Stories from a War Theater with Surroundings


Uppsala Stadsteater
Lördag 23 mars kl 17.00
Språk: English
Duration: 60 minutes

In the times we live in, times of war and the hatred and barbarism it engenders, projects aimed at cultural understanding across borders have particular importance. Russia has not only dominated its neighboring countries with military and economic power, but also culturally and linguistically.

Not least, Ukraine has been denied by the Russian regime to have any culture of its own at all. That is why the German Goethe Institute’s project Black Sea Lit is of great interest.

Led by Nino Haratischwili, a curator and writer of Georgian origin, writers from the countries surrounding the war-torn Black Sea have gathered for week-long workshops to talk about how Ukrainian, Georgian, Armenian, Romanian and Bulgarian stories and perspectives can also assert themselves alongside Russian and Western cultural dominance.

Some of the participants in Black Sea Lit’s residency and workshop are now visiting the Uppsala International Literature Festival to give a Swedish public a taste of the literature produced and discussed in the countries around the Black Sea. Participating in the panel discussion are:

Halyna Kruk, award-winning poet and prose writer, translator and researcher from Lviv, Ukraine. She is the author of poetry and short story collections and several children’s books. Her latest poetry collection A Crash Course in Molotov Cocktails has recently been translated into English. In Swedish, she is represented in the anthology Under Ukraina’s Open Sky, published by Ariel publishing house in collaboration with Swedish PEN (editors: Mikael Nydahl and Kholod Saghir).

Bogdan Coșa, was already awarded in Romania with his debut novel Poker. It is now the first book in a trilogy The second novel, the second part of the trilogy, Black Glass also led to an award; ”Young prose writer of 2017”. Since then, he has also published a collection of poems, O forma de įdų primară (The Simplest Form of Shelter). And another novel, Cât de crébo sunt ploile reci (How Close the Cold Rains Are) was awarded in 2021.

Ina Vultchanova is a Bulgarian journalist, writer, producer and translator. Her professional career has been devoted to the art of sound drama. She has worked as a long-time senior producer at the Drama Department of Bulgarian National Radio and has adapted and produced the works of numerous authors from Bulgaria and other countries. She has, among other things, won the Prix Europa in Berlin for his adaptation of literature for radio.

Archil Kikodze, is a writer of prose and screenplays, an actor and photographer. He has previously published four short stories and one collection of essays. His first novel, The Southern Elephant, won an award and has been called ”the best Georgian novel of the 20th century” by reviewers in Georgia.

Armen Ohanyan, President of PEN International in Armenia where Ohanyan also works as a fiction writer, essayist and literary translator. He is the author of the experimental short story collection The Return of Kikos and the trilogy of novels Mommyland, which are ground-breaking literature as for the first time characters with LGBTQ orientation are portrayed in a positive light.

The conversation will be followed by readings from the works of the participating authors in the panel in Swedish and the original language.

Halyna Kruk
Halyna Kruk
Bogdan Coșa
Bogdan Coșa