Read My World Festival 2020

International Literature Festival Read My World presents literature in all its forms. Every year, Read My World takes a new and up-to-date look at different places of the world, from the inside out, through literature. Places we know through the media and its headlines.

Europa 2020

While in recent years Read My World has mainly focused on literary voices outside Europe, the 8th edition of the festival will turn to literature from the European continent. Partly because of the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus, but moreover because of recent social developments on which we need to reflect, such as: the rise of right-wing extremist movements in many European countries, the increasing violence against various (religious) minorities, the standardization of abusive speech on social media, the growing segregation in big cities – these are disturbing developments that demand powerful alternative narratives about Europe. And that is exactly our goal for this year.

European Others

For this Europe edition, we got inspired by European Others, a book by Fatima El Tayeb. This acclaimed work examines the position of the people on the fringes of European cities, the people who are labelled as “Other” by an established order. However, it is also in the unexpected places where these so-called “Others” find themselves, that new stories and languages emerge, a new connectedness that transcends national, ethnic and religious boundaries. Through a wide variety of sources (from drag performances to feminist Muslim activism and Euro-hip hop), El Tayeb maps out a multifaceted and energetic contemporary Europe. right now because they are able to represent a vision of the future where our European leaders are increasingly losing authority.

For Read My World, El Tayeb’s insights are a logical sequel to previous editions of the festival, not least because of the corresponding themes she addresses and for her inclusive vision, also because her approach is expressed in the work of the four co-creators of this year’s festival.

Co-creators 2020

  • - Rome -

  • - Brussels -

  • - Berlin -

  • - Paris -

Read My World Challenges Dutch and international authors to explore the borders between literature and (research) journalism.

Each year, the platform inspects 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.

Della Ratta

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Donatella Della Ratta is a professor at John Cabot University in Rome. She is also a journalist, writer, curator and founder of the web platform ‘syria untold’, a platform for stories from Syria.

She specializes in media and culture from the Arabic-speaking world, but also focuses on Arabic cultures in Europe. Della Ratta obtained her PhD at the University of Copenhagen on the politics of Syrian TV drama. She has curated several international art exhibitions and film programmes, including “Syria off frame” with 140 Syrian artists (Fondazione Cini, Venice, 2015) and “Syrian New Waves” on contemporary visual culture in Syria (Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam, 2017). In 2015 she published the collection of essays Shooting a Revolution: Visual Media and Warfare in Syria (Pluto Press, 2018).


More information:

Syria Untold




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Sulaiman Addonia (1972) is an Eritrean-British writer. His first book, The Consequences of Love, was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

His second novel Silence is my Mother Tongue was nominated for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. Sulaiman Addonia is also the initiator of the Creative Writing – Academy for refugees, a project in which people with a refugee background follow a writing course. He also organises literary public events. Last year, the first edition of the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile), which he founded, focused on pan-African literature. At that time the central themes were African feminism, migration experiences in Europe, free love and radical ideas. Sulaiman is also co-founder of a new literature prize: Specimen Press and To Speak Europe in Different Languages: Hybrid and collective writing competition.

Sulaiman was born to an Ethiopian father and an Eritrean mother. In 1976, he fled with his family to a refugee camp in Sudan, where his father was murdered. Together with his mother and younger brother, moved to Saudi Arabia, where he spent his childhood and studied development cooperation and economics. He now lives with his family in Ixelles, Brussels.

More information:


Specimen Press

Hint by Sulaiman


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Max Czollek (1987, Berlin) is a poet, writer, performer, curator, publisher, researcher and initiator of various social and literary projects.

He lives and works in Berlin where he is co-founder of the international project Babelsprech which aims to create a network of young contemporary German-speaking poets through joint performances, anthologies and an online platform.

Max is also involved in ‘Yalta – Positions on the Jewish Present’. He writes engaging essays on anti-Semitism and investigates the position of Jews in German society. With Sasha Marianna Salzmann he curated “De-integration Congress” in 2016 and “die Radikalen Jüdischen Kulturtage” in the Maxim Gorki Theatre in 2017. His poetry has appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies, in German but also in translation. In the autumn his second collection of essays will be published and his new large-scale project, ‘Tage der Jüdisch-Muslimischen Leitkultur’, which is concerned with formulating a new narrative for a Judeo-Muslim culture in Germany and other related socio-political debates, will start in major German-speaking theatres.

Photo: Andreas Hassiepen


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Rokhaya Diallo is a writer, journalist, filmmaker, podcaster and activist for ethnical, gender and religious equality. She lives and works in Paris.

In 2013 she was named one of the 100 most influential French women by Slate Magazine, and Britain’s Powerful Media Ranking named her of the 30 most influential black thinkers in Europe. She has received much praise for her fight against racism and discrimination. She has published a variety of works and research on racism and has hosted and directed several TV shows. She has written many books including: Racism: a guide, France Belongs to Us, France: One and Multicultural and How to talk to kids about racism, as well as graphic novels Pari(s) d’Amies, and Afro! She co-hosts the podcast “Kiffe ta Race” with Grace Ly. Her latest book is Ne reste pas à ta place.

More information:

Interview De Balie

Interview Guardian 


More information will follow soon.

We closely follow the news on Covid-19.

Festival Location


Workshop Writing