Writers group '77 and festival Winternachten from The Hague have jointly organized the first edition of the Surinam International Literature Festival. Performances throughout the week from five different countries, including readings, discussions, music, film and dance. More than thirty writers appear in public and also in schools in such places as Nieuw Nickerie, Paramaribo, Brownsberg and Ellen. The festival theme is '1001 identities'.
This festival is a veritable feast, a coming together of different languages and cultures: from Indonesian to Afrikaans and Papiamentu and from Sarnami to Sranantongo and Dutch. No matter how foreign these languages appear to you, there is no reason to miss one word. Dutch translations are projected on a large screen during the readings.
Writers group '77
For more than 25 years Writersgroup '77 is the most important literary organisation in Surinam. Social involvement has always been an characteristic feature of its members. The founders were fervent nationalists and it was for good reason that it has been said that the Surinam writers brought about independence. In the mean time Surinam has been independent for 28 years and they look more and more to globalisation and a shrinking world. In 1997 the Writers group organized the congres 'Authorship 2000, national or international', with speakers from the Netherlands, Curaçao, Trinidad and French Guyana. In 2003 the Writers group were enthusiastic participants in the large Caribbean Art festival Carifesta. Anno 2004 the Writers group realizes more than ever that boundaries are to be exceeded and friendships esablished with other nations. What is more suitable for this than a party? Together with Winternachten the Writers group '77 proceeds on the path of internationalisation by organizing the International Literature Festival Surinam 2004.
The literature festival Winternachten from The Hague brings together since 1995 writers from Indonesia, Surinam, Aruba, the Dutch Antilles, South Africa and the Netherlands, all six countries with a shared history. During the early years the festival only took place in The Hague. However, three years ago Winternachten began to work with its partner organisations in the other countries, to set up this international meeting of writers in the above mentioned countries. Resulting in successful editions of Winternachten in places such as Durban and Capetown (entitled 'Passaatwinde / Tradewinds'), Saint Martin, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao (Crossing the Seas/Crusa Laman/Krusa Lama) and in Bali, Solo, Yogyakarta and Jakarta (Pesta Sastra).