Writers, poets, slammers and illustrators will team up with other artists to form pairs in various rooms of the Beursschouwburg. Let yourself be surprised as you move from one room to another to see them at work. A great DJ will mix a literary playlist from 22:30.
© Charlie De Keersmaecker
Because of his hilarious and merciless texts and his uncompromising performances, poet and performer Andy Fierens (b. 1976) is a bit of an outsider in the Flemish literary scene. In 2009 he debuted with the collection Grote Smerige Vlinder (Herman de Coninck Debuutprijs). In 2013 he published with Michaël Brijs the novel Astronaut van Oranje. Een Vlaams epos. One year later he released his second collection, Wonderbra's en pepperspray.
The Mexican author Aura Xilonen (b. 1995) was already a much-acclaimed film-maker, and has now impressed readers with her debut novel The Gringo Champion. The jury praised ‘the mature form of a novel that plays with language on several levels’. Xilonen writes about immigration in a style that is both original and experimental.
Bertrand Belin was born in 1970 in Brittany. As a singer and musician, he made himself known with the fabulous albums Hypernuit (2010) and Cap Waller (2015), which distinguished him on the music scene. As a writer, he stunned readers in 2015 with Requin, the monologue of a man who is drowning. He confirmed his talent with his second novel, Littoral, a short but intense text that describes the daily life of three fishermen.
Dimitri Verhulst (b. 1972) is one of the most famous writers of the Low Countries. His work has appeared in more than 20 languages and been rewarded with different literary awards. The Misfortunates sold more than 200,000 copies in Dutch. It won the Gouden Uil Publieksprijs and was made into a film. Godverdomse dagen op een godverdomse bol won the Libris Literatuurprijs. He recently released Het leven gezien van beneden.
Actress, scriptwriter and director Eve Bonfanti developed an interest in writing and directing early on. In 1988 she started producing and conceiving shows with Yves Hunstad, with whom she wrote La Tragédie comique, which has been performed around the world and which marked the start of a joint undertaking. Within the Fabrique Imaginaire they inaugurated a creative process that involves the audience.
Gerard Herman (b. 1989) is a visual artist, performer and poet, influenced by Dadaism. In 2013 he had his first retrospective, Arm en erg hard, in the M Museum Leuven. He has published Te koop wegens stopzetting hobby (2013), Allemaal Gedichten (2016) and Onmens in personenwagen (2016).
Joy is a young woman with diverse roots: a Belgo-Italian father and a mother of Burundian origin. An entrancing slammer, she won the 2013 Prix Paroles Urbaines. In May 2015 she released her first collection, L’arbre sans racines d’un pays sans soleil. But her real breakthrough came with Tram 25, which follows the route of a tram crossing the Belgian capital, moving from the cosy neighbourhoods to the immigrant communes.
Danish cartoonist and illustrator Halfdan Pisket (b. 1986) graduated in 2009 from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Pisket was the first cartoonist to receive an author’s working grant from the Danish Arts Council. His international breakthrough came with a trilogy about the life of his Turkish father.
Jean-Baptiste Del Amo’s talent was immediately recognized with his first novel, Une éducation libertine. A finalist for the Prix Goncourt, it ultimately won the Prix Goncourt du Premier Roman. It was followed by Le Sel and Pornographia. In September 2016 the French writer, a vegan, struck again with Règne animal, the story of a family business destined to become a factory farm.
Jeroen Olyslaegers (b. 1967) is a Flemish novelist and playwright. With his remarkable war novel WIL, he recently completed his trilogy about twentieth-century Flanders (Wij, 2009, Winst, 2012, WIL, 2016). In 2014 he received the Arkprijs van het Vrije Woord for his ‘genuine social engagement in words and initiatives’. He also wrote texts for Jan Fabre’s marathon show Mount Olympus (2015).
Maartje Wortel (1982) is a Dutch writer of novels, short stories and columns. She has been praised for her wry and crystal-clear narrative voice. In 2015 she published her short-story collection Er moet iets gebeuren, an autobiographical tale about the imagination and desire. Her latest book is Goudvissen en beton (2016). Several of her stories have been translated into German, French, English and Italian.
Milady Renoir has been leading writing workshops for more than a decade and is the coordinator of Réseau Kalame. She is an extraordinary artist and personality. Committed and generous, she writes, reads, performs, rereads, rewrites and starts over again. She has published two booklegs with maelström: Intérieur cuir and La musique adoucit les morts. She lives in Brussels, where she campaigns for, among others, ‘La Voix des Sans Papiers’.
Milan Warmoeskerken (b. 1991) is a stallholder and budding composer of corny Flemish songs called levenslied. Among his compositions are 'Kijk me gerust nog even aan', 'Dansen is onze hobby' and 'Jij brengt de horizon dichterbij'. He now teams up with visual artist and poet Gerard Herman for the album 7 liederen voor elke dag van de week.
Philippe Matsas/Opale/Leemage/Editions Liana Levi
Born in Tehran in 1969, Négar Djavadi fled Iran ten years later to join her father in exile in Paris. After studying in Brussels at Insas, she taught film at Paris VIII and as a director saw her work selected for many festivals. In her first novel, Désorientale (2016), she relates the destiny of an Iranian family across three generations through the souvenirs of her heroine, Kimiâ Sadr.
Olivier Cornil is a photographer who works in Belgium and, whenever possible, abroad. He toured for a long time with the band Girls in Hawaii. He makes books with his hands, tells his mother’s story, and loves Charleroi.
Peter Vandenberghe (b. 1969) studied piano at both the academy of Ostend and the conservatoire of Brussels. A member of the music trio Too Noisy Fish, he has performed with Wim Vandekeybus and Toots Thielemans, among others.
Peter Verhelst (b. 1962) is a poet, novelist and director. He has won several awards for his work, among others De Gouden Uil, the Vlaamse Cultuurprijs and the Herman De Coninckprijs. His latest novel is De kunst van het crashen (2015). In 2017 he released Koor: Een keuze uit de poëzie (1987-2016), with an introduction by Stefan Hertmans. His work has been translated into 14 languages.
Randall Casaer (b. 1967) is a Belgian cartoonist-writer, poet, illustrator, cabaret director and former performer. In 2007 his cartoon debut Slaapkoppen exploded like a bomb. Since then he has released many graphic-textual gems – illustrations, comics and poems.
Scale is one of the founding fathers of the Belgian beatbox scene, as well as a DJ, Music Chapel and text-writer for theatre, slam poetry and hip hop. He has worked with, among others, Daan, Thé Lau, the Vlaamse Opera, Hof van Commerce, Zap Mama, Les Tambours Du Bronx, Volker Schlöndorff and Jeroen Olyslaegers.
Sukina Abdul Noor is a British hip-hop and spoken-word artist with Jamaican roots. A member of the hip-hop duo Poetic Pilgrimage, she converted to Islam in 2005. She previously appeared in Brussels in Malcolm X, a show by Fikry El Azzouzi at the KVS (rerun scheduled for autumn 2017). She will be in residence at the KVS in March 2017.
Wide Vercnocke (b. 1985) graduated in 2010 from Sint-Lukas Brussel with a master’s in illustration/cartoon. Since then he has worked as a freelance illustrator for Focus Knack and Bruzz, among others. In 2013 he published the acclaimed debut comic, Mijn muze ligt in de zetel, followed in 2014 by his second album, Wildvlees, and in 2016 by Narwal.
Danish Cultural Institute
Embassy of Mexico in Brussels