Tania Haberland

Tania Haberland

Tania Haberland – MAURITIUS. Poet and singer, artist and teacher. From a Mauritian-German family, she was born in South Africa and lived in the United States, England, Germany, Italy and Saudi Arabia. For her first book Hyphen, she received the Ingrid Jonker Prize. For Tania Haberland art, literature, education and therapy should work in interplay and weave into the social space. Her art represents multidisciplinary interaction between writing, music and movement. Currently Tania Haberland is working on a project based in Mauritius, Milan and Cape Town and that aims to link artistic creation with a ‘Technology of Tenderness’. The heart of her work revolves around gender issues, sexuality, freedom and the destruction of the unity between humans and nature. She views the ocean as a muse that stimulates our senses and offers the insight as a constitutive element on our globe that humans only form a part of this entity.

Michael Augustin

Michael Augustin

Michael Augustin – GERMANY. Author, radio broadcaster and translater. His literary interest centers on the ‘small form’, his pointed black humor unmistakably builds on the British and Irish literary tradition. Augustin’s dramolettes, bagatelles, poems and prose poems are collected in numerous books and have been translated into many languages. His writings show him to be a conscious and witty observer of current affairs who effectively responds with literary means to the problem areas of world turned upside down. Born at the Baltic Sea, ocean topics remain especially close to his heart. Michael Augustin is an internationally esteemed networker and reads at festivals around the globe. He was a participant of the renown ‘International Writing Program’ at the University of Iowa and a guest professor at Dickinson College (USA). Augustin is a member of the Irish PEN. In his literary programs for Radio Bremen he broadcasts the voices of world literature in their original language. For many years he has been co-director of the poetry festival in Bremen ‘Poetry on the Road’.

Ayu Laksmi

Ayu Laksmi

Ayu Laksmi – INDONESIA. Known as the diva of Indonesia’s entertainment industry, she comes from Singaraja, NorthBali but as a singer, composer, dance and performer she is famous far beyond her ancestral island. Beginning her career as a rock singer, Ayu Laksmi traveled through almost every musical genre before settling on her own personal style in which she combines artistic expressions of different Indonesian cultures with contemporary elements. Combining traditional and modern elements has become her trademark and set a trend in Indonesia. Critics praise her music for meeting modern standards without – in keeping with the times – masking or undermining cultural singularities.

Made Bayak

Made Bayak

Made Bayak – INDONESIA. Visual Artist, gitarrist, band leader – born in 1980 in Bali – harnesses his art as a medium to call attention to the exploitation and destruction of his home island. Under the title ‘Plasticology’ he developed an innovative technique which he uses to create works of art out of plastic waste. Symbols that stand for the tourists’ place of longing Bali play a central role: he shapes characters from mythology such as Barong and Rangda, Legong etc. out of the residues of those who seek paradise and yet also destroy it. Made Bayak works are an appeal to recognize a collective responsibility toward nature. Bayak’s art has been exhibited in many cities in Indonesia and abroad and serve artists of all branches as a source of inspiration. https://madebayak.wordpress.com/tag/plasticology/

Carolyn Forché

Carolyn Forché

Carolyn Forché – USA. Poet, human rights activist and university professor. With her first volume of poetry “Gathering the tribes” she already distinguished herself and received several awards. Since documenting the impact of the civil war in El Salvador for ‘Amnesty International’ in the 1970s, Carolyn Forché has been posing fundamental questions on the relation between poetry and politics. She released the world-famous anthology “Against Forgetting” in which writings of 145 authors are collected, chronicling the systems of injustice of the world. “Poetry of Witness”, a recognized term in academia and literature, was established by her. Bearing witness, that remains at the center of her writings. Carolyn Forché has received several international prizes for her work. She is the director of the ‘Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practise’ at Georgetown University in Washington. The Lannan Center represents an innovative and socially involved notion of art that links poetry to other art forms.

