Program 2018


Two referendums for independence were held in Autumn 2017 in regions which had fought long-standing battles just to make voting possible. Eventualy, the days for casting votes arrived and the whole world followed the referendum processes in Catalonia and Iraqi Kurdistan. However, both referendums were met with fierce rejection by their home countries, Spain and Iraq, and, indirectly, by the European Union, Turkey and the international community. Kurdish President Masoud Barzani resigned, even though 90 percent of the Kurds in Iraq voted for independence, as the results backfired and triggered a regional crisis. Immediately after the Catalan referendum, President Carles Puigdemont fled to Belgium amid fears that he was likely to be prosecuted, after Madrid had declared the referendum illegal. While Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008 was followed by the recognition of the new country by over a hundred states around the world, Kurds and Catalans were left unrecognized and abandoned. While he was stepping down from power, Mr Barzani repeated that old saying that “the Kurds have no friends but the mountains”, as his people were betrayed once again by the international powers.

In the shadow of these dramatic political processes, a very vibrant cultural and literary scene exists, together with the civil and NGO sector, which could surely offer some response to these events – especially on the question of the role of a writer in unstable political times and climate. It was quite interesting to observe the reactions of writers after the Catalan referendum, especially those who have inclined toward right-wing positions (as in the case of Mario Vargas Llosa). What happened to Kurdish writers during that turbulent referendum period, what is happening with Kosovan writers today and has freedom there finally “learnt to sing as the poets have sung of it’?

The repercussions of these political events on the lives of individuals and communities are both grave and long-term. These events will also affect the cultural landscapes of these regions and their immediate surroundings. Curiously, one region is in the very heart of the European Union, while the other one is in one of the most unstable and violent zones of today’s world. We witness the phenomenon of permanent wars and migrations, while at the same time walls are being rapidly built and state borders fortified; this being the case not only with the outer borders of ‘Fortress Europe’ but also with its internal borders, which are much less open now than they were only ten years ago. We also have the case of the United Kingdom and its departure from the EU. Can we draw parallels with some other movements for independence around the world? Are we allowed to debate on why Brexit IS possible, while independent Catalonia IS NOT, or does that debate makes little or no sense? We witness also the ever greater globalisation and seeming convergence of the world, although arguably mainly in the sphere of economy, while simultaniously the gap between the rich and the poor is growing on both the local and the global level. How do the attempts for independence of Kurds and Catalan people fit into these turbulences?

Even though certain political figures persist in reminding us about the singularity and uniqueness of the Kosovo’s case, we are witnessing the slowing down of the political resolution of the ‘Kosovo question’, as outlined in the Strategy for enlargement of the EU in the Western Balkans recently adopted by the European Commission. Does this mean that senior EU officials have linked the three Ks (Kosovo, Katalonija, Kurdistan) and tried to create balance at the expense of Kosovo?

The international literary festival POLIP will attempt to deal with this topic as a blind spot of the international community, which at one point turned to violence in order to preserve the status quo and existing order of nation-states. For this reason we invite authors from different countries to take part in POLIP debates and public readings, hoping that their engagement will cast some light on the recent events and offer some ideas regarding the challenges of our near future.

Therefore the POLIP Festival and its zone of influence could be seen as a certain Free Literary Republic, where Machiavelli’s Prince and Plato’s State, Elfride Jelinek’s Piano Teacher and Svetlana Alexievich’s Chernobyl Prayer meet, like in the eponymous Ray Bradbury’s story; but, above all, POLIP festival is a zone for people who wants to freely discuss the future of the world we all live in and which concerns us all.

International Literature Festival – polip

7th Edition
 12–14 May 2017

Program 2017

Friday, 12. 05. 2017


14:00 – 15:00 Reading and discussion with Gregory Pardlo (USA)                                   North Mitrovica / American Corner

19:30 – 20:00 Official opening of the polip festival                                                       Qendra Multimedia, Prishtina

20:00–22:00 Readings

Gregory Pardlo (USA), Aïcha Arnaout (SYR/FR), Miloš Živanović (SRB), Laurence Boissier (CH), Gani Jakupi (RKS/ ESP), Lura Limani (RKS), Shqiptar Oseku (RKS/SE), Nir Baram (ISR).

