On 21 September, from 18:00 to 23:00, the 16th edition of the Night of Literature literary festival will head to Prague’s Mala Strana and Kampa. Contemporary authors, unusual places and famous personalities: this is the face of the public reading series – the Night of Literature.
The aim of the Night of Literature is to increase public interest in contemporary European literature and its currents of thought and creativity. It also highlights the importance of multilingualism and translations from major and minor languages. The Night of Literature will take place in 20 locations in one of the most popular districts of Prague and will bear the subtitle “openness and togetherness“.
Ukraine will be presented by Artem Chekh’s collection of essays Absolute Zero, the reading of which will take place with financial support by the European Commission in the Czech Republic. Now the Ukrainian novelist and essayist, whose debut took place back in 2007, is serving in the Armed Forces, defending Ukrainian integrity and independence. Absolute Zero, written by Artem Chekh in 2017, draws on the diary entries made by the author during his stay “at ground zero” in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2015-2016. Actor Václav Neužil will read the work in Czech translation.
The organizers about the festival:
ADRIANA KRÁSOVÁ, HEAD OF THE NIGHT OF LITERATURE PROJECT:
“Malá Strana and Kampa have their unmistakable charm. The choice of this year’s reading venues for the Night of Literature underlines the uniqueness of this area as the seat of national and European institutions, but also a part of the city with traditionally rich community life. It is not often that one is lucky enough to uncover the secrets of the Lusatian Seminary, visit the cellars of the Ministry of Culture or the premises of the Czech Grand Priory of the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta, or spend a moment with literature on the roof of the Lesser Town Gymnasium, in the premises of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark or wherever the local community gathers.”
The choice of actors also matches the high quality set by previous editions. 12 women and 8 men accepted the invitation to read, including Tatjana Medvecká, Petra Spalkova, Jana Plodkova, Antonia Formanová, Igor Orozovič, David Prachař and Josef Trojan.
ONDŘEJ ČERNÝ, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE CZECH CENTRES:
“This year’s Literature Night will take place as part of the Czech EU Presidency and its subtitle “openness and togetherness” resonates with the needs and challenges of today’s difficult times. This year, for the first time, the Night of Literature will be open to deaf visitors and will offer hearing people the opportunity to learn the basics of another language. It will then link twenty reading venues in the picturesque area of Prague 1 – Mala Strana and Kampa – and underline the unique community, national and European character of this part of the city.”
The project aims to be open to as wide an audience as possible. Cooperation has therefore been established with the Institute of Languages and Communication for the Deaf at the Charles University. At 5 venues (Werich Villa, Scout Institute in Rybarna, Malostranská beseda, Embassy of Ireland and Italian Cultural Institute) some readings will be interpreted into Czech sign language during the evening. At the same time, hearing visitors will be offered mini-courses on the basics of Czech sign language.
NAĎA HYNKOVÁ DINGOVÁ, INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGES AND COMMUNICATION FOR THE DEAF, FF UK
“Literature Night is a beautiful opportunity to bring different cultures that have long existed “quietly” side by side closer together in a natural way. Deaf people can get a glimpse into the world of hearing literary enthusiasts through an impressive setting, great personalities and above all quality artistic texts mediated by Deaf interpreters. Deaf people get the opportunity to be enriched by the energy of Czech Sign Language, and in this way we are all able to have a multi-layered experience in one moment. Irresistible!”
The project is organized by the Czech Centers in cooperation with EUNIC (Association of European National Institutes of Culture), foreign embassies in the Czech Republic, Labyrint publishing house, and the EC Representation in Prague.
Since 2013, the number of cities participating in the Night of Literature has been growing steadily, and this year more than 80 cities are participating in the readings. In 2022, the festival will be held in Prague under the auspices of Zdeněk Hřibo, Mayor of the Capital City of Prague. The event is co-organised by the Prague City Council, the Mayor of Prague 1 Petr Hejma, and will be held with the participation of the municipal district of Prague 1. The project is supported by the Prague City Council.
Where: basements of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Maltézské nám. 1
When: 21 September at 18.00, 18.30, 19.00, 19.30, 20.00, 20.30, 21.00, 21.30, 22.00, 22.30.
Entrance to the reading is free.
All relevant information, including a selection of books, reading locations, and actors, can be found on the website www.nocliteratury.cz.