'Wonderful afternoon in Vadercentrum', writers' reactions to their performance in the festival
Writers look back on their festival performance! Writers Unlimited received very nice comments after the 2024 festival edition from authors who performed and looked back fondly on their participation.
Writers Unlimited organised three afternoon performances by Sholeh Rezazadeh on Thursday 18 January 2024 as part of the festival, together with the Laaktheater. Accompanied by percussionist Hashem Kabreet, she recited her poetry at Laakkwartier Public Library, Vadercentrum ADAM and the VrouwenBuurtLab (Women's Neighbourhood Lab).
"What a great afternoon we had 18 January at the Vadercentrum! Amid great interest, poet Sholeh Rezazadeh, musically accompanied by percussionist Hashem Kabreet, read from his own work.
The hall was packed with listeners, who listened attentively to the beautiful words of writer and poet Sholeh, accompanied by the magical handpan sounds of percussionist Hashem. Some were deeply touched by the poem about the mountains, where homesickness found a place in their hearts. Others were enchanted by the musical accompaniment on the handpan. Poetry appears to be accessible to everyone, and each found their own beauty in it.
After their performance, we received heartwarming compliments on how quickly Sholeh learnt the language and how valuable it was to listen to her and dream away. The handpan aroused much curiosity, with questions like "Why have I never seen or heard this beautiful instrument before?" and even requests to keep playing longer. After they left, the microphone was immediately used by two volunteers to recite their own poetic stories.
This afternoon, organised by the Writers Unlimited International Literature Festival The Hague, was a collaboration with the Laaktheater. Earlier this afternoon, Sholeh and Hashem performed at Laakkwartier Public Library and after us they had to go straight to the VrouwenBuurtLab. This performance was a test of whether poetry would catch on in the neighbourhood, and we can proudly say it was a great success!"
(From the Vadercentrum ADAM newsletter, 1 February 2024)
Ennatu Domingo, who debuted as a writer in 2022 with Burnt Eucalyptus Wood, took part in a conversation on adoption during the festival on Saturday night, 20 January 2024. Earlier that week, she met over 150 schoolchildren at The Hague's Edih Stein College, three of whom asked her questions about Burnt Eucalyptus Wood.
"Attending this year's Writers Unlimited International literature festival as a debut writer has been inspiring, to say the least. The festival is a true source of inspiration and provoking thoughts and conversations on belonging, the role of digital technologies in literature and diversity by bringing a highly curated list of Dutch and international artists and voices.
In an increasingly changing international world, platforms like this festival are necessary to amplify the often unheard stories of our society.
The festival was very well organised. I particularly enjoyed the private writers meeting and being able to engage with students from the Edith Stein high school, which I think brought a lot of dynamism to the festival. I truly thank Writers Unlimited for bridging the generational, gender, and cultural barriers, this is clearly what distinguishes this festival from others".
(By Ennatu Domingo)
Robin Block gave a performance together with Ellen Deckwitz in Ypenburg Public Library on Thursday evening 18 January 2024. There, they read stories and poems about their connection with their Indonesian roots. Both also performed during the festival's Saturday Night Unlimited in Theater aan het Spui.
"Writers Unlimited is a unique literary festival where budding readers are inspired and seasoned letter eaters can indulge in engaging, deeply substantive yet scintillating talks, readings and performances.
Both on and off stage, heads are linked, international writers connect to put their heads together on both language and current affairs. Writers Unlimited is committed like no other festival to the spread of reading culture and cross-pollination between different populations. Through stages as well as libraries and the classroom, Writers Unlimited gives wings to the arts."
(By Robin Block)
Sholeh Rezazadeh is a poet and writer. She was already enjoying great success with spoken word performances when her first novel De hemel is altijd paars (The sky is always purple) won several awards. Her second novel Ik ken een berg die op me wacht (I know a mountain waiting for me) also grew into a bestseller. During the festival edition 2024, she performed at the opening, on Saturday night and in Laak.
"One of the most important roles a literary festival can play is to give a taste of the sweet and mysterious world of literature to those who have not yet stepped into this world; because of social status, literacy, fear of the unknown or whatever.
What made me most happy was that during my performances at Laak, I heard from several people that it was the first time someone had read poetry for them and that they wished this would happen to them more often. What could be more beautiful and important than this?"
(By Sholeh Rezazadeh)