Programme Vilenica 2013

Literary Programme

The main pillar of the Vilenica programme are the literary events that take place at various venues in Slovenia and also in the border regions outside of Slovenia proper. The first events took place as early as in May with the presentation of the Anthology of Contemporary Swiss Literature, featuring previous Vilenica Prize winner, Erica Pedretti, and Raphael Urweider. Also in May, we hosted a literary evening with Florjan Lipuš on the occasion of the publication of his new novel in cooperation with the Litera publishing house. In August and September, we will once again host three residences for Irish and Italian authors in Ljubljana, Kranj, Bled, and Beli Križ. This is part of the Crossroads of European Literature programme (Culture Programme 2007–2013), organized together with the and Cúirt literary festivals, and it concludes with several translation workshops that will take place in cooperation with the international department of Koper Gymnasium.

At the pre-opening events and during the festival more than fourty-four authors will read from works in the original language. Translations of the works in Slovenian and English will be available in printed form in the 2013 Vilenica Almanac and in other occasional publications.

Koper – Between the Sea and the Land

The Vilenica Festival has a longstanding relationship with Koper. In previous years, we have held pre-opening events in the city and organized successful collaborations with Koper Gymnasium and the Libris Bookstore. In addition, Koper is home to the headquarters of Primorske Novice, the newspaper that is the festival’s general media sponsor and the sponsor of the Vilenica Prize. But this year will be even more special. A significant portion of the festival’s content will take place actually and symbolically in Koper, and the city will thus make a deeper impression on the festival. Symbolically because of the history of Koper, which was once an island and was only connected to the mainland in the nineteenth century, and is thus in harmony with the theme of this year’s festival. Koper is a city that exists between the sea and the land, a city with two official languages, a meeting point of cultures, which has given birth to its own particular literary voices. At the same time, the home base of the festival is moving from Lipica to Koper because, as a result of the closure of one of the Lipica hotels, there is no longer sufficient capacity to house the guests of the Vilenica Festival. This year guests will stay at the Žusterna Hotel in Koper. We view the logistical move of the festival as an opportunity, as we will be collaborating with the various entities that operate in Koper in the field of books and culture, putting together an excellent series of events. The move will also lend the pulse of the city and the atmosphere of café life to the festival for the first time in its history. In addition to the opening festivities along with a string of exciting events that will commence on the opening day and pave a literary path along the sea and the city squares, through book stores and gardens, all the way to the opening ceremony, the festival will also offer a theoretical programme – including a round table sponsored by the Central European Initiative and an International Comparative Literature Colloquium.

Switzerland at Vilenica

Occupying a special place at the 28th Vilenica Festival will be multi-ethnic Switzerland and its literatures, written in the German, French, Italian, and, Romansh languages, as well as the languages of its many immigrants. On this occasion, the Vilenica Anthologies series of the Slovene Writer’s Association published the Anthology of Contemporary Swiss Literature entitledGluscht. As the editor Dr. Vesna Kondrič Horvat writes in her introduction to the anthology, we cannot speak of a single Swiss national literature but rather of the four literatures of Switzerland. There is very little cross fertilization among the language groups in Switzerland and therefore four exceptionally rich literatures have developed almost entirely independently of each other, both in terms of theme and approach, and thus are even more open to outside influences from the larger German, French, and Italian linguistic spheres and farther afield. The anthology draws attention to fragments from the rich treasure chest of Swiss literature and awakens in the reader the desire to discover more gems from this extraordinarily diverse, small but linguistically varied, literary space. On the occasion of the publication of the anthology in May, the prize-winning sculptress, painter, writer, and Vilenica laureate Erica Pedretti, and the lyric poet, translator, musician, and rapper Raphael Urdweider appeared at events in Ljubljana (21 May 2013) and Maribor (22 May 2013), and at the academic book fair. During the week of the festival, Vilenica will host five of the Swiss authors whose work appears in the anthology: Ilma Rakusa, novelist, essayist, Slavicist, translator, and Vilenica prize winner; Michel Layez, a much awarded representative of the young generation of Francophone Swiss writers; Lukas Bärfuss, one of the most lucid contemporary German-language playwrights whose play Test will be staged in the Koper Theatre during the festival week; Arno Camenisch, a bilingual writer in Romansh and German, and;Pietro De Marchi, a poet of Italian origin who received the Schillerpreis in 2006 and the award of the canton of Zurich. On the opening night of the festival, the Swiss composition La Grische will be performed by the vocalist Corin Curschellas.

Vilenica Prize Winners

The main event of the Vilenica International Literary Festival is the presentation of the Vilenica Prize on Saturday, September 14 in the Vilenica Cave. The Chrystal Vilenica award will be presented during the Saturday matinee session in Štanjel to the best contribution to the 2013 Vilenica Almanac, which is selected by an international jury comprised of festival guests. The recipient of the Chrystal Vilenica award will, in addition to a sculpture by academic painter Peter Abram, be given the opportunity to participate in the Cúirt International Literary Festival in Galway, Ireland. The winners of the thirteenth Young Vilenica Prize will also be introduced at Štanjel. The prizes themselves will be awarded by the Vilenica Cultural Centre on 18 May 2013 at the amphitheatre of the Kosovel Culture Centre in Sežana. The Central European Initiative in collaboration with the Slovene Writers’ Association will once again award a fellowship to a young writer from Albania, Belorussia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, or Ukraine.

Theoretical Programme

Vesna Humar, chief editor of Primorske novice, will moderate the Central European Initiative round table on the theme of this year’s Vilenica Festival, “Inspiration of Borders”. Participants will include Milan Rakovac, Istrian poet, journalist, and activist, Tanja Malarchuk, Ukrainian writer and journalist who is currently living and working in Vienna, and Rodica Draghincescu, Romanian and French-language writer, who belongs to the non-conformist writers of the “90’s generation” which was formed during the dramatic fall of the Ceausescu regime. The 11th International Comparative Literature Colloquium entitled “Literature and Moving Images”,moderated by Aleš Vaupotič and Barbara Zorman, will address the question of interdisciplinary collaboration between literature, film, video, and other forms of interactive dynamic images.The colloquium will be accompanied by the presentation of the art projectVerkommenes (Rot). VIENNA MON AMOUR by one of the most influential contemporary new media artists, media archaeologist David Link at the Faculty of Computer and Information Science (11 Sept at 6pm) and a web selection of Slovene artistic exploits on the edge between new media art and literature, entitled Met kock (Dice Throw).