passa porta festival 2011

Every two years, Passa Porta directs the festival and collaborates closely with Het beschrijf, Entrez Lire and many other local and international partners.

Brussels, the crossroads of ideas, languages and cultures, played host to its biennial literary festival in spring 2011. From 24th to 27th March 2011, the city’s heart beat to the rhythm of the Passa Porta Festival. Four whole days devoted to literature. Four days of meetings, discussions and festivities, shared by thousands of literature lovers.

The theme of this third festival was “on the move”. Moving, leaving, travelling, losing the way, and escaping... Whether man is a nomad or not, an adventurer or an exile, he is constantly on the move by force of habit, out of curiosity, necessity and love. In total liberty, but often under duress too...

This topic was first dealt with on three literary evenings:

  • Thursday 24 March at the Passa Porta House of Literature
  • Friday 25 March at KVS
  • Saturday 26 March at La Monnaie opera house

The festival reached its climax with a grand literary Parcours in the city centre on Sunday 27 March. Throughout the day, literature fans were treated to encounters and talks with a wide range of authors in theatres, bookshops and libraries, as well as in cafés, churches and stations.

The international guests included Philippe Claudel, Péter Esterházy, David Mitchell, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Sandro Veronesi, Douglas Kennedy, Mathieu Amalric and Juli Zeh. The programme comprised a section on literature and colonialism, a look at literature from the Balkans, a focus on writers in exile, imaginary travels, and more.

The festival was brought to a festive close by the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk in the Henri Le Boeuf Hall at the Centre for Fine Arts.

festival 2011

Thu 24.03
passa porta
EN / FR / NL
reading and interview


The Danish author Jens Christian Grøndahl opens the Passa Porta Festival 2011 with a reflection on its theme: On the move.

Followed by a happening on the freedom of expression and forbidden books, at La Tentation...

Fri 25.03
KVS - res. 02 210 11 12
e.a. / EN / FR / NL

Letters to Europe

With Salem Zenia, Gonçalo M. Tavares, Azouz Begag, Mahi Binebine, Faraj Bayrakdar, Pierre Mertens - At KVS, writers from the four corners of the world address Europe in a letter. They talk about Fort Europa, the land of milk and honey, an impossible patchwork, a rich variety, a giant on feet of clay, a utopia...

Sat 26.03
La Monnaie / De Munt
e.a. / EN / FR / NL

On the move

With Péter Esterházy, Jens Christian Grøndahl, Philippe Claudel, Arthur Japin, Perihan Magden, Sandro Veronesi, David Mitchell & the Brussels Poetry Collective. At the Royal Opera House, prominent novelists lead us into their way of thinking, understanding and imagining in today’s complex and turbulent world. An evening devoted to the importance of the imagination...