In February 2008, for the fifth time, Winternachten goes 'overseas' to South Africa. Four poets, from Indonesia, Saint Martin and the Netherlands, performed on behalf of Winternachten in the festival Spier Poetry Exchange in various venues in the Cape.
Winternachten was represented by the poets Violetta Simatupang (Indonesia), Changa Hickinson (Saint Martin), Antoine de Kom (Netherlands/Suriname) and Ruben van Gogh (Netherlands). They presented their work and took part in discussions, together with mainly South African poets, at the University of Western Cape, the cultural centre Guga S'thebe in the townshop of Langa, at Verses (Zula Bar) in Cape Town, at the University of Stellenbosch and at the cultural centre of the Spier Estate in Stellenbosch. For more info on the festival see Africa Centre.
Other participants in the festival were the poets Shabbir Banoobai, Gert Vlok Nel, Odidi Mfenyana, Jacques Coetzee, Napo Masheane, Gcina Mhlope, Dub for Mama, and Umyezo Wezndi from South Africa, and Omékongo wa Dibinga from Congo/U.S. There were two theatre performances: Living on the Fence and Stone Words.
The Africa Center (previously known as the Spier Arts Summer Season) has built a strong relationship with a mixed audience. Their objectives are to deliver innovation and excellence in the performing arts; showcasing, promoting and developing emering South African artists; providing opportunities for collaboration with Pan-African artists, and building new audiences for performance art forms.
Winternachten has gone 'overseas' since 2001 to Surinam, Indonesia, the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and South Africa. In every overseas edition Winternachten is represented by writers from these involved countries and the Netherlands. In practice it turns out to be very productive encounters for all artists participating. These overseas editions are also beneficial to the
Winternachten festival in The Hague. Because of these tours Winternachten stays abreast and informed of the literary developments in the involved countries.
Winternachten was sponsored for this edition by the Dutch Ministry for Culture, Hivos/NCDO Culture fund and the Hivos NCDO Culture Fund. The Afica Center was sponsored for this festival by Spier, SAfm, Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria, 567 Capetalk Radio And Avis.