The European Literature Night is organised by EUNIC Netherlands, each year in May. Around 10 to 15 European authors are invited to write an essay on a specific theme, which is translated into Dutch and published in a literary magazine. In 2016, the essays were published by Terras in a special edition that was sold exclusively at the event. The writers are invited by the participating institute to take part in the evening. All the writers and translators have dinner on the night of the event to break the ice and get acquainted with the moderator and their fellow participants. Each year the event has a theme. This year’s theme was ‘home’ – what does ‘home’ mean in our multicultural, multilingual world? The writers tackle this question in groups of three, led by a moderator. Some debate, some read excerpts from their work, some monologue. Differences and similarities between languages and cultures come to light, and foster intercultural engagement. The character of each group differs, making for an eclectic and versatile presentation about personal and European values. This year, in accompaniment to the debates, live illustration was projected on stage, synchronising the spoken with the visual. The idea for next year is to have two Literature nights–one traditionally in Amsterdam, and one in Leeuwarden – the European Cultural Capital for 2018.
European Commision, Flemish Cultural institute de Brakke Grond