Since 2020, in a global context of restricted mobility, the Lyon institution has reimagined its literary festival as a completely digital event in a “Virtual Villa Gillet” designed for the occasion. This year, with travel still partly restricted, the Villa Gillet is offering a hybrid festival mixing physical and digital public speaking.
Listening to contemporary writing from all over the world
Lucie Campos, director of the Villa Gillet, describes a festival in motion and open to the world: “The 2021 festival couldn’t be like the ones before it. Our priority was to give the floor to the world’s great writers to discuss the major issues in our contemporary literary scenes. We worked and reworked our formats, from public readings to video clips by way of conversations with writers and bilingual posters in public spaces. We wanted to spread this message of a diverse international literature that is multilingual and essential for public discussion today.”
The decidedly international and multilingual programme revolves around five themes: “Our follies”, “Feminine gazes”, “Identities and origins”, “Frontiers and exiles”, and “Writing History today”. Authors will express their views on these themes through discussions and interviews over five days, both online and on-site at the Villa Gillet in Lyon. From Asli Erdogan (Turkey) to Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), David Grossman (Israel) to Iman Mersal (Egypt), Maylis de Kerangal (France) to Jonathan Coe (United Kingdom), voices in world literature will tackle the topics driving contemporary literature.
From Tuesday to Thursday, at 17:00, there will also be shorter formats showcasing the international literary scene through filmed interviews with various authors such as Hajar Bali (Algeria), Sara Omar (Denmark), Keum-Suk Gendry Kim (South Korea), and Dulce Maria Cardoso (Portugal).
Mapping book spaces internationally, here and now
Book industry professionals will also be speaking to sketch a living map of the world’s book spaces. Booksellers, editors, translators, book space directors; the people who work every day to promote literary voices will share their views on the Villa Gillet website every day at 16:30. Whether from Berlin, Lahore, or Kuala Lumpur, these public talks will exemplify social and distribution spaces for books on the international stage: so many unique spaces right in the middle of the flow of ideas and imagination.
The Littérature Live Festival – Lyon International Literature Festival is supported by the Institut français.
Fifty or so filmed interviews were co-produced by the French cultural network abroad as part of the partnership between the Institut français and the Villa Gillet. Twenty-five Instituts or Alliances françaises participated, in the following countries: Algeria, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, China, South Korea, Denmark, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, Pakistan, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Tunisia.
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