Culture Handle?
It is commonly believed that people immigrating from other cultures and languages will adversely affect a country’s culture. Can culture be considered a static entity? Or isn’t it rather the case that art, literature and language are a mirror that reflects the status quo? Are the competing statuses of having “recently arrived” and having “always been there” not a prerequisite for the evolution of modern societies? What do the terms “values” and “culture” actually mean? Who uses these terms and for what purpose? Can different cultures share the same values?
Opening remarks: Tilman Spengler
Panelists: Nir Baram (Israel) • Lukas Bärfuss (Switzerland) • Lawen Mohtadi (Sweden) • Mehmet Yashin (Cyprus)
Moderator: Thomas Böhm
Languages: German, English (simultaneous translation into German, English)


13:30 Lunch


15:00 Presentation of the Manifesto of the European Writers’ Conference 2016
Reading: Thorsten Hierse and Barbara Schnitzler


15:30 Panel III: When Language Is Left Behind
When writers are forced to flee their country, it not only means losing their homeland, but also their language. For whom do they write when they leave? Exiled writers are engaged in myriad activities: they correspond, mediate and translate. They build a bridge between their old and new home. What does it mean to write within a new context? Does exile lead to silence? Does it lead to a politicization of their literature? Who publishes this literature? Who reads these texts? In what ways can the mother tongue and foreign language enrich each other?
Opening remarks: Mely Kiyak
Panelists: Najet Adouani (Tunisia) • Josef Haslinger (Austria) • Jordi Puntí (Spain) • Zmicier Vishniou (Belarus)
Moderator: Thomas Böhm
Languages: German, English, Russian (simultaneous translation into German, English)


20:00 Long Night of European Literature
Deutsches Theater


10 May 2016 • 11–16:00
Akademie der Künste • Pariser Platz 4 • 10117 Berlin

10:30 Doors Open


11:00 Opening Remarks and Review
presented by the initiating group


11:15 Presentation of the project Next Stage Europe
by Nicol Ljubić


11:30 Panel IV: WritingAwayBorders
Those who write reinvent the world. They draw attention to external and internal borders. They send people wandering through centuries and across continents in their family sagas and leave their readers captivated by the past. Literature doesn’t only describe the world—it can also inspire visions from which another reality can emerge, one that follows a different set of coordinates than any map can chart for us. Borders can’t hold back visionary ideas. Observing people in their societies is yet another essential aspect of literature, which also means writers can rewrite society. Where does littérature engagée begin and when does it end in tendentious literature, i.e. as propaganda?
Opening remarks: Antje Rávic Strubel
Panelists: Yavuz Ekinci (Turkey) • Rosa Liksom (Finland) • Ivana Sajko (Croatia) • Peter Terrin (Belgium)
Moderator: Thomas Böhm
Languages: German, English, Turkish (simultaneous translation into German, English)


13:00 Lunch


14:00 Panel V: Which Language Shapes the Public Sphere?
Literary language sounds and feels out; it scrutinizes and reflects. The public and media discourses about Europe are too often characterized by a perplexity that wraps itself in stereotypical terms, empty phrases and platitudes. What can literature contribute to a more reflective use of language in politics and the media? How would a different political narrative change our speech and ways of thinking? And how can authors assert their voices within their own specialization—language?
Opening remarks: Nicol Ljubić
Panelists: Eugenijus Ališanka (Lithuania) • Priya Basil (Great Britain) • György Dragomán (Hungary) • Sergey Lebedev (Russia)
Moderator: Shelly Kupferberg
Languages: German, English (simultaneous translation into German, English)


15:30 Closing Remarks and Farewell
presented by the initiating group

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