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Winternachten festival 2022 theme: Whose House Is This?

vlnr Fleur Jeras, Meltem Halaceli, Ellen Walraven, Joëlle Koorneef, Ilonka Reintjens, Gerlinda Heywegen, Nisrine Mbarki - foto Serge Ligtenberg
vlnr Fleur Jeras, Meltem Halaceli, Ellen Walraven, Joëlle Koorneef, Ilonka Reintjens, Gerlinda Heywegen, Nisrine Mbarki - foto Serge Ligtenberg

When reading Toni Morrison's novel Home, its opening sentence immediately struck us: Whose house is this? For the new Winternachten festival (19-23 januari 2022), we decided to take 'the house' as a metaphor and to explore it from different angles: the house of the family, the house of society, of democracy, of literature.

Our previous festival edition, themed It's Up to Us, questioned how we come together and join forces in uncertain times. Departing from this theme and again reacting to topical developments, we find that existing power structures are seldom questioned. We do however want to discuss the system in which we live.

"Whose house is this? Whose night keeps out the light in here? Say, who owns this house? It's not mine. I dreamed another, sweeter, brighter with a view of lakes crossed in painted boats; of fields wide as arms open for me. This house is strange. Its shadows lie. Say, tell me, why does its lock fit my key?"

The American writer Toni Morrison openend her tenth novel Home with the above sentences. It was published in 2012 and tells about a traumatised soldier returning to a racist United States from the Korean war in the fifties of the past century. The works of Morrison, in 1993 awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature, explore the experiences of Americans of color, especially of women.

With the theme question Whose House is This? we will also look for stories about a house that is not inhabited, but is haunted, or stories in which the earth is no longer sufficient as a home. During the Winternachten festival 2022 we bring writers, thinkers and scientists from all over the world into conversation in theaters, libraries and schools in The Hague. Think along from the power of the literary imagination about current issues. Come home to Winternachten.

The team that develops and builds the programmes of the coming Winternachten festival edition consists of six women united in their curiosity and drive. Meltem Halaceli, Gerlinda Heywegen, Fleur Jeras, Joëlle Koorneef, Nisrine Mbarki and Ilonka Reintjens are responsible for the festival content, together with director Ellen Walraven. Their specializations and backgrounds are very different. Their kinship lies in the desire to share what literarily seduces and amazes them and the desire to explore how this relates to the zeitgeist.


27th Winternachten international literature festival The Hague
Wed 19 - Sun 23 January 2022
Programme and tickets sales from 1 December

Posted on: Monday 6 September 2021