Cok Sawitri

Cok Sawitri

Cok Sawitri – INDONESIEN: Author and dramatist, journalist and activist. She has published numerous books. Her articles and essays shape the national discourse in Indonesia. Early on Cok Sawitri developed a passion for expanding the traditional scope of balinese art and join it to modern styles. In her stage performances tradition and avant-garde encounter each other setting in scene a feminist backdrop and the interest in social issues. A majority of her choreographies are based on her own writings and research. Since the early 1990s she has worked on international collaborations with artists from around the world. Ayu Laksmi regularly leads workshops on literature, dance and theater. She is one the foremost activists in Indonesia and is equally involved in the social, cultural, interreligious and humanitarian sector. Infos: https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/contributor/cok-sawitri

Elizabeth van der Wath

Elizabeth van der Wath

Elizabeth van der Wath – South Africa

Studied computer science and mathematics after which she supervised numerical analysis to Cambridge University first year students and accepted a research assistant position at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory. Here Elizabeth was part of an European Union funded project to create an internationally connected super computer able to process memory intensive bioinformatics applications. Elizabeth later joined a cancer medical trial project in Perth Australia where she enabled the visualisation of radiation volumes over CT scans through a software application. Over the years Elizabeth gained extensive experience in data visualisation and artificial intelligence. She creates art where computer science meets cognition, communicating intuitively with human perception in order to translate complex interpretations of the world around us. Her passion is to discover multidimensional hidden patterns in the information around us and simulate these rhythms artistically towards enlightenment.

Gustaf Tempelhoff

Gustaf Tempelhoff

Gustaf Tempelhoff – South Africa

Gustaf Tempelhoff is a multimedia designer at the North-West university’s research unit. He is responsible for the graphic design, web design, platform design and general upkeep of the Byderhand project. While working on Byderhand, Gustaf is simultaneously busy with his Master’s Degree at the NWU. His studies focuses on user interface design, platform design and digital site specific literature. While doing research for digital projects Gustaf also experiments with sound and composes music as a form of expression. He has written music for a few short films with a cinematic feel as well as other projects that requires a bit more experimental sounds. He likes to explore the connection and enhancement of the visual word by using sound and music to create a more emersive experience. Gustaf also works in the film industry as part of the VFX unit. Gustaf has been working with Motion Associates (UK) since 2014, scanning and capturing 3D data with LiDAR technology for CGI and enhancement of cinematic. He has worked on film such as: Avenger: Age of Ultron, Jungle Book: Origins (2018) and Tomb Raider (2018).

Chris Soal

Chris Soal

Chris Soal – SOUTH AFRICA

He is an emerging artist living and practicing in Johannesburg, South Africa.  A Fine Arts graduate from the University of the Witwatersrand, Chris’s art explores ways of working with materials, and through thinking about space, light and form he has developed his own visual vocabulary. 

Indra Wussow

Indra Wussow

Indra Wussow – SOUTH AFRICA/GERMANY. Curator, author and journalist. The series of books she published, called “Africa Wunderhorn”, can be viewed as pioneer work, focused on introducing contemporary African literature to the German readership. She translated many of the novels that were released at Wunderhorn herself. Through her foundation “SyltFoundation” and its South African counterpart in Johannesburg she enabled numerous authors to connect with international networks. Currently Indra Wussow is directing an international long-term project, titled “Trauma and Identity”, that brings together authors and artists that engage in examining and reappraising national traumas. It includes authors from Myanmar, Cambodia, Chile, South Africa and Germany. The project is funded by the German Literature Fund. Indra Wussow now is living in South Africa and Germany.

Hagar Peeters

Hagar Peeters

Hagar Peeters – NETHERLANDS. Studied history of ideas, culture and mentalities. During her studies she was editor of the satirical magazine Propria Cures. Following her first volume of poetry and her performances as a rap poet she already celebrated a breakthrough and was nominated for the national cultural prize. Many more volumes of poetry and awards followed. In 2009 she was on the shortlist “Poets of the Fatherland” with four other authors, the most important award for dutch authors. Her work was set to music by renowned musicians including Herman van Veen, Wende Sniiders und Martin Buitenhuis. In 2015 Hagar Peters published her first novel: ‘Malva’ deals with the story of Malva Marina Reyes, daughter of Pablo Neruda and his Dutch-Indian wife Maria Hagenaar from the former colony of Java. For her literary approach of the biography Hagar Peeters received the renown Fintro Literary Award. In 2012 Hagar Peeters participated in the international poetry caravan “What is Poetry” that traveled through Java.

Guy Helminger

Guy Helminger

Guy Helminger – LUXEMBOURG. Writes poetry, narratives, novels, radio dramas and playwriting. The author from Luxembourg has received many awards. He lives in Cologne and travels the world with his eyes wide open. In 2006 he was the writer-in-residence in Hyerabad (India), 2007 he resided in Teheran to be a part of the projects “westöstlicherdiwan”, 2008-2009 he was author-in-residence in Saana (Yemen) and 2015 in South Africa. Together with his colleague Navid Kermani, Guy Helminger presents the “Literature Salon International in the Cologne city gardens since 2006. He presented the program CULTURE from 2010-2012 and currently presents the program DNA for Luxembourg television, as well as numerous literature events in Cologne and Luxembourg. Since 2015 Guy Helminger is a member of the jury of the Heinrich-Böll-Prize of the city of Cologne. In his literary work, Helminger inter alia deals with the existence of the individual in seemingly unalterable macro structures, the general human longing for a better life, questions of failures, and rigid structures and taboos.

