On 21 March, the 26th ENCATC Cultural Happy Hour was held at Passa Porta for a literary lecture given by Ukrainian author, Andrey Kurkov (Death and the Penguin, The Milkman in the Night, Ukraine Diaries…).
Held in the framework of Passa Porta’s seminar series “Needs & Necessity”, the event was opened by Ilke Froyen, Director of Passa Porta, who introduced the aims and activities of this unique gateway to contemporary world literature in the multilingual heart of Europe. Mr. Kurkov’s reading was followed by an interview moderated by Matthijs de Ridder as they discussed Mr. Kurkov’s views on the tensions between writing fiction and being a close observer of the recent turmoil in his country.
With more than 25 Cultural Happy Hour guests in attendance, the evening’s discussions on the role authors play (or chose not to play) in politics and current events left much to reflect upon. “As our first literary event in the framework of the Cultural Happy Hour, this partnership with Passa Porta was an excellent opportunity for our guests to explore the work and mind of a contemporary author whose work casts a sharp, ironic gaze on often harsh realities,” said ENCATC Secretary General, GiannaLia Cogliandro Beyens.