Should you find yourself in Brussels from the 20-24 of March, I have a remarkable event to tell you about, the Passa Porta Festival. As an avid blog writer, I’m jealous of anyone who gets the opportunity to attend this incredible event.
The event will include inspirational encounters coupled with readings and debates with writers from all over the world. The festival will conveniently be held near many of the city’s centre hotels. Brussels is delighted to host the five-day event that is being organized with the support and collaboration of dozens of partners.
While I have never had the pleasure of attending the festival myself, I’ve heard plenty of good press. Everyone who attends the Passa Porta Festival seems to find it an incredible experience filled with moving literature as well as fantasy and imagination.
I can’t tell you how excited I am about this event, which, to my mind, unifies some of the most amazing things about literature. Here, people, stories, politics and passion come together as one in an international celebration of the written word.
The opening event alone is something to be excited about. The Algerian author Boualem Sansal will be appearing to appeal on the importance of a more imaginative society, and everyone’s need to dream. I’ve been a fan of Sansai for some time now, and his work’s impact has been undeniable. The critical, controversial nature of his work has rendered him “exiled in his own country”, and his work has been banned in Algeria since 2006.
On the second day of the festival, Sansal will join Liao Yiwu, one of China’s world-class authors and peace campaigners. In 1990, Yiwu became an important voice in the country’s struggle for democracy. Both Sansal and Yiwu have been recipients of the prestigious Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.
Day three has been called “Arab Spring: Writers in Revolution” and was included into the festival to portray the human dignity and freedom, resistance movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Lybia that brought down their countries’ dictators.
Five Arab authors will talk about their convictions in an open discussion with journalist Beatrice Delvaux and Moroccan author Mohammed Berrada.
The fourth day of the festival will be dedicated to storytelling. World-famous authors from across the globe will gather together to present their best short stories. This enchanting evening will enable the audience to go on a journey both strange and recognizable with the author’s characters as their guide.
Eccentric stories will be told by American author Lydia David and Dutch writer Arnon Grunberg. Anne Enright and Gerard Donovan, both Irish authors, will tell tales of contemporary Ireland and Belgian authors Kristien Hemmerechts and Pierre Mertens will bring fantasy to life with their stories.
On the fifth and final day of the festival, a celebration will take place. Literature aficionados including Julian Barnes, Alain Badiou, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Laurent Binet and many more will be speaking in an auditorium near many centre hotels. Brussels is highly anticipating this culturally enriched event and is going to be a memorable experience for all in attendance.
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