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Cancelled author to present the opening speech

Hartwig Klappert

Bergen International Literature Festival (LitFestBergen) will be held for the sixth time February 7-11, 2024, at the House of Literature in Bergen. Big names in fiction such as Karl Ove Knausgård, German Judith Hermann and the international Booker Prize winner Georgi Gospodinov from Bulgaria will be attending the festival.


Also in attendance will be Adania Shibli. The Palestinian author was disinvited from receiving a literary prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair last spring due to the escalation of violence in the Israel / Palestinian region that was triggered by an attack from Hamas. During the official opening of LitFestBergen, Shibli has been invited to read the acceptance speech she would have given in Frankfurt.

This year's theme is dissolution – where we emphasize the suffix -solution. What kind of dissolution trends do we see in the world today? And how can literature play a role in finding solutions both for the individual and for the major problems in the world?

Norwegian-French Eva Joly will meet Nigerian activist, architect and poet Nnimmo Bassey for a conversation about corruption and oil in Norway and Nigeria. This year's edition of the regular program The World on Saturday, hosted by Kjersti Løken Stavrum, will focus on the expansion of the international coalition BRICS. Julie Wilhelmsen, Gunnar Sørbø and Elisabeth Eide will be on the panel.

From El Salvador comes the award-winning journalist Oscar Martínez, and from South Africa Jonny Steinberg, who will discuss truth in the biography with Ivo de Figueiredo. From Ukraine, the author couple Lesiv Andriy and Romana Romanyshyn and from the USA Nora Krug with the graphic documentary Diaries of War.

Jon Fosse, Erlend Loe, Frode Grytten

In 2022, Jon Fosse wrote an audio play commissioned by LitFestBergen. Twice during this year's festival, the audience will have the opportunity to hear the play Leika Leiken, the very latest Jon Fosse has written. Other Norwegian authors at this year's festival include Erlend Loe, Ingvild Rishøi, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, Frode Grytten, Brit Bildøen, Pedro Carmona-Alvarez, Priya Bains, Ruth Lillegraven, Erlend Nødtvedt, Tormod Haugland, Odd W Surén, and Morten Traavik.

There will be a meeting of literary voices between Herborg Kråkevik and Trond-Viggo Torgersen led by Mona B Riise. There will be a poetic punk gala, a national slam championship, a celebration of Chinese New Year, dance, pop poetry, climate literature, science fiction, collective writing and theatre. Additionally, we will get a taste of the languages Tamil, Zulu, Greenlandic, German, Spanish, English, French, Bulgarian, Ukrainian and Sami.

NRK will also record and broadcast live with the audience in the auditorium at the festival. And this is only a taste of what the programme entails. LitFestBergen has had Sami literature on the programme every year since its inception. In collaboration with The House of Literature and The Critics Team, this year we have organized a seminar on the Criticism of Sami literature. It will open with a lecture by Harald Gáski, which has been created for both a Norwegian and an international audience: Introduction to Sami Literature. Both festival directors and journalists from several countries are expected to attend this year's festival.

Enriching youth program

As in previous years, LitFestBergen has an enriching programme for the youth, where young people themselves will interview authors on stage at the House of Literature. They will also award the Gullkroken Literary Prize to one of the authors. LitFestBergen has also begun an exchange agreement with the Time of the Writer festival in Durban, South Africa, and during the festival, we will announce the winners of the writing competition we have organized in collaboration with UiB/The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and the Rafto Foundation – where we received entries from 119 different countries.

We close this year's festival with the programme event "From dissolution to resolution". Can we leave this year's festival wiser and more optimistic on behalf of literature and the world?

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