Program 2022 English

Welcome to Uppsala International Literature Festival 2022!

From Thursday the 24th to Saturday the 26th of March, we are giving you the opportunity to listen to highly topical international and Swedish authors.

We are often asked “where are you from?” A simple question which for many requires a complicated answer.

The unifying idea behind this year’s program, is to explore the challenges our migrating times face in our perceptions of longing for a homeland, and our need for belonging. It is an underlying current in poetry and prose.

Verner von Heidenstam’s oft-quoted “I long for the ground, I long for the stones, where children I played” is summed up in the German concept of “heimat”- the idea that the place of your childhood is your true home. It’s a historically loaded idea which has resurfaced under the pressures of migration. In Germany today, it is discussed whether it can be repurposed or should be avoided.

Because in a time when more than a quarter of a billion people have emigrated, by choice or force, and their children are raised between the memories of an old homeland and the tenuous welcome of a new one – the question for many becomes burning: where is home?

In literature, the answers to this question have been many and diverse. With the help of voices moving between China’s provinces, America and Afghanistan, Germany and the world atlas, Norrbotten and Stockholm- we are attempting to capture this sense of longing and belonging in world literature.

Take part of all the items on the program here.

Thank you to Uppsala municipality and the Arts Council. Again, we wish you a warm welcome.

Program 2022

Thursday 24 March, Akademibokhandeln Uppsala

19.00, Chinese Homelands: Reports from a Chinese “Hembygd”

Yan Lianke is the cultural revolutionary who became a socially critical author and professor of literature in Beijing. Many of his books are today censored in China. Here he will be in conversation with Swedish translator Anna Gustafsson Chen.


Friday 25 March – Uppsala City Theater

18.00, Göran Rosenberggives an inaugural lecture on “Heimat”, “Hembygd” and Home

18.30, A Jewish ”Heimat”: ”Heimat” as Geographical or Moral Belonging

One of Sweden’s leading intellectuals, journalist, columnist and August Prize winning author in conversation with journalist Mikael Olsson Al Safandi.


20.00, Lost Memories and Yearning

Judith Schalansky has been described as a “marvellous” author, one of the most interesting in a new German generation. Here she will be in conversation with Swedish translator Linda Östergaard about memory and the political significance of repurposing the past, from the perspective of her recently published An Inventory of Losses.


Saturday 26 March – Uppsala Konstmuseum

13.00-14.00, Testimony With Lost Credibility

Maria Stepanova will be in conversation with poet and translator Ida Börjel.
Ida Börjel will read from Kroppens Återkomst (The Body’s Return) in Pavel Otdelnov’s exhibition Promzona. Kroppens Återkomst is translated by Ida Börjel and Nils Håkansson. Stepanova, born in Moscow 1972, is an internationally acclaimed author, poet, essayist, journalist and editor in chief of online publication Colta. Otdelnov and Stepanova share a similar search for the biographical and “Heimat” as point of departure for their work. However, their interpretations bloom into further reflections of cultural memory, the Soviet system of victim and offender, utopia and dystopia. The conversation is in partnership with Uppsala Art Museum.

In cooperation med Uppsala konstmuseum.


Saturday 26 march – Uppsala City Theater

14.00, Snow and Potato As Origin: A Nostalgic Perspective on a Lost Home

She has been described as an author who fights darkness with polar lights. The award winning poet, journalist and translator Cecilia Hansson recently published her second novel, Snö och Potatis (Snow and Potato). In conversation with literary critic and journalist Jenny Aschenbrenner, Hansson will be exploring her new novel and her lyricism.


15.10, Duo Nadin & Cassius & Nadin  

A brand new duo – two musicians who combine their global influences to make something completely new. With lyrics in Arabic accompanied by guitar, mandolin and bass, this is an experience not to miss.

Nadin Al Khalidi was born in Iraq and grew up in Baghdad and Cairo. She studied classic music and violin at the music school of Bagdad. She fled from Iraq 2001 and has since lived in Sweden. Internationally Nadin’s voice and lyrics have resonated with the help of her group, Tarrabband, and have amassed fans in Egypt, Irak, Jordan and Northern Africa. Nadin won the Tradition Bearer Prize in 2014 at the Folk & World Music Awards.

Cassius Lambert is a Swedish Ethiopian bassist and composer from Abbekås. He has studied at Skurup Folkhögskola and Rytmiska Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. He has toured nationally and internationally with groups like Tarabband, CB3 and with his own two projects Cassius Lambert Orchestra and Cassius Lambert Solo. As instrumentalist he is known for his unconventional and unique approach to the electric bass guitar.


15.30, ”To Find Home In Another Language”

Meet the poets Jila Mossaed, Jasim Mohamed and Li Li, who all three have left their native tongues to write poetry in Swedish. Kholod Saghir will be in conversation with the poets about their journey mastering a new language, and why they “abandoned” the three large languages of Persian, Arabic and Chinese to write in the small language of Swedish. The conversation will be punctuated by readings from the poets’ latest collections.


17.15, A European Conciliation With Homesickness and Nostalgia

Maxim Grigoriev’s latest book Europe has been critically acclaimed and won awards both in Sweden and the rest of Europe for its depiction of exile and homesickness. These themes will be explored in conversation with Swedish poet and translator Ida Börjel.


18.15, More Music: Nadin & Cassius


18.30, The Fate of Afghan Women- as Illustrated From America

Nadia Hashimi is the American paediatrician of Afghan heritage who in her novels has depicted different aspects of being a woman in, and fleeing from, war-torn Afghanistan. She is visiting from America to speak with journalist Mikael Olsson Al Safandi.


20.00, Poetry Reading

Among the poets reading are Tom Van de Voorde from Belgium and Sudanese poet Najlaa Eltom. The poems will be read in Swedish by actress Amanda Ooms.


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