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Michaël Zeeman

Michaël Zeeman - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Michaël Zeeman - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Marken, 1958-2009) was a poet, a writer and a commentator, with a regular column on the Forum page and the book pages of the Volkskrant. Zeeman was the editor of the arts section of the Volkskrant and from 2006-2007 its Rome correspondent. In 2006 he and the writer Abdelkader Benali published an exchange of letters, exchanging ideas on politics, life, love and literature. In 2002 Zeeman received the Gouden Ganzenveer (Golden Goose Quill) for his merits for Dutch literature. Zeeman became well-known in the 1990s as the host of his monthly book programme 'Late at night after a short walk', later to be renamed 'Zeeman with books'. In 1991 he published his first volume of poetry, Beeldenstorm (Iconoclasm), winning him the C. Buddingh Prize. His second volume Verhoudingen (Relationships) appeared in 1995. In the same year he published short stories entitled De Verduistering (The Darkening). He died in 2009.

(WIN 2009)

Archive available for: Michaël Zeeman

  • Winternachten 2009

    Five Do's and Don'ts for Barack Obama

    With: Ashwani Saith, Chantal Mouffe, Gündüz Vassaf, Michaël Zeeman, Naema Tahir, Nelleke Noordervliet

    Five writers and thinkers from four corners of the globe came together at Winternachten to provide Barack Obama with their do's and don'ts. After formulating their piece of advice students of the Institute of Social Studies reacted on the comments.
    Host Michaël Zeeman was surprised by the cynical and even activistic reaction of the students. Where the writers are eager and hopefull for the change this new president can bring, the students turned out to be very sceptical.

    Participants of the debate were writers Nelleke Noordervliet and Naema Tahir, the British-Belgian political philosopher Chantal Mouffe, Turkish writer and psychologist Gündüz Vassaf and development economist Ashwani Saith from India. They each formulated one piece of advice for Obama. Students of the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), hailing from southern countries, were to react to these recommendations. Once decided on, the following do's and dont's were shipped to the White House:

    Do's and don't's for Barack Obama Ashwani Saith:
    Palestine! Dismantle walls, build justice!
    Share a cigar with Fidel!
    Disarm! Transfer farm subsidies to African peasants
    Think of multilateralism, not neo-imperialism
    Confluence, not clash of civilisations
    Nurture nature, don't sell it
    Protect workers, not tycoons
    Social, not 'bastard' Keynesianism
    And, oh, yes - keep sharing your toys …
    Chantal Mouffe:
    Acknowledge that the world is multi-polar and that the US cannot behave any more as the sole legitimate centre of power. Diversity exists. Diversity and identity underpin everything.
    Gündüz Vassaf:
    Think also as a world citizen.
    Be bold, focus on right not re-election. Make peace, not war.
    You're a giant – tread lightly.
    Prioritise without partisanship: Israel/Palestine
    Nelleke Noordervliet:
    Appoint a court-jester who keeps telling you the truth.
    Be more a Philosopher-King than a King-Warrior
    Naema Tahir:
    Be the leader who inspires all to contribute to the good of society by encouraging the belief that good deeds and good behaviour rests in all
    Students of the Institute of Social Studies:
    Do no harm to foreign countries
    Don't be the leader of the world
    Don't impose yourself on others
    Remember the principles you had in your campaign
    Imagine other paradigms

    On Friday 1 May 2009 their will be a follow-up of the debate, in cooperation with the ISS, exacly 100 days after his inauguration.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    The Real Thing 1: Morality

    Ethicists, writers and artists talked to each other about their quest for truth and genuineness. A pure tone, a clear line, the rules of the game: What do these concepts mean to them? The Real Thing was a full evening's, three-part programme hosted by Michaël Zeeman.

    Part 1: morality. If people lose their moral bearings, can the law keep them on the straight and narrow path? But what if the law itself is bad? Writer and ethicist Marjolijn Februari read a column specially written fot this programme: 'Who keeps guard over morality?' Then the German writer Juli Zeh, the South African writer and criminal lawyer Chris Marnewick and Marjolijn Februari talked about morality and the profession of letters.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    The Real Thing 2: Religion

    Part two of the triptych 'The Real Thing', hosted by Michaël Zeeman, was supposed to deal with religion. During the programme however, a discussion on identity became the topic between Nuruddin Farah and Ilija Trojanow.
    Watch the interviews with Ilja Trojanow and Nuruddin Farah and the recording of this program by the Dutch Muslim Broadcast.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    The Real Thing 3: Art

    Theme of the third part of the triptych hosted by Michaël Zeeman was art: 'If a feature film is the mise en scene of emotions, then the documentary is the mise en scene of reality,' Heddy Honigmann said about her documentaries. Honigmann talked to author Bernlef about the question what 'genuine' or 'authentic' means in their work. It turned out to be an open conversation on the quest for the right tone and the correct form.