Samar Gantang

Samar Gantang

Samar Gantang – INDONESIA. He is descended from a Balinese aristocratic court, which signifies in this culture: theatre, art, literature and music became part of his life in the cradle. His estate in Tabanan is not only inspiring gathering place for artists of every ilk, but also a social space at which the community brokers societal questions. Samar Gantang gives the Balinese variant of Hinduism a poetic voice. His modre-poetry laments inter alia the catastrophic effects of Bali’s tourism boom. The destruction of social ties and traditions, environmental damages and inequality play a central role. In his spiritual cosmos Gods and demons battle against each other – greed and dedication, good and evil, love and hate appear as competing forces that polyphonically compete against each other and must be brought to heel. In 2017 Samar Gantang was appointed to be a spiritual figurehead in Bali. His performance have captivated audiences on numerous international stages and are regularly broadcasted on television.

Afrizal Malna

Afrizal Malna

Afrizal Malna – INDONESIA. Poet, performance artist and theatrical performer – one of the most important driving forces for the artistic avant-garde in Indonesia. Following his studies of philosophy in Jakarta, he founded the theatre group SAE, whose productions questioned the Suharto regime in the 1980s and 90s. Today Malna occupies a leading position in the ‘theatre’ section of the Jakarta Art Council. In 2016 he was a fellow in the DAAD Berlin artists’ program. His artistic work portrays a fragmented presentation in which the individual along with his or her cultural roots threatens to drown. Consciously he bridges the division to the worldly wisdom of ancestors who still view themselves as a part of nature and search for new artistic expressions with which language and the world of things can be recovered.

Di Lu Galay

Di Lu Galay

Di Lu Galay – Myanmar. Born 1986, he belongs among the most influential authors/translators of the recent generation of poets in Burma. As of 2013 he organized the “Midnight Poetry Festival” through facebook, a sensational event for the younger generation of authors. The recordings of the festival were later published as a book. 2014 followed an anthology with the title “Jiva Faut Pan Mhu”. Di Lu Galay’s poems discuss enormous upheaval and social questions in his home country. His messages are conveyed unconventionally through the “message-to-message” method, with which in each case new nature of worldview is accessible. It results in a sort of neo-surreal chain reaction which simultaneously scrutinizes the origin of human values. In 2017 his volume “The Murderer’s Handwriting” with poems in Burmese, English and French were published. Together with fellow authors he implemented a web-based project consisting of maritime topics.

Sujata Bhatt

Sujata Bhatt

Sujata Bhatt – GERMANY/INDIA. Was born in India and raised in Poona and the United States. She is known throughout the world as a lyricist and translator. Her life between India, the United States and Germany, the search for identity and home consistently appear in her work, as in her poem “Search for my tongue” that UNESCO published in February 2004 for the International Mother Language Day. Her writings were published in the major anthologies of anglophone literature and were translated into more than 20 languages. In England and the Commonwealth they are featured in the official school curriculum. Sujata Bhatt also works repeatedly abroad: she taught as a Lansdowne Visiting Writer at the University of Victoria in British Columbia/Kanada and as a Visiting Fellow at the Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Jaco van Schalkwyk

Jaco van Schalkwyk

Jaco van Schalkwyk – SOUTH AFRICA. Was born in 1981 in Benoni, South Africa. He grew up in the faith home, Jatniël: the headquarters of the Latter Rain Mission International. His background influences his view and interpretation of society and the landscape, which is the foundation of his body of work. He spent his education at Brandwag Hoërskool graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in historical studies at UNISA. His frequent travels take him to some of the world’s great art museums and international exhibitions. This has given him a worldview on historical and contemporary art.

GUEST SPEAKER

GUEST SPEAKER

Helga Trüpel – BELGIUM/GERMANY

Helga Trüpel is a German politician. She was senator for culture and integration of foreigners of the Hanseatic City of Bremen from 1991 to 1995. She is a member of the European Parliament since 2004 and is a part of the Green/EFA parliamentary group as its cultural-political speaker.