March 29, 2011

Passa Porta Literary Festival part 1 of 2

Every two years, Brussels's heart beats to the rhythm of the Passa Porta Literary Festival. Four whole days devoted to literature, meetings, discussions and festivities, shared by thousands of literature lovers. Last Sunday, 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 train stations.
Connie Palmen, grand lady of Dutch literature read from her books and talked about how powerful reading experiences change lives and create happiness.

Author, David Van Reybrouck talks with former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt about his book "Congo",  a phenomenal work of literature on the history of the Congo.  
"Van Reybrouck relies not only on rare archival footage and cutting-edge research, but also on hundreds of interviews he conducted with Congolese. His eyewitness of centenarians are child soldiers, rebel leaders to smugglers, from ministers to cassava sellers. All their stories form the core of this phenomenal book coupled with data, facts and a most personal view on the past. ‘Congo. A History’ is above all  a sort of “À la recherche du temps perdu” since Van Reybrouck’s father lived and worked for years in the former Belgian colony."

In the audience, Babah Tarawally, an author himself. He is originally from Sierra Leone and now lives in the Netherlands.


  1. Nice pics of Palmen and Guy

  2. Beautiful post.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and the nice comment. I was pretty busy these days and could not come back to you right away.
    Cruise Pictures

  3. Verhoofstad écrit l'histoire du Congo alors qu'il n'y a mis les pieds que quelques heures ...
    Moi j'y ai vécu 9 ans, et je serais bien en peine de juger quoi que ce soit tellement ce "pays" (qui est composé de +/- 100 etnnies différentes), qui n'existait pas avant Standley, est hors de portée de notre compréhension d'occidental dikke nek ...
    Bientôt un livre sur la Chine et la Mandchourie ?

  4. Oh la la ! Quel malentendu ! Ce n'est pas du tout Guy Verhofstadt qui écrit l'histoire du Congo... ce livre est de la main de l'auteur David Van Reybrouck,un écrivain fantastique, le livre est remarquable et mérite la qualification 'chef d'oeuve'... le rôle de l'ex-Premier se limitait à poser des questions et animer le débat ;-)