Moderators:  Qerim Ondozi (RKS), Saša Ilić (SRB).
Live music: Ana Ćurčin (SRB)

Saturday, 13. 05. 2017

Panel discussion

16:00–17:30 Gender, Literature and Media: experiences of exile
Panelist:  Aïcha Arnaout (SYR/FR), Entela Tabaku Sörman(SE), Kefah Ali Deeb (SYR/DE), Gani Jakupi (RKS/ESP), Bernhard Studlar (AT)

Moderator:  Eli Krasniqi (RKS)                                                                                         Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

Panel discussion

18:00–19:30 Power by Bigotry – Defying Right-Wing Fury
Panelist:  Gregory Pardlo (USA), Nir Baram (ISR)Theodoros Grigoriadis (GR).

Moderator:  Una Hajdari (RKS)                                                                                       Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

20:00– 22:00 Readings                                                                                                   

Intro / music and reading: Kralj Čačka (SRB)

Ghayath Almadhoun (PSE/SYR/SE), Entela Tabaku Sorman (ALB/SE), Nina Cara (ALB), Arben Idrizi (RKS), Theodoros Grigoriadis (GR)Bernhard Studlar (AT)Kefah Ali Deeb (SYR/DE), Bardh Frangu (RKS)Fatime Kosumi (RKS/DE).                          

Moderators: Jeton Neziraj (RKS), Jazra Khaleed (CHE/GR).

22:00 – 00:00                                                                                                                                     Live music: Kralj Čačka (SRB) at Hamam Bar Prishtina

Sunday, 14. 05. 2017

Panel discussion

16:00–17:30 Where I’m writing from: Literature in times of exile, diaspora, displacement
Panelists: Jazra Khaleed (CHE/GR), Ghayath Almadhoun (SYR/SE), Ekaterina Petrova (BG), Hamed Abboud (SYR/AT), Shqiptar Oseku (RKS/SE).

Moderator: Lura Limani (RKS)                                                                                             Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

Panel discussion

18:00–19:30 The Balkans as the Avant-garde 
Panelists: Fatos Lubonja
 (ALB), Lura Limani (RKS), Miloš Živanović (SRB), Dinko Telećan (CRO)

Moderator: Saša Ilić (SRB)                                                                                               Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Fatos Lubonja (ALB), Jazra Khaleed (CHE/GR), Naime Beqiraj (RKS), Hamed Abboud (SYR), Ekaterina Petrova (BG), Rrona Jaka (RKS), Dinko Telecan(CRO), Shpëtim Selmani (RKS).

Moderators:  Saša Ilić (SRB) & Eli Krasniqi (RKS)                                                                   Live music: tandem / Blerta Kosova & Oda Haliti

Monday, 15. 05.2017

18:00 – 19:30 Reading and discussion with Gregory Pardlo (USA)                           National Library of Kosovo, Prishtina

Panels & Debates

Saturday, 13.05.2017


16:00–17:30 Gender, Literature and Media: experiences of exile
Panelist:  Aïcha Arnaout (SYR/FR), Entela Tabaku Sörman (SE), Kefah Ali Deeb (SYR/DE), Gani Jakupi (RKS/ESP), Bernhard Studlar (AT)

Moderator:  Eli Krasniqi (RKS)                                                                                           Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

The immediacy that characterizes the way we access information today, together with many other technological advances, adds a new dimension to the issue of exile and to our experience of political unrests. In addition, media text often is used to further reinforce gender stereotypes for developing countries or countries in political crisis. Specifically in focus are women for whom the exile experience may be double burdened because of their gender identity and identity attached to them because of the country of origin. Does literature helps to break these stereotypical images? Do artists, especially women, find themselves in situation to reconcile the perceptions about them in the ‘hosting’ country with those in the country of origin? Do women writers in exile are considered as/reduced to cultural interpreters?


18:00–19:30 Power by Bigotry – Defying Right-Wing Fury
Panelist:  Gregory Pardlo (USA), Nir Baram (ISR)Theodoros Grigoriadis (GR).

Moderator:  Una Hajdari (RKS)                                                                                       Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

The discussion will focus on the respective contexts in the countries that writers and intellectuals Gregory Pardlo, Nir Baram, Fatos Lubonja and Theodoros Grigoriadis live and work in. Their verse is vivid in its portrayal of the complex realities that the communities they write about have faced over time, and we will try to place these realities in the current global political and societal context. Comparisons will be drawn between the situation in Pardlo’s native U.S., which is facing one of its most turbulent presidencies to date, Greece, which is still suffering the consequences of austerity and an inadequate economic plan amidst rising right-wing movements, and Israel, where Baram writes about equal rights for Palestinians.

How does a writer react to the situation, and to what extent does it influence their contemplations on society?

Sunday, 14. 05. 2017


16:00–17:30 Where I’m writing from: Literature in times of exile, diaspora, displacement
Panelists