The 7th international literature festival berlin (ilb) came to an end Sunday evening with a musical poetry performance by actress and singer Jane Birkin. The consensus of the organizers is that these last 13 days devoted to literature went very well. In total, 34,000 literary enthusiasts attended the festival’s 254 events at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and other venues, including the Instituto Cervantes, the Ibero-American Institute, and the Buchhändlerkeller. Exciting readings and discussions, films and concerts captivated audiences.
152 Authors from 51 countries were guests at the 7th ilb. Celebrities of the literary world such as Isabel Allende, Mario Vargas Llosa, Michael Ondaatje, Wole Soyinka, and David Grossman kept the theaters packed at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele; and other guests of the festival’s series Literatures of the World and Kaleidoscope – which included Chuck Palahniuk, António Lobo Antunes, Paul Muldoon, Jean Rouaud, Tishani Doshi, Aharon Appelfeld, Jorie Graham, Azar Nafisi and lê thi diem thúy – drew large crowds as well. A reading by Roberto Saviano, whose book “Gomorrha” reveals the structure of the Neapolitan Camorra, was a special experience made more powerful because of recent events.
The festival’s series International Children’s and Youth Literature, with its 100 events featuring respected authors and illustrators such as Liliana Bodoc, Kevin Brooks, Faïza Guène, John Kilaka, Guus Kuijer, and Marie-Aude Murail, will be remembered for its full houses, intense encounters, and moving moments. Young visitors were able to let their imaginations run wild. In total, more than 10,000 children, young adults, and grownups enjoyed these events.
Equally well attended were the discussions about Islamic culture, world cities, and the fall of Litwinenko in the festival’s series Reflections, and the three Poetry Nights, which included performances by Ales Rasanau, Patrizia Cavalli, Robert Gray, Marie Lundquist, Anne Waldman, and Sapphire.
Another success were the events of the Focus “Latin American Literature”. Literary works were read by both famous authors and new discoveries such as Ignacio Padilla, Amir Valle, Martín Kohan, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Guillermo Fadanelli, Reginaldo Ferreira da Silva (Ferréz), Santiago Roncagliolo, and Carmen Posadas.
The highlights of the musical portion of the festival were the Biermann Concert and the Tango-Nuevo Evening with Silvana Deluigi.
With its various theaters, its Café Nabokov, and an authors’ tent in the garden, the Haus der Berliner Festspiele once again provided this literary summit meeting with the ideal setting for inspiring interactions in a comfortable atmosphere.
„The festival was a great succes. I would like to thank the federal government and the city of Berlin for their continuing support, the Berliner Festspiele, the sponsors, my team, and above all the wonderful authors who took part in this year’s festival. I’m looking forward to the next seven years,“ said the Festival Director Ulrich Schreiber in conclusion.