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The Passa Porta Festival is a must-attend event in the literary calendar of Brussels. The ninth edition of the festival will take place from March 23 to 26 with the theme of REFUGE.

Literary pleasures in your calendar

Every two years Passa Porta draws about 100 national and international writers, thinkers and artists to Brussels. They come from around the world and speak a range of languages. Scattered throughout the heart of the city, they bear witness to their love of the written word, shine their light on developments in the world, and pay tribute to the best literature from Belgium and abroad.

For a few days in March, the writers – both established names and emerging talents – appear in the many cultural temples which the city boasts, among which Bozar, KVS, Beursschouwburg, la Monnaie and AB. They also turn up in more unexpected places, such as shops and cafés and even in the street. In 2021, the Festival took place online.

A literary mecca in the heart of Europe

The Passa Porta Festival is a carefully planned series of meetings and exchanges with writers as well as readings, performances, debates and audacious cross-pollinations between literature and other art forms. The common point between these different activities? They all provide food for thought.

The biennial festival grew out of our firm belief that literature is essential in society and also out of our desire to share good literature with as many people as possible.

At the Passa Porta Festival, the only multilingual literary event on this scale in Europe, there is something for everyone. Virtually all genres are on offer.

To give you an idea of the calibre, previous editions of the festival featured the following authors: Russell Banks, Julian Barnes, A.S. Byatt, Jonathan Coe, Fatou Diome, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Richard Ford, Nancy Huston, Roy Jacobsen, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Deborah Levy, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Ian Mc Ewan, Yoko Ogawa, Orhan Pamuk, Max Porter, Boualem Sansal, Ali Smith, Douglas Stuart, Olga Tokarzcuk, among many more!

Consult the full programme of previous editions of the festival below :

Photos © Caroline Lessire