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Between Fear and Hope Part 2: literature & architecture

    Part 2 of the programme lasting a whole evening in the main hall of the theatre, on the imagination of hope. After science literature & architecture are next: does art offer hope? From their own disciplines writer A.F.Th. van der Heijden and architect Sjoerd Soeters will react on this question. Van der Heijden turns our times into a myth, he allows the present to evolve into a universe in which the world of the gods plays a role as well. Soeters gained renown in recent years because of the Haverleij, near Den Bosch, a complex of castles that links up with a new need for safe surroundings. Which expectation for the future emanates from his work? Interview by Michaël Zeeman. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Between fear and hope. Part 1: science

    A test tube? A revealing line of poetry? Moving music? In a programme lasting all evening in the main hall of the theatre, prominent figures from the world of art, culture and science talk to Michaël Zeeman about the question: what do they see as the imagination of hope? The guests each bring an image they derive hope from and illustrate their choice. A tryptich with six modern words, images and sounds of hope – which one will convince you?

    Part 1 science: for a long time science was at the centre of of the faith in progress. But can it still fulfil its glorious role? Louise O. Fresco, writer (of among other books The Utopists) and brightest person in in ther Netherlands, opens the programme with a column. Together with Ronald Plasterk, natural scientist and Dutch Minister of Education, she will try to answer the question as to what extent science can still be a source of optimism. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2008 – Winternachten zaterdagavond

    Between Fear and Hope Part 3: art and religion

    The conclusion of the tryptich. After science, literature and architecture we now enter the fields of religion and music, and the writer has the final say. 'Hope' doesn't merely have to be aimed at the future, tradition can also play a vital role. But to what extent do our cultural traditions still have any power of expression? In her work clergywoman and hospital chaplain Abeltje Hoogenkamp makes use of religious conventions. For composer Peter-Jan Wagemans Wagner is the composer who succeeds in expressing human emotions at the highest level. Wagemans will play his musical hope on the piano. Does writer Adriaan van Dis know the saving power of tradition? In his seven part documentary, to be seen on tv in January, Van Dis returns to southern Africa, to countries he once visited as a travel writer. In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2007

    Winternachten lecture

    With: Michaël Zeeman, Pankaj Mishra

    The Indian writer Pankaj Mishra opened the festival in the Nieuwe kerk with the first Winternachten lecture. He spoke about the influence of globalization on literature. The lecture in English and Dutch can be downloaded as an Acrobat Reader Document here.

    The growing presence of writers of non-western origin in Europe and America and the rapid process of economic globalization has fed the illusion that societies once were fully closed to each other now participate in an intensive cultural exchange. Pankaj Mishra throws light on the strange fate of literary globalism, which is rendered increasingly powerless in the face of cultural and political chauvinism in Europe and America.

    With Pankaj Mishra we placed a highly talented writer into the limelight. He broke through internationally with The Romantics, about an Indian student who is confronted with western customs and ways of thinking in the holy city of Benares. In 2004 the book of essays The Buddha in the World appeared, a quest for the meaning of the Buddha. Recently How to be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet and Beyond appeared. In it he writes about the changes under pressure of western modernity and about the paradoxes of globalization. Mishra studied commerce at the University of Allahabad and English literature at Nehru University in Delhi. Since the publication of his articles in The New York Review of Books he is a much wanted author of essay-like reviews and political articles. Pankaj Mishra divides his time between London, New Delhi, a village in the Himalayas and Wellesley College in America, where he teaches a number of weeks each year.

    Bas Heijne in NRC Handelsblad about Pankaj Mishra's Temptations of the West: "Mishra scrutinizes the strange and sordid phenomenon with a critical view worthy of his master, V.S. Naipaul. [...] He shows that the cosy chit-chat in the West on the violent nature of various religions, first and foremost of course Islam, conceals the true causes of that violence: religious extremism is ultimately always political."

    After the lecture Pankaj Mishra was interviewed by literary critic Michaël Zeeman. At the entrance the audience was given the English/Dutch copy of the lecture. The programme is English spoken.

    Stichting DOEN supports the Winternachten lecure 2007 because writers from 'the South' get an opportunity here to share their views. Not only with their colleagues at the festival but also with the general public. New insights are brought into being contributing to a social debate in the Netherlands.

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 2

    In search of the soul. Part 1: Science

    'Your soul is something holy, she has been breathed in by God and as she gets older she grows little hairs.' That's how the soul was thought of in the Middle Ages. But what is the present state of affairs, is she still breathed in by God, and if so: by which one? Can the soul be explained biologically, even if we can no longer count on it that she weighs 21 grams? Is the soul only to be found in art, or is it that devitalization yields better art? Writers, scientists, philosophers, religious experts and artists were in search of the soul. An expedition in three parts.

    Strictly speaking there is no evidence whatsoever as to the existence of the soul. From three scientific disciplines a quest for the soul therefore is an impossible task. Midas Dekker lead the way. He did so with a story about body and soul which he has written specially for Winternachten. Douwe Draaisma, professor of the history of psychology and writer Désanne van Brederode did each react from their own field of study. The three of them came to a better understanding of the biological, neurological and ethical values of the soul. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 2

