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Jens Meijen

Jens Meijen - foto Simon Debbaut
Jens Meijen - foto Simon Debbaut

(Belgium, 1996) completed a Master's degree in Western Literature, Literary Sciences and European Studies at the Catholic University Leuven. He is a journalist, critic and columnist for Flemish publications, the editor of Greenpeace Belgium, and an editor with the literary magazine dw b (Dietsche Warande & Belfort). He was also the (first) Young Flemish Poet Laureate. His poems have appeared in De Revisor, deFusie, Hard//hoofd and Deus ex Machina. Xenomorf (2019), his debut collection, passionately opposes the demise of Earth through pollution, increased production and maximum profits with a great deal of linguistic pleasure; it was awareded the C. Buddingh Poetry Prize. In 2021 he will publish his debut novel De lichtjaren (The Light Years).

(2020)

Archive available for: Jens Meijen

  • Erfstukken

    Erfstukken

    With: Annemarie Estor, Babah Tarawally, Babeth Fonchie, Eva Meijer, Fleur Kotten, Jens Meijen, Jessica Bacuna, Kenneth Aidoo, Mignon Nusteling, Rachel Sender

    At the request of Writers Unlimited, five authors wrote a letter to a family member of another generation asking: "What concern or fear about this time would you like to present to a family member in the past or in the future?" Five artists responded to the letters and created an unique illustration. Graphic designer Herman van Bostelen turned it into a paper gem: from leporello to postcard.

    We launch the analogue issue (in Dutch only) of Inheritance with an online program. Enjoy the conversations with four authors and illustrators involved: Eva Meijer, Fleur Kotten, Babeth Fonchie and Jessica Bacuna talk about the special collaboration from our favorite bookshop in The Hague, De Vries Van Stockum. (Dutch spoken)

    With: authors Annemarie Estor, Babeth Fonchie, Jens Meijen, Eva Meijer and Babah Tarawally and artists Mignon Nusteling, Jessica Bacuna, Rachel Sender, Fleur Kotten and Kenneth Aidoo. Read the English translation via our site. Paper edition (in Dutch) available (€7,50) via The Haguestore or webshop De Vries Van Stockum.

    Read and watch the English translations of Inheritance:


    Program concept: Joëlle Koorneef (Writers Unlimited)
    Design: Herman van Bostelen
    Book sales: De Vries Van Stockum Boeken
    Videoregistration: Wilbert Eerland

  • Slow Winternachten festival februari & maart 2021

    Jens Meijen in Radical Happiness - #SoulCare

    With: Jens Meijen

    While we see him silently and alone taking a walk in the woods, we hear writer, poet and journalist Jens Meijen talk about happiness. In his video column, he distinguishes types of happiness and observes, among other things, that collective happiness often lies in the future: "It runs a little ahead of you, like a ghost you see disappearing behind a curtain in the distance."

    On request of the Winternachten international literature festival The Hague poet Jens Meijen reflected on activism, a state of happiness and the future. The video column was filmed on location by Léa Festraets. It premiered at the Winternachten festival in the programme #SoulCare​: Radical Happiness on Sunday 17 January 2021.

    #SoulCare​: Radical Happiness, created by programmer Fleur Jeras, was about happiness and activism, taking its inspiration, among others, from the poem Black Joy from the collection Collective Amnesia by South-African poet and performer Koleka Putuma.

    'Joy is an act of resistance' is a slogan that is gaining traction. Can happiness be a form of activism? Is there such a thing as restful resistance? And why is self-care so important? These questions constituted the foundation of the final program of the online Winternachten International Literature Festival 2021.

    Jens Meijen (Belgium) completed a Master's degree in Western Literature, Literary Sciences and European Studies at the Catholic University Leuven. He is a journalist, critic and columnist for Flemish publications, an editor of Greenpeace Belgium, and an editor with the literary magazine dw b (Dietsche Warande & Belfort). He was also the (first) Young Flemish Poet Laureate. His poems have appeared in De Revisor, deFusie, Hard//hoofd and Deus ex Machina. Xenomorf (2019), his debut collection, passionately opposes the demise of Earth through pollution, increased production and maximum profits with a great deal of linguistic pleasure; it was awareded the C. Buddingh Poetry Prize. In 2021 he will publish his debut novel De lichtjaren (The Light Years).

  • Slow Winternachten festival februari & maart 2021

    Radical Happiness - #SoulCare

    With: Bahghi, Gil Gomes Leal, Jens Meijen, Munganyende Hélène Christelle, Radna Fabias

    "Joy is an act of resistance" is a slogan that is gaining traction. Can happiness be a form of activism? Is there such a thing as restful resistance? And why is self-care so important? These questions constituted the foundation of the final program of the online part of the Winternachten International Literature Festival 2021 - you end up in a warm bath of radical inspiration.

    1:04 - Koleka Putuma (South Africa), recitation.
    3:13 - Radna Fabias (Netherlands), recitation I translated work by Koleka Putuma.
    5:00 - Koleka Putuma, interview.
    23:38 - Koleka Putuma, recitation.
    24:48 - Radna Fabias, recitation II translated work by Koleka Putuma.
    26:15 - Gil Gomes Leal, dance performance.
    31:40 - Radna Fabias, interview.
    42:31 - Bahghi (Netherlands), song performance.
    45:42 - Munganyende Hélène Christelle (Netherlands), recitation and interview.
    56:10 - Jens Meijen (Belgium), video reading.
    1:01:19 - Radna Fabias, recitation III translated work by Koleka Putuma.

