Prague’s Literary Spring

With Its Bohemian Atmosphere, Rich History, And Friendly People, Prague Is A ‘Hot’ City.

And this cultural capital of Central Europe is going to get even hotter in April when the Prague Writers’ Festival, held since 1991, is kicked off this year with the theme “Some Like It Hot”.

Taking Samuel Beckett’s famous words, “Find the wrong path that suits you best”, as its point of departure, the festival is questioning the latest changes in the world.

Without detaching itself from the realities of Europe and the Mediterranean region, it is approaching today’s hot agenda on a wider, global scale.

Prague Writers’ Festival is hosting a number of outstanding participants. Let’s start with the Turks, among whom Zülfü Livaneli and Nedim Gürsel are two of the festival’s prominent guests.

Other important participants this year include Nobel laureate poet Derek Walcott, leading American literary figure Don DeLillo, acclaimed French poet Michel Deguy, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Junot Díaz.

The ambassadors of Turkey and Greece will also be present at the festival opening, to be presided over by European Union Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.

The festival is taking place April 16th to 20th, this year. The venue for the major events of the festival, for which Turkish Airlines is also a sponsor, is the New Stage National Theatre. Some of the informal chats will be held at the American Centre and Gallery Café Louvre. 

Michel Deguy
Don DeLillo
Junot Díaz
Sylva Fischerová
Nedim Gürsel
Petra Hulová
Tomáš Kafka
Dionysis Kapsalis
Constantine Kokossis
Werner Lambersy
Zülfü Livaneli
Athena Papadaki
Vladimir Páral
Derek Walcott
Saadi Yousef
Michael March
“Language speaks—names are to be used—the word is a picture of things. To see the world we must explore the invisible world—to find a balance between appearance and the life of the mind. Our world is at odds with our own lives. The Festival allows writers to resist in unison the false appearance of the world—in order to sustain the potential of becoming free. Prague was the first choice for the Festival—and it remains free.”

Known for his album, Masallar, Rüyalar, Fısıltılar, which combines classical, jazz and folk music, pianist Birsen Ulucan is at Istanbul Süreyya Opera on April 4th, at Slovenia Knight Concert Hall on April 13th, and at Istanbul Borusan Müzik Evi on April 21st.

April 3rd is the last day to see the joint show, Moneta, at Frauenmuseum Bonn (Bonn Women’s Museum). One of the artists included in the exhibition, which is entitled, Women and Money Yesterday, Today and in Art, is Turkish painter Nuray Turan. Turan’s work is entitled ‘Behind the Mirrors’.

One of Turkey’s leading photographers, İzzet Keribar is at Fototrek Photography Gallery on İstiklal Caddesi until April 8th with his show, Light of the North/Lofoten - Norway. Keribar’s landscapes in horizontal light under a brilliant sky are a must-see.

Ben Bir Stüdyo Sanatçısı Değilim (I’m Not A Studio Artist) is a broadly comprehensive exhibition of works by Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin, who died in 2007. It is on at Beyoğlu’s new art venue, SALT, starting from April 9th. The artist’s personal archive is also featured in the exhibition, which runs through August 7th.

Yavuz Pekman’s adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s stories The Bear, The Marriage Proposal, The Wedding, The Ills of Tobacco, and The Coach House, described by their author as ‘little jokes’, Bir Tutam Hayat (A Handful of LIfe) is at Enka Kültür Sanat on April 12th, staged by the theater ensemble, Semaver Kumpanya.

İş Bank’s Kibele Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition entitled Turkeyland by Mevlut Akyıldız, one of Turkey’s masters of satire. April 16th is the last day for the exhibition, which brings together the artist’s oil canvases, sculptures and paintings on glass.

Berfin Aksu, a violinist who first performed with an orchestra at age eight and has won first prize in several national and international competitions, is at Akbank Sanat on April 19th. Aksu will play works by Brahms, Ahron, Yalçın Tura and Waxman in her recital.

Doğuş Children’s Symphony Orchestra is at TİM Show Center with a one-act musical comedy, Senfonik Karabe (Symphonic Cabaret), on April 23rd and 24th. Adapted from a number of classical works including Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio and Rossini’s Barber of Seville, the musical is by Gani Müjde.

Promising listeners a musical feast in the style they call Fasl-ı Rembetiko, Café Aman Istanbul is at Ghetto on April 27th. The group, made up of Turkish and Turkish Greek musicians, combines the Café Aman musical culture with the Ottoman ‘fasıl’ tradition.

Işık University faculty member and Professor of Ceramics, Prof. Beril Anılanmert is at Mine Art Gallery with a show entitled Dönemler (Periods of Time). April 30th is the last day for seeing the works of this artist, who uses materials such as metal, glass and felt alongside ceramic materials of different kinds.