Read My World Festival 2013 - 2019

Many voices from all over the world have been heard at Read My World in the past seven years: from Egypt, Palestine, the Caribbean (Haiti, Barbados, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Guyana), Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Poland, Ukraine, Black USA, Turkey, Morocco as well as the Netherlands and Belgium.

Each year, the platform focuses on a different region and asks local curators to introduce writers and poets who can tell us stories beyond the superficiality of day-to-day news. Over the years our guest curators and writers brought themes that resonate in the Netherlands as well, such as: the impact of migration and diaspora on our societies, multiple identities, power and the margins, feminism, gentrification, urbanisation, climate crisis and protest. Big themes, fuelled by unrest, dissatisfaction or despair, but always in the language of the personal, of the artistic quest of writing, often mercilessly honest, independent and original. And so, in recent years, Read My World has been able to make the big questions of our time palpable through literature.

  • As vivid as the multifaceted literary scene in Morocco is, so little of it permeates the Netherlands, while Dutch-Moroccan voices are creating more and more furore in literature and on stage. Fedwa Misk from Casablanca and Mahi Binebine from Marrakech have guided us through contemporary literary Morocco.

    Morocco 2019
  • Despite the presence of so many people with Turkish descent in the Netherlands and Europe, we still don’t grasp its historic, political and cultural complexity. We hear about the many polarised discourses, so Aylime Asli Demir and Süreyyya Evren took us through the rich history of Turkey.

    Turkey 2018
  • We know the music, the activists, literary heroes like James Baldwin and Maya Angelou. The spoken-word scene in the Netherlands is partly shaped by influences from the USA. But do we know the black voices of today? Guest curators from New Orleans, Maurice Ruffin and Shantrelle P. Lewis have paved us a way.

    Black USA 2017
  • The remnant of the Ukraine Referendum was still smouldering and at the same time a controversial anti-abortion law had loomed up in Poland, which was massively protested against. Writers were on the front line. This edition also featured Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk.

    Ukraine and Poland 2016
  • How does a contemporary generation of authors, journalists and artists in Southeast Asia deal with the gap between rich and poor, censorship and a call for more openness? Bernice Chauly and Kadek Krishna Adidharma have casted an innovative light on Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

    Southeast Asia
  • In 2014, we travelled through the Caribbean literary landscape. The audience was introduced to talented writers, poets and engaging spoken word artists selected by the curators in Jamaica, Guyana, Suriname, Saint Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Haiti.

    Caribbean 2014
  • Festival curator Asmaa Azaizeh, poet and journalist of Palestinian origin from Haifa, has a rare powerful alto voice: “Literature festivals in Europe usually choose the stars the audience already knows. Read My World is different, by giving young writers from the region influence. Now we listen to new voices from the region for three days.”

    Arabic Literature 2013