    In search of the soul. Part 2: Religion

    Is the soul purely religious? The answer to that question and to the alleged divine sides of the soul were provided by the Indian writer Pankaj Mishra and the British writer Karen Armstrong. Pankaj Mishra wrote the eassay-like travel novel The Buddha in the World, about his quest for the Buddha and the meaning of Buddhism. Karen Armstrong is one of the greatest writers of religion. In the 1960s she spent seven years as a nun in a Roman Catholic education congregation convent. Her personal memories and views on the failure of the church, the nature of religion, loneliness and spiritual experiences were laid down in her book Through the Narrow Gate. Her book A History of God, a cultural history of one thousand years of Christianity, Judaism and Islam were a worldwide bestseller. In it she wrote: 'The secularization which we are currently witnessing is a totally new experiment which has never occurred in the history of man before.' English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 2

    In search of the soul. Part 3: Art

    If there is one occupational group tackling its own spiritual welfare then is is the artists' guild. Are the eyes the mirror of the soul? Is the soul paramount? What benefits the soul the most, the world or an Elysian island? What would Achterberg have meant with 'And in an eternal whirling loss/of flower and sun and horizon/thy quiet soul's horizons rose/blue all round the heart'? What purpose is a similarly high-flown ideal to a writer, a visual artist or a composer? Writer Allard Schröder, visual artist Theo Jansen and composer Klaas de Vries were in search of the enchantment or disenchantment of art. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006

    I capitulate - a debate about threats, solidarity and self-censorship in art and journalism

    With: Afshin Ellian, Bas Heijne, Breyten Breytenbach, Maxim Februari, Michaël Zeeman, Sybrand van Haersma Buma

    Freedom of speech is under pressure in the Netherlands. Almost every artist or journalist who has appeared in the news as a result of receiving threats, has capitulated. From theatre director Johan Doesburg (Fassbinder's The dirt, the city and death) to Hasna el Maroudi (columnist for the newspaper NRC Handelsblad, 2005).

    Each time two aspects came under threat: the person in question, who as a result sought shelter, and the freedom of speech, which after a wave of public indignation is abandoned until the next incident. Afshin Ellian, lawyer, poet and columnist of NRC Handelsblad, opens the program with an introductory essay. Followed by a debate with Sybrand van Haersma Buma (spokesman for the ministry of justice of the Christian democratic party, lower chamber), Bas Heijne (writer) and Marjolijn Februari (philosopher, lawyer and writer). The situation in the Netherlands is given an international perspective by the presence of South African poet and former anti-apartheid activist Breyten Breytenbach. Joesoef Isak, publisher, journalist and champion of the free word in Indonesia, was announced to take part in this discussion, but he had to cancel. Because of ill health he cannot make the trip to the Netherlands. Michaël Zeeman chairs the debate.
    Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    In search of the independent mind - part 1

    Do they still exist, the independent thinkers, the non-conformists? Are they still given some elbow-room in our shrinking world? The South African writer Breyten Breytenbach provides us with a manual of do's and don'ts to help us preserve our independent mind. Together with the writers Herman Franke and Marja Brouwers he goes in search of our present day heroes of the mind. Michaël Zeeman chairs this search. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    In search of the independent mind - part 2

    In the second part of the search visual artist Marlene Dumas, biologist Tijs Goldschmidt and composer Theo Loevendie discuss the (im)possibility of autonomous creation. Maybe we should take our lead from such eminant autonomous creators as the painting ape Congo and the carefree composing birds around us? Michaël Zeeman chairs the discussion. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 2

    In memoriam Henk van Woerden

    In November of last year the painter, writer and non-conformist thinker Henk van Woerden suddenly died. As a contrary thinker he was involved in Winternachten for years, both as artistic advisor and as Winternachten foundation boardmember. In a special programme we'll remember him together with his publisher Joost Nijsen, Nicole van Woerden-Müller, and writers and musicians. South African poet and writer Breyten Breytenbach will talk about Van Woerden as a painter and photographer. There will be readings from his novels Tikoes, Moenie Kyk Nie, Een mond vol glas, the collection Notities van een luchtfietser and his last novel, Ultramarijn. Van Woerden was a great lover of Greek music. He played the bouzouki in a Greek ensemble, which will perform tonight under the name To Trigono. Dutch/English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    In search of the independent mind - part 3

    The evening closes with a discussion between all the participants of the search. Perhaps from this they can come to some conclusions as to how independent thinking can be protected. And last but not least Samuel Beckett's vision on human thinking: actor Paul Röttger plays Lucky's monologue from Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot. Michaël Zeeman chairs the discussion. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2005

    The Discontent of the East

    With: Eddin Khoo, Farid Esack, Michaël Zeeman, Olivier Roy, Paul Scheffer, Tariq Ramadan

    Five panel members, chaired by publicist Michaël Zeeman, discuss the situation of mutual distrust between East and West. From where does this distrust arise? Are the anti Western sentiments that are now felt, specifically of these times, or do they go much further back in history? How does the Eurpean Islam evolve?

    Including Tariq Ramadan, philosopher, now living in Switzerland, author of To be a European Muslim, who enjoys a great deal of support amongst young Muslims living in the French suburbs; Paul Scheffer, professor in the field of urban issues and publicist in the field of multicultural society in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe; the Malaysian writer, poet and editor Eddin Khoo; Farid Esack, Muslim scientist from South Africa and former apartheid fighter, and Olivier Roy from France, an expert on the Islam and author of the recently published book The globalisation of the Islam.

    The afternoon will be openend with an introduction by Michaël Zeeman, and finishes with a discussion amongst the audience.

    English spoken.

