Perth to feature in LitFestBergen’s Eurovision-style literary event


“Hello Perth, this is Bergen calling.”

Perth and Writing WA will be featured, along with ten other international locations, in LitFestBergen’s Literature Live Around The World on February 12th.

One of the few positives that has come from the global Covid-19 pandemic, is the increasing use of the virtual. In 2020, Literary Awards and Book Festivals were forced to go online, and there seems to be no sign of that stopping yet.

LitFestBergen, based on Norway’s West Coast, will largely be a streamable affair this year. For part of its programme, they have invited festivals and literature centres from around the world to create literary programmes on their own stages and to select their own authors and artists to showcase.

The event is being billed as in the spirit of the Eurovision Song Contest, with each of the partnering festivals to show a brief introductory video to present their town, culture, and literature.

In Perth, Noongar author Kim Scott will be in conversation with Gillian O’Shaughnessy; they will be reflecting on the chaos and uncertainty of 2020 – a year, which in Australia, kicked off with raging bushfires and devastating flooding. They’ll also be discussing the question why Aboriginal heritage and the natural environment need to be at the centre of national reconstruction.

Along with stops in Bergen and Perth, the twelve hour event, will take in events in Kabul, Jaipur, Dubai, Lagos, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, Lyon, Berkley, Toronto and Jamaica’s Treasure Beach.

Amongst the authors taking part are Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, Booker Prize shortlisted author Avni Doshi, poet and author Derek Owusu, and Dave Eggers.

Literature Live Around The World kicks off at 12:00 (UTC+1 / 7pm AWST) in Bergen, before following this route:

13.00 Perth, Australia,
14.00 Kabul, Afghanistan,
15.00 Jaipur, India,
16.00 Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
17.00 Lagos, Nigeria,
18.00 Buenos Aires, Argentina,
19.00 Edinburgh, Scotland,
20.00 Lyon, France,
21.00 Berkeley, USA,
22.00 Toronto, Canada,
23.00 Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

The event can be viewed on LitFestBergen’s website or on their YouTube channel.

For more information and to see the full programme visit HERE.

Header Image: Bergen (Svein-Magne Tunli) & Perth (Tourism Western Australia). 

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.

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