Read My World Festival 2020
International Literature Festival Read My World presents literature in all its forms. Every year, Read My World takes a new and up-to-date look at different places of the world, from the inside out, through literature. Places we know through the media and its headlines.
While in recent years Read My World has mainly focused on literary voices outside Europe, the 8th edition of the festival will turn to literature from the European continent. Partly because of the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus, but moreover because of recent social developments on which we need to reflect, such as: the rise of right-wing extremist movements in many European countries, the increasing violence against various (religious) minorities, the standardization of abusive speech on social media, the growing segregation in big cities – these are disturbing developments that demand powerful alternative narratives about Europe. And that is exactly our goal for this year.
For this Europe edition, we got inspired by European Others, a book by Fatima El Tayeb. This acclaimed work examines the position of the people on the fringes of European cities, the people who are labelled as “Other” by an established order. However, it is also in the unexpected places where these so-called “Others” find themselves, that new stories and languages emerge, a new connectedness that transcends national, ethnic and religious boundaries. Through a wide variety of sources (from drag performances to feminist Muslim activism and Euro-hip hop), El Tayeb maps out a multifaceted and energetic contemporary Europe. right now because they are able to represent a vision of the future where our European leaders are increasingly losing authority.
For Read My World, El Tayeb’s insights are a logical sequel to previous editions of the festival, not least because of the corresponding themes she addresses and for her inclusive vision, also because her approach is expressed in the work of the four co-creators of this year’s festival.
We closely follow current events and remain in contact with funds and fellow organisations. We do not yet know what the festival will look like in October. It is conceivable that an edition like previous years will not be possible. We are anticipating an alternative Read My World so that we can continue to present the writers and their stories to our audience.