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Rodaan al Galidi

Ilay den Boer pushes boundary between theatre and journalism with 'Solomon's Judgement'

Je Maintiendrai. Holland's motto of arms ('Ik zal handhaven') adorns the beautiful hall of Utrecht's old Post Office, now Library. The motto also watched over the premiere of the performance 'Solomon's Judgement' with which Ilay den Boer now returns to the public. After all, he was not here for a while. He worked for just under a year at the IND, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service,... 

When it suddenly feels complicated to clap. Play based on Rodaan al Galidi's novel delivers necessary discomfort

Talent is often developed thanks to considerable opposition. Rodaan Al Galidi got talent for life thanks to more opposition than a white, former blonde Dutchman like me will ever meet. He escaped from Iraq and then spent years in the purgatory of the IND and COA, the abbreviations that define the border of the Netherlands. He wrote down what he... 

Winternachten 2018 ended up being a beautiful ode to anger. #wu18

She is 14, heavily veiled and bespectacled, with a voice that can be heard in the farthest corners of The Hague. She wants to be a surgeon but first she wins the preliminary round of the school competition for young poets at Winternachten. What anger there is in that person. What maturity sounds from her cry... 

Winternachten Festival offers the best chance to see great writers up close. And Francis Broekhuijsen.

From 18 January, The Hague will be all about Winternachten. We think this is the most fun literature festival in the west of the Netherlands. This year, it is about Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood, the motto of the French Revolution, among other things. But also about Karl Marx. Under the motto 'we the people', Winternachten is therefore about populism and secession,... 

Holland on the sofa: 'I suffer from strong mood swings' #wu17

'In schools, you have to feed children literature like they feed geese in France.' With his witty remarks, Tommy Wieringa got the laughs as he lay on the sofa as the personification of the Netherlands with psychiatry professor Damiaan Denys. 'The Netherlands on the sofa' was one of the first programmes of the Saturday evening literary festival Winternachten in... 

connie palms

A Saturday night with Connie Palmen, Adriaan van Dis and Socrates. #wu16, #wn16

Next time, there will be 10 people queuing for a hotseat, 100 online viewers and dozens of live spectators in the foyer. At least I hope so, because only then will experimenting with new forms, apps and devices make sense, of course. At the second Winternachten night, Saturday 16 January at the Theater aan het Spui, we had slightly fewer viewers than... 

Queues to the door for Knausgård at Winternachten #wu16 #wn16

Veel publiek en prachtige verhalen maakten de zaterdag van het literaire festival Winternachten tot een feestje. Voor het bezoek van de Noorse schrijver Karl Ove Knausgård ’s middags stonden de rijen van de zaal tot aan het voordeur van het Theater aan het Spui. Ook de avondprogrammering van het festival werd goed bezocht. Terwijl de Amerikaans-Duitse filosofe Susan Neiman in… 

winter nights on blab

On the sofa with The Signature Hunter, The Translator and Abdelkader Benali

Three and a half hours of streaming video from a seating area at The Hague's Winternachten festival. I won't blame you if you didn't follow everything. I wasn't quite there myself at the end. Still, it was a success. If only because it hasn't been done here in the country before. Blab is so new that... 

Winternachten is about something

Hello Darkness is the theme of the international literary festival Winternachten, this coming weekend in The Hague. It takes guts, in a time when everything has to be fun and cosy and we prefer not to spend our free time dealing with misery or 'heavy topics'. That is why we love Winternachten, because that festival really goes... 

Susan Neiman chief guest at Winternachten 2016: Why the atomic bomb really fell on Hiroshima

Propaganda is not just something that occurs in, say, Russia, but also in the West - more so than we ourselves realise. For example, is it widely believed today that the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force Japan to capitulate and thus end World War II, nothing could be further from the truth. In that respect, Germany goes... 

Through Facebook, writers return to origins #wu14

Het komt door Facebook. Zegt Ton van de Langkruis, artistiek directeur van schrijversfestival Writers Unlimited: “Je kunt niet langer die anonieme figuur zijn die de wereld met hermetische teksten bestookt vanuit een afgesloten zolderkamer. De markt is er niet meer naar. Je belangrijkste communicatiemiddel is facebook. Daar moet je open staan voor vragen, je communiceert met je lezers. We zijn weer terug op het dorpsplein waar ooit  de eerste verhalen verteld werden.”  

Arie Boomsma flings books of poetry at Writers Unlimited

The latenight closures of Winternachten at Writers Unlimited are always upbeat. That's because the poets have already loosened up and the audience has drunk a bit more. And this time it was also because of mega-audience favourite (on other occasions) Arie Boomsma. Out of wantonness, the cheerful ratings canon smashed poetry books of his programme's guests.

2 nights of sex, booze and relaxed writers: a mini guide

Writers Unlimited is the most fun literary festival in the world. We can know, because we have been there twice now. Whether the comparison with all those 20 million other literature festivals in the world is entirely pure, we don't know. We do know that a lot of the writers who attend Writers Unlimited agree with us. At least during those few days and especially nights in January.

A few reasons.

'For me, only the text exists' - Alberto Manguel & Hans Goedkoop on black pages #wu13

Met een bomvol programma zoals Writers Unlimited 2013 wil het wel eens gebeuren dat je, ook als professioneel journalist, ondanks alles toch ergens té laat komt binnenvallen, en dan nog net een glimp opvangt van iets heel moois. In dit geval, na de krachttoer van Amos Oz en Adriaan van Dis, was dat het spoken word optreden van de Keniaanse Ngwatilo Mawiyoo. Mea culpa daarvoor.

Presenters can make a Winternight. And break it. #wu13

En dan kun je dus zomaar het hoogtepunt van de eerste Winternacht missen omdat je het niet meer trekt om met een presentator mee te willen. De Vlaamse auteur Bart van Loo schijnt, aldus menig twitteraar, prachtige zinnen te hebben uitgesproken in het programma ‘Daar geef ik mijn leven voor’, maar dat was ver na twaalven en ik was toen al

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