    On these pages, you can listen to the first or second part of the debate.

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 1

    The unfamiliar and the familiar

    Two writerson the unfamiliar and the familiar. In Margriet de Moor's case it is often about the confrontation between her own traditions and detachment. In the case of the Turkish-German Emine Özdamar it is all about movement and the search for stability in new surroundings. One came as a child from Turkey to Germany and playing and writing won for herself a place in a strange society and culture. The other is through and through tied to the Dutch culture, but through music and literature found a way out. Özdamar became well known for her novel Het leven is een karavansarai (Life is a caravan). Since then her reputation as a writer has grown. In November 2004 she was awarded the prestigious Von Kleist prize. Margriet de Moor, athor of an impressive oevre and receiver of many awards, has become one of the most read Dutch writers in Germany. Her novels Op de rug gezien (Seen from behind) (1988), Eerst grijs dan wit dan blauw (First grey then white then blue) (1991) and Kreutzersonate, een liefdesverhaal (Kreutzer sonata, a lovestory) have also appeared in German translation. At the end of this programme the Turkish author Asli Erdogan, who was interviewed earlier in the evening by Margot Dijkgraaf, will give a short recitation.
    German spoken

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 1

    In the beginning there was the image...

    In the beginning there was the image, and the image was with God and the Word was Willem Jan Otten's. In an opening speech, especially written for Winternachten, the poet, writer, essayist and playwright gives his vision of this Winternachten theme: word versus image. Cabaret artist Freek de Jonge is the first to give a reaction. Michaël Zeeman leads the following discussion about worshipping and rejection of word and image.

    Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Beyond description

    For some people those golden rocket tits, designed by Gaultier for Madonna, were beyond description. Writers Troy Blacklaws (South Africa), Tijs Goldschmidt, Eddin Khoo (Malaysia) and Bas Heijne choose an image from their country or culture that is banned or should be banned and explain their choices. Michaël Zeeman is the presenter.
    English spoken

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Forbidden words in South Africa

    What happens when language controls the course of events? When a zoo as a result of wrong spelling suddenly is no longer a zoo? The South African writer Ivan Vladislavic describes such a situation in his novel The Restless Supermarket, of which the Dutch translation appears this evening. His fellow countryman Troy Blacklaws wrote the novel Karoo Boy, about the coming of age of a boy in apartheid South Africa.
    The authors discuss with Michaël Zeeman aspects of their work and words that are considered taboo. They will talk about concepts and ideas that were taboo during the apartheid but are not anymore, and vice versa.
    English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2004

    The future is not a fairy-tale

    With: André Klukhuhn, Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Joke van Leeuwen, Manon Uphoff, Michaël Zeeman, Said el Haji, Thea Doelwijt

    Once apon a time there was a girl, that climbed to the top of a tower of books, high above the clouds. What is the view like up there? Is she safe? What will become of her? Authors Manon Uphoff and Thea Doelwijt, writer and performer Said El Haji, philosopher and writer André Klukhuhn, author and stand-up comedian Joke van Leeuwen and poet and rebel Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer wrote a fairy-tale for her. They give her a future, perhaps they will even present her with an ideal. Will she be happy? Listen to six adult fairy-tales and a conversation with the writers, led by Michaël Zeeman.

  • Winternachten 2004

    Winternachten - Preview

    With: Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Antjie Krog, Chirikure Chirikure, Denise Jannah, Lasana M. Sekou, Michaël Zeeman, Nelleke Noordervliet, Putu Wijaya, Robert Menasse, Syahrial & Grup, Tessa Leuwsha, Tom Gilling, Zakes Mda

    Before Winternachten starts with its major programme, the journalist and literary critic Michaël Zeeman gives his view on the theme of this year's festival: future and ideals. After this, writer Nelleke Noordervliet presents a varied programme with writers, poets and music. Foreign authors present themselves with a short reading, as a preview on their performance in the coming weekend. With writers from Suriname, Saint Martin, South-Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia, Austria, the USA and Indonesia, and music by the Sumatran group Syahrial & Grup and jazz singer Denise Jannah.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 1

    For happiness and fatherland

    A surpressed people walks towards the New Land. But is new always better? When does an ideal become an obligatory ode or a failure? Should we abolish ideals and is it better to allow dreams to remain dreams? Writers Thomas Rosenboom and Frank Westerman on the future of idealism and writing for a illusion filled society.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 1

    Opening: The Oracle of Africa

    The South-African writer and jounalist Antjie Krog opened Winternachten with the first in a series of six Delphic sayings. Afterwards she talks with the Iranian/Dutch poet and scientist Afshin Ellian on the South-African Truth- and Reconciliation committee. Ellian recently obtained his doctorate on this very subject. Recovery, accommodate, adaptaton, reconciliaton and forgiveness. According to Krog reconciliation is part of a long African tradition. 'A thing like this could never happen in a muslim-country', states Ellian.

  • Winternachten 2004 – Claiming Artistic Freedom

    Hivos: main debate

    The presentator reports on the individual events and enters into discussion with the artists about some of the various themes that have arisen from these events. Finally each participant gives a personal recommendation to the Dutch relief organizations.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Perditionists and balloonists

    Writer Robert Menasse (Vienna) described the 19th century Austrian movement of 'perditionists'. Tonight he reads his oracle on the future of Europa. Moderated by Michaël Zeeman. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Ideal State or trade partner?

    For years, the American writer, journalist Adrian Nicole LeBlanc observed families in the Bronx. For them it is hard to imagine a futre. Tom Gilling, from Australia, and LeBlanc will prophecy the future of their continent. Will Australia orientate on Asia, or on the western world? Moderated by Michaël Zeeman. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2004 – WINTERNACHT 1

    Is groot kak coming?

    Is South-Africa developing in the same direction as Zimbabwe? Who will live longer: the cynic or the idealist, the traditionalist or the innovator? What is the effect of Apartheid on the private lives of people? Three South-African writers – Zakes Mda, Damon Galgut en K. Sello Duiker – on the present mindfield of neuroses in their country. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2003

    My National Anthem

    With: Christine Otten, Geert van Istendael, Gibi Bacilio, Jaap Blonk, Kader Abdolah, Michaël Zeeman, Theodor Holman

    Holland is no longer the country it used to be. Are we ready for a new national anthem? Six writers and poets from The Netherlands and abroad present their personal alternative on this afternoon.

    Writer/commentator Theodor Holman, Gibi Bacilio from Curaçao, writer and rap-poet Christine Otten, Kader Abdolah and the Flemish writer Geert van Istendael sang their new national anthems for our country. Michaël Zeeman talked to the writers and poets in an effort to reinvent the nation. Dutch spoken.

    On this page, you can listen to the sound recordings.

  • Winternachten 2003

    Nation Building and Writing History

    With: Bob de Graaff, Goenawan Mohamad, Henk van Woerden, Michaël Zeeman

    Nation Building is the process in which citizens of a country develop a sense of a common identity. The writer, the journalist and the historian play major parts in this process. How do they deal with that responsibility? Do they feel free to be critical against the nation? The Indonesian poet and journalist Goenawan Mohamad experienced Soeaharto's censorship. Historian and Japan-expert Bob de Graaff discusses his experiences as a researcher for Srebrenica investigation of the Dutch Institute for War Documentation. The role of the writer in this process is illustrated by the Dutch author Henk van Woerden. English spoken. The participation of the South-African author Achmat Dangor has been cancelled for reasons of ill health.

  • Winternachten 2003 – Winternacht 1

    Self-portrait of South-Africa

    'I see people rising from the putrid smells of oppresion. But I also see their wounds', writes the main character in The Quiet Violence of Dreams by K. Sello Duiker. He speaks with his elder fellow-countryman Etienne van Heerden. Literary critic Michaël Zeeman interviews two important literary voices on violence, collective psychosis and the dream of a new South-Africa.

  • Winternachten 2003 – Winternacht 1

    South-Africa, Flanders and The Netherlands: Unity of culture?

    Is is just the language that connects part of South-Africa with Flanders and the Netherlands? Benno Barnard, a Dutch writer living in Flanders for most of his life, meets South-African writer Etienne van Heerden and the Dutch writer Henk van Woerden. Michaël Zeeman is moderator.

  • Winternachten 2003 – Winternacht 2

    Blind with one's eyes open

    A discussion with writers Bas Heijne and Herman Franke, moderated by Michaël Zeeman. On the failure of Dutch intellectuals to foresee or understand last year's developments in politics.

  • Winternachten 2003 – Winternacht 2

    Double Fatherland

    Foreigners in Holland are often amazed about the low esteem that the Dutch show for their culture. What about those writers in our country that have a second or maybe a a third home-country? What made the Maroccan writer Fouad Laroui come to the Netherlands, via France? Where lies the fatherland of Mala Kishoendajal, Hindustani Surinamese living in Holland? What made the Somali writer Yasmine Allas choose for the Netherlands? Three authors migrating in their books. They write about being a stranger, about adaptation, feeling at home, and loyalty to the country of origin.

  • Zuid-Afrika 2002

    Cape Town Festival - Cape Town

    With: Cynthia Mc Leod, Denise Jannah, Frank Martinus Arion, Henk van Woerden, Michaël Zeeman, Seno Gumira Ajidarma

    The Cape Town Festival (16 to 24 March 2002) is an annual multidisciplinary festival. This year Winternachten took care of the literary programme: a two day festival called Trade Winds, a sumptuous literary feast with spoken word, music, and video (Passaatwinde - 'n vrolijke fees rondom die gesproke woord, musiek en video).

    The festival offerd - similar to theWinternachten festival in The Hague)-a parallel programme on three stages, withstand-up comedy, video, music, performing poets and discussions with writers. Michaël Zeeman presented a number of talks of the 'Winternachten-writers' with their South African collegues. Henk van Woerden and André Brink discussed 'rewriting history'; Cynthia McLeod met her fellow-writer E.K.M. Dido in a talk about'breaking down stereotypes'. Frank Martinus Arion discussed the subject of 'creolisation and hybridity' with Achmat Dangor andthe Indonesian writer Seno Gumira Ajidarma met his fellow jazzy writer Keorapetse Kgositsile, discussing writing on'jazz and struggle'.

    The VPRO documentary'Korreltjie Niks is my Dood' bySaskia van Schaik onthe South African poet Ingrid Jonker, had its South African premiere, with an introduction by its scenarist Henk van Woerden.

    Jazz singer Denise Jannah sang her poems set to music, accompanied by Cape Town based musicians. Other participating writers and performers were Gcina Mhlope, Jeremy Cronin, Gert Vlok-Nel, Loit Sôls & Jethro, Mark Lottering and Dianna Ferrus. The audience danced into the night withmusic by DJ Jools en DJ Mtone Edjabe.

  • Zuid-Afrika 2002

    Time of the Writer - Durban

    With: Cynthia Mc Leod, Denise Jannah, Frank Martinus Arion, Henk van Woerden, Michaël Zeeman, Seno Gumira Ajidarma

    In the festival Time of the Writer (11 to 16 March) in Durban Winternachten presented the evening programme 'Rewriting History - the Dutch Connection'.

    Michaël Zeeman moderated the conversation with the four writers, who share the theme of 'rewriting history'. Jazz singer Denise Jannah performed with South African musicians. She sang love-poems frombSurinamese, Dutch, Afrikaans and Antillian literature, selected for her by the Dutch poetbGerrit Komrij. The South-African writer Nadine Gordimer also performed in this programme, reading from her literary work.

    In this week the four writers, Michaël Zeemanand singer Denise Jannah also gave workshops and readings at universities, schools for journalism and secondary schools in the city and in the townships. They also gave workshops foraspirant writers, and took part in a conference for writers and publishers. Denise Jannah gavea workshop with a youth choir, and presented the results in the festival.

    Winternachten-photographer Serge Ligtenberg joined the group to Durban to teach two young students of photography the skill of theatre photography.

  • Winternachten 2002

    Live Anthology: taboos of love and literature

    With: Antjie Krog, Ayu Utami, Basil Appollis, Ernest Pépin, Fouad Laroui, Frank Martinus Arion, Gerrit Komrij, Manon Uphoff, Michaël Zeeman, Pauline Melville

    'These are the same people who used to think that anything goes and everything should be allowed. Now they want to prohibit everything which they suspect might bring enjoyment to someone else' (Gerrit Komrij).
    Maybe 'taboo' is the most culturally specific notion possible. In the Netherlands, taboos in love or literature seem out of date since the 1960s. But in South Africa, a novel about homosexuality comes as a shock, and a South African makes internationally controversial movies about power, love and violence. Cultures collide when talking about taboos, so this should be a great starting point for a discussion with a collection of internationally renowned authors. This afternoon, eight writers read their favorite fragments from world literature with the theme of the taboo. In the ensuing conversation, the boundaries of culture and religion become apparent. Dutch/English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002

    Wingewest van het geweten 2

    With: André Brink, Cynthia Mc Leod, Frank Martinus Arion, Henk Schulte Nordholt, Henk van Woerden, Michaël Zeeman

    In 1998 Winternachten organized a panel-discussion with the same title. During that meeting writers Frank Martinus Arion and Adriaan van Dis formed a committee for the erection of a national slavery-monument. In june 2002 the monument will be unveiled. Time for a second panel-discussion with the writers involved. For whom will this monument be? Do the Dutch have any idea of their history of slave-trading? Is this only a monument for the descendants of the slaves, now living in The Netherlands. A dicussion on historic awareness and the influence of colonial history on the national identity of the Surinamese, Antillians, Indonesians, South-Africans and the Dutch. With writers taking part from the different countries, and the audience participating in the discussion. Moderator was Michaël Zeeman. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 2

    Hidden Hostility

    A monument to remember slavery is an important and sensitive subject matter at the moment, especially for the different (ex-) colonial territories the Caribian. Frank Martinus Arion (Curaçao) is an important spokesman in this matter. With Pauline Melville (born in former British Guyana), author of The Ventriloquist's Tale and Ernest Pépin, from the French colony Guadeloupe, he discussed hidden hostility and the consequences of interfering with tradition. English and French spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 2

    Love Makes History

    Illegal love affairs are of all times. Relationships between black and white during the era of slavery and colonialism, relationships with prostitutes, adultery - Surinam literature has a rich history of love. In this program, three Surinam authors discussed these matters. They all have their own way of processing history into 'faction': Cynthia McLeod, John H. de Bye and Clark Accord. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 1

    Talking with André Brink

    Passion and love in South-African literature. This subject is strongly connected with one of the great writers of South-Africa, André Brink. On invitation of Winternachten, he visited the Netherlands to talk with journalist Michaël Zeeman on his latest novel Donkermaan. Dutch/Afrikaans spoken.

  • Winternachten 2002 – Winternacht 2

    Veiled Love

    Is there such a thing as middle ground when lovers come from such different worlds as the Jewish and Islamic spheres? Does love cross boundaries between culture and religion? Or does one end up in 'the wrong love story', as happens in Fouad Laroui's novel Judith and Jamal. He discussed these questions along with Tamarah Benima and Naima el Bezaz. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2001

    Live Anthology and Debate

    With: Anna Enquist, Ardashir Vakil, Bas Heijne, Basil Appollis, Breyten Breytenbach, Ellen Ombre, Henk van Woerden, Ian Buruma, Jan Eijkelboom, Jit Narain, Lasana M. Sekou, Michaël Zeeman, Rajeev Balasubramanyam, Vamba Sherif

    What is the most beautiful poem on diaspora? A number of Winternachten guests read their favourite poem from each other's literatures. The writers were introduced by Basil Appollis.
    Dutch writer Henk van Woerden gave the introductory lecture (in Dutch) to a debate on the theme of 'diaspora and the writer'. This debate (in English), hosted by Michaël Zeeman, appeared to be a good start for the Boekenweek, a annual event for the promotion of Dutch literature, following a few weeks later in The Netherlands.

  • Winternachten 2001 – Winternacht 1

    Literature assimilating the past

    Shortly before the festival Jan Eijkelboom's book Het Krijgsbedrijf was published, about the Dutch military campaigns during the Indonesian war of independence. Ian Buruma and Breyten Breytenbach discussed the theme from a Japanese and South African perspective. The discussion was led by Michaël Zeeman. In this programme there was also a screening of a Dutch television programme in which writer Adriaan van Dis and South African poet Antjie Krog were interviewed about the way the South Africans deal with the Apartheid era. Furthermore, this theme was elaborated on in the film Long Night's Journey into Day, showing interrogations in the Truth and Reconciliation Committee. (Dutch and Afrikaans spoken).

  • Winternachten 2001 – Winternacht 2

    Return ticket Bollywood

    Especially for Winternachten Dutch writer Bas Heijne and his Indian colleague Ardashir Vakil travelled to Bombay's movie world. At the festival they reported on their experiences in the Indian movie industry. They met some of India's most famous actors and screen-writers, and attended film sets. Host was Michaël Zeeman (English spoken).

  • Winternachten 2001 – Winternacht 2


    Being uprooted from one's family, one's culture, or one's country is what happens to thousands of people in the world today. Being uprooted in the literary sense is what Dutch writer Anna Enquist discussed with her Indian colleagues Ardashir Vakil and Rajeev Balasubramanyam. Hosted by Michaël Zeeman. (English spoken)

  • Winternachten 2001 – Winternacht 1

    Living in Two Cultures

    What is it like to live in two cultures? Which language dominates in thinking and dreaming? Emeritus Professor in History H.W. von der Dunk and writer Ian Buruma discussed this matter from their personal experience (Dutch spoken).

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 2

    Dutchmen in the Arabic World

    As a press-correspondent, a traveler for life and a lawyer they ended up in the Arabic world: Joris Luyendijk, Maurits Berger and Harm Botje. Berger wandered though the Islamic empire and wrote the beautiful book 'De islam is een sinaasappel' (Islam is an orange). Harm Botje used to be the correspondent in the Arabic region for the major Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Now he is a writer and a professional traveler in this part of the world. Hosted by Michaël Zeeman. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 1

    Changes of Identities

    Shortly before the festival the Dutch translation of Kafka's Curse by South African writer Achmat Dangor was issued in The Netherlands. It is a very enchanting and provocative novel: in order to make a carreer, a colored moslim presents himself a a Jew. Achmat Dangor and his Ducth colleague Arthur Japin (writer of 'De zwarte met het witte hart') discussed each other's work with host Michaël Zeeman. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 1

    Poetry of Displacement

    Michaël Zeeman talked to Marlene van Niekerk, Gerrit Komrij and Adriaan van Dis on their choice of poems on the theme of displacement. Each of them read some poems from world literature. Dutch spoken .

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 2

    Egypt, the Young Generation

    Volkskrant-correspondent Joris Luyendijk arrived in Cairo as a student and described his experiences in his book 'Een goede man slaat soms zijn vrouw'. In this programme he speaks about the young generation of Egyptians. He meets one of them, witer May Telmissany (Caïro, 1965). She presented the Dutch translation of her first novel 'Dunjasâd'. A discussion in English, moderated by Michaël Zeeman. Dutch/English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 1

    The bottom side of history

    During the festival the Dutch edition was presented of Marlene van Niekerks novel Triomf, on the hilaric and sad events of a poor white family from the outskirts of Johannesburg. The festival asked Dutch writer Manon Uphoff to read this novel. Marlene van Niekerk read Uphoffs work. Host Michaël Zeeman led the discussion on the similarities between the work of these two novelists. Afrikaans/Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2000 – Winternacht 2

    Arab writers coming closer

    Arabic novels are being read more and more in The Netherlands.. Winternachten brought together four Arabic writers in a conversation with Michaël Zeeman. Hanaan as-Sjaikh grew up in Lebanon and now lives in London. De Moroccan Fouad Laroui studied in Paris and now lives in Amsterdam. Shortly before the festival his very well reviewed novel ' Kijk uit voor parachutisten' was published. Tayeb Salih (Sudan, 1926), is one of the leading Sudanese writers and an authority on Arabic literature. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 1999 – Winternacht 1

    South-African Anthologists

    Gerrit Komrij and Robert Dorsman each composed an anthology of Afrikaans poetry. Translator Robert Dorsman worked closely together with the Dutch writer Adriaan van Dis. They published 'O wye en droewe land', with a hundred-and-one poems. Gerrit Komrij took it further. By the time of the festival he worked on an anthology in a thousand-and-some poems. Moderator Michaël Zeeman linked the two anthologists. They read their favourite poems, and each of them introduced a poet of their choice in the festival. Komrij invited Gert Vlok Nel, Dorsman chose for Loit Sôls.

