From hell via purgatory to paradise: In the Divine Comedy written 700 years ago while in exile, the Italian poet and philosopher Dante Alighieri described a journey that thousands of people begin day after day in our 21st century world. Having escaped from the horrors of civil war and persecution in their native countries, they head off in search of Arcadia. But many of them end up somewhere else, in something of a twilight zone. And, suddenly, the home that they left behind begins to take on the qualities of a Garden of Eden in their minds. A garden whose gates appear to be permanently sealed shut.
During forum:autoren, Albert Ostermaier will direct our attention to committed and political literature. One of the major goals of his front:text program will be to initiate a dialog with refugees and tell their stories in a new way using images and words. His guests will include writers, journalists, artists and musicians who come from regions of the world that are being torn apart by unrest and civil war as well as those who have taken shelter in Germany. During readings, discussions and a symposium, they will talk about their personal experiences, examine the problems of today's asylum policies and explore potential solutions. People from all parts of the world will perform texts that they created during the front:text writing workshop. And, as a change of pace, well-known amateur and professional soccer players will take on a group called buntkicktgut (the motley kick great) in an international friendly. Ostermaier believes that the same rules apply to both the soccer field and social interaction as a whole: "We must continue to believe that integration, tolerance, community spirit and respect are the keys to success and then build on this conviction."
About the Munich Literature Festival
The Munich Literature Festival comprises the curator program forum:autoren (forum:authors), the Münchner Bücherschau (the Munich Book Fair) and the festival program of the Literaturhaus München (the Munich House of Literature) with the market of independent publishing companies Andere Bücher braucht das Land (The Country Needs Different Books).
The Geschwister-Scholl-Preis (the Hans and Sophie Scholl Prize) and the television award LiteraVision will also be presented during the festival.
The Munich Literature Festival is hosted by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels – Landesverband Bayern (the German Publishers & Booksellers Association –Bavarian Branch) and the Literaturhaus München (the Munich House of Literature) (executive management) in cooperation with the Kulturreferat der Landeshauptstadt München (the Department of Arts and Culture for the State Capital of Munich).
The forum:autoren is conceived by a different writer each year. Albert Ostermaier is the third author from Munich to oversee the literary-artistic program. Other curators have included Ilija Trojanow (lokal:global), Matthias Politycki (Die Welt auf Deutsch, or The World in German), Thea Dorn (Hinaus ins Ungewisse!, or Out into the Unknown!), Dagmar Leupold (Stadt Land Fluss. Geschichten von der Gegenwart, or City Land River, Stories of Today) and Clemens Meyer (In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod, or In Times of Peril and Great Affliction, the Middle Way Leads to Death).
The 56th Munich Book Fair is an 18-day fair where visitors can browse over the largest display of regional books 15 hours a day at no charge. A two and one-half week meeting of (inter)national writers each year. Non-fiction, literature, music, classics, thrillers, book binding, writing workshops – the right event format is available for everyone!
Historic and political novels, family and social novels, economic and philosophy books – the festival program of the House of Literature is filled with variety and big names. And the independent book market Andere Bücher braucht das Land will bring things to a colorful conclusion this year.