The Bergen International Literary Festival will host a six-hour live broadcast kicking off in Australia and ending in the USA to encompass all time zones. Countries participating include Botswana, Brazil, China, France, Hungary, India and the UAE.
While some publishing and literary events steered clear of digital alternatives during the pandemic’s peak, and others tried them half-heartedly and were too focussed on financial returns to count the real benefits, still others embraced the hybrid opportunity and are repeating the exercise in 2022.
Among the latter is the Bergen International Literary Festival which traditionally and unsurprisingly used to reach a small Norwegian and broader Nordic audience.
In 2021, with pandemic restrictions dictating the game, the festival organisers livestreamed a 12-hour event direct from Bergen – and were pleasantly surprised by the results. So much so they are repeating the experiment this year.
On February 5 the Bergen International Literary Festival will host a six-hour live broadcast (viewable on Youtube here), presenting a literary programme from 12 countries across multiple continents, kicking off in Australia and ending in the USA to encompass all time zones. Countries participating include Botswana, Brazil, China, France, Hungary, India and the UAE.
Festival director Teresa Grøtan explained:
This event was a response to the position created by the pandemic in 2020, but the response we’ve had and the value we’ve seen from the global project mean we want to continue it.
Per the press release,
12 partners from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe will take part in the six-hour event. Each partner will show a brief video presenting their city, culture and literature, followed by a live call.
The full programme includes:
• Writing Western Australia (Writing WA), Perth
• Owspace, Shanghai, China
• Jaipur Literature Festival, India
• Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Dubai
• Gaborone Book Festival, Botswana
• Cheltenham Literature Festival, UK
• Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Paris, France
• Flipoços, Festival Literário de Poços de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
• Hungarian Translator’s House Foundation, Budapest
• Toronto International Festival of Authors, Canada
• Bay Area Book Festival, USA