  • Winternachten 1999 – Winternacht 1

    Jewish culture in the novel

    For writer Carl Friedman the jewish culture plays an important role in her novels and stories. The same goes for Dan Jacobson. He wrote about jewish identity in South-Africa. The writers read from their work and discussed their common subject with Michaël Zeeman.

  • Winternachten 1999 – Winternacht 2

    East-Indian Anthologists

    Oost-Indische Inkt is the title of anthology of Dutch East-Indian literature. It was published in 1998. Anthologist Alfred Birney discussed the choices he made, from Multatuli to Marion Bloem. He spoke to Michaël Zeeman and Kester Freriks, writer and critic. Freriks invited two 'Indian' writers: Aya Zikken (whose work was part of the anthology), and Jill Stolk, whose work is not represented in the anthology. Both writers read from their work.

  • Winternachten 1999 – Winternacht 2

    A Search for East-Indian South-Africa

    Rudy Kousbroek and Henk van Woerden went on a search for East-Indian South-Africa. Descendants of Dutch East-Indian slaves and dissidents, who were deported to the Cape-province, were called 'Malay'. In the 17th and 18th century they raised against the Dutch rulers. Kousbroek and Van Woerden went for a search for what is left of the Malay culture the Cape.

  • Winternachten 1998

    East- and West-Indian Winternight

    With: Aart van Zoest, Arahmaiani, Arthur Japin, Astrid H. Roemer, Basha Faber, Coen Pronk, Cynthia Mc Leod, Frank Martinus Arion, Gamelan Ensemble Widosari, Grupo Zamanakitoki, Helga Ruebsamen, Michaël Zeeman, Monique Hoogmoed, Paula Gomes, Paulette Smit, Radhar Panca Dahana, Rudy Kousbroek, Shrinivási, Toeti Heraty, Warih Wisatsana

    The third edition of the Indische Winternacht, this time from the East and West-Indiest. Apart form artists from Indonesia and The Netherlands, now also writers, musicans and story-tellers from Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles were invited.
    Michaël Zeeman and Aart van Zoest interviewed the participating writers after their performance. They were introduced by Nelleke Noordervliet.
    In the theatre programme: gamelan-music by Ensemble Widosari, stories by Coen Pronk, Moniek Hoogmoed and Paulette Smit and music by Eric Calmes and his Antillian-Dutch band Grupo Zamanakitoki.
    In the film programme unique movies from the Dutch archives were shown: the first documentaries on the Dutch East-Indies, made in the beginning of the 20th century by J.C. Lammers, commissioned by the Colonial Institute. Furthermore the film Faya Lobbi , the classic documentary on Suriname from 1960 by Herman van der Horst, and Ava en Gabriel , the Antilliaanse movie from 1990 by Felix de Rooy and Norman de Palm.

  • Winternachten 1998

    South-African Winternight

    With: Aad Nuis, Adriaan van Dis, Carl Niehaus, Emma Huismans, Etienne van Heerden, Henk van Woerden, Lesego Rampolokeng, Louis Maholo and Friends, Michaël Zeeman, Peter Snyders, Robert Dorsman, Sandile Dikene, Soli Philander, Thula Sizwe, Tom Lanoye, Tribal Countdown, Vernon February

    An evening with writers from South-Africa and The Netherlands. They read from their work and were introduced by Aad Nuis. They were interviewed by Michaël Zeeman and Robert Dorsman.
    In het musical programme there were performances by (among others) Tribal Countdown, Louis Maholo, Seon Birgin, Frankie Douglas and Ernst Glerum. The popular South-African Soli Philander did his stand-up-comedy peformance.
    The films shown were the documentary 'Mandela, Son of Africa, Father of a Nation' by Jo Menell, nominated in 1997 for the Oscar in the category 'best documentary'. And 'Breaker Morant' , the moving drama by director Bruce Beresford on the Boer War, followed by some shorter movies on South-Africa from the beginning of the 20th century.

  • Indische Winternacht 1997

    Indische Winternacht 1997

    With: Adriaan van Dis, Aya Zikken, Carel Alphenaar, De Nazaten van Prins Hendrik, Gamelan Ensemble Widosari, Hans Vervoort, Hella Haasse, Jill Stolk, Marion Bloem, Michaël Zeeman, Mischa de Vreede, Radhar Panca Dahana, Rayuan Samud'ra, Rendra, Sitok Srengenge, Sitor Situmorang, The Galaxy Band, Wieteke van Dort

    In 1997 the second edition of the Indische Winternacht took place: a Dutch and Indonesian evening of literature, music, film and storytelling. Among the participants were: Adriaan van Dis, Wieteke van Dort, Mischa de Vreede, Jill Stolk, Hella Haasse, Aya Zikken, Marion Bloem, and from Indonesia Rendra, Sitor Situmorang, Panca Dahana and Sitok Srengenge. The writers were introduced by Carel Alphenaar and interviewed by Michaël Zeeman. With music by The Galaxy Band, Gamelan Ensemble Widosari and De Nazaten van Prins Hendrik.