    "It's up to us": this emerges from the work of photographer Tyler Mitchell, whose summer 2019 exhibit I Can Make You Feel Good at the FOAM Photography Museum in Amsterdam was a sensitive ode to a "black utopia". Mitchell photographed young black people looking relaxed, sensitive and proud in idyllic settings. It was a beacon of hope for how things could look and a sharp contrast to the dominant images of black people in the media usually associated with strife, pain and violence.

    Mitchell's work is one of the sources of inspiration for programme maker Fleur Jeras, together with the poetry of the South African poet and performer Koleka Putuma - especially her poem Black Joy from the volume Collective Amnesia. Poet Alfred Schaffer, who translated Putuma's poetry into Dutch for the magazine Terras, wrote the following in the magazine Groene Amsterdammer: "You could say that Putuma in looking for a way out of the impasse with Collective Amnesia; she must escape the expectations of both the white and black public. Love could be an escape route."

    A fragment of the poem Black Joy by Koleka Putuma, from her collection Collective Amnesia:

    But
    isn't funny?
    That when they ask about black childhood,
    all they are interested in is our pain,
    as if the joy-parts were accidental.

    I write love poems, too,
    but
    you only want to see my mouth torn open in protest,
    as if my mouth were a wound
    with pus and gangrene
    for joy.

    Journalist Hassnae Bouazza talked about this poem with Putuma via an online connection from Capetown. We also brought you Putuma's work in other forms: poet Radna Fabias read from Putuma's work in their Dutch-language versions and singer-songwriter Bahghi and dancer Gil Gomes Leal presented new works inspired by Black Joy.

    Read here the three poems by Koleka Putuma.

    Additionally, poet Jens Meijen and writer-podcast maker Munganyende Hélène Christelle gave practical examples about how the create peace of mind and reflect on activism, a state of happiness and the future.

    Learn more here:

    Bahghi
    website
    Soundcloud

    Hassnae Bouazza
    website

    Munganyende Hélène Christelle
    website
    Instagram
    Podcast Fufu & Dadels

    Radna Fabias
    Video: Radna Fabia recites in DichterBij (VPRO) her poem Roestplaats

    Gil Gomes Leal
    website: performance Ayahuasca by Gil Gomes Leal & ISH Dance Collective

    Jens Meijen
    Facebook
    Short story Kaddisj, publication in Hard//hoofd

    Koleka Putuma
    website
    instagram
    Video: Koleka Putuma recites from Collective Amnesia on the train from Kaapstad-Muizenburg


  • Winternachten 2021

    #SoulCare: Radical Happiness

    With: Bahghi, Gil Gomes Leal, Hassnae Bouazza, Jens Meijen, Koleka Putuma, Munganyende Hélène Christelle, Radna Fabias

    "Joy is an act of resistance" is a slogan that is gaining traction. Can happiness be a form of activism? Is there such a thing as restful resistance? And why is self-care so important? These questions constituted the foundation of the final program of this first, online part of the Winternachten International Literature Festival 2021 - you ended up in a warm bath of radical inspiration.

    "It's up to us": this emerges from the work of photographer Tyler Mitchell, whose summer 2019 exhibit I Can Make You Feel Good at the FOAM Photography Museum in Amsterdam was a sensitive ode to a "black utopia". Mitchell photographed young black people looking relaxed, sensitive and proud in idyllic settings. It was a beacon of hope for how things could look and a sharp contrast to the dominant images of black people in the media usually associated with strife, pain and violence.

    Mitchell's work is one of the sources of inspiration for programme maker Fleur Jeras, together with the poetry of the South African poet and performer Koleka Putuma - especially her poem Black Joy from the volume Collective Amnesia. Poet Alfred Schaffer, who translated Putuma's poetry into Dutch for the magazine Terras, wrote the following in the magazine Groene Amsterdammer: "You could say that Putuma in looking for a way out of the impasse with Collective Amnesia; she must escape the expectations of both the white and black public. Love could be an escape route."

    A fragment of the poem Black Joy by Koleka Putuma, from her collection Collective Amnesia:

    But
    isn't funny?
    That when they ask about black childhood,
    all they are interested in is our pain,
    as if the joy-parts were accidental.

    I write love poems, too,
    but
    you only want to see my mouth torn open in protest,
    as if my mouth were a wound
    with pus and gangrene
    for joy.

    Journalist Hassnae Bouazza talked about this poem with Putuma via an online connection from Capetown. We also brought you Putuma's work in other forms: poet Radna Fabias read from Putuma's work in their Dutch-language versions and singer-songwriter Bahghi and dancer Gil Gomes Leal presented new works inspired by Black Joy.

    Read here the three poems by Koleka Putuma.

    Additionally, poet Jens Meijen and writer-podcast maker Munganyende Hélène Christelle gave practical examples about how the create peace of mind and reflect on activism, a state of happiness and the future.

    Learn more here:

    Bahghi
    website
    Soundcloud

    Hassnae Bouazza
    website

    Munganyende Hélène Christelle
    website
    Instagram
    Podcast Fufu & Dadels

    Radna Fabias
    Video: Radna Fabia recites in DichterBij (VPRO) her poem Roestplaats

    Gil Gomes Leal
    website: performance Ayahuasca by Gil Gomes Leal & ISH Dance Collective

    Jens Meijen
    Facebook
    Short story Kaddisj, publication in Hard//hoofd

    Koleka Putuma
    website
    instagram
    Video: Koleka Putuma recites from Collective Amnesia on the train from Kaapstad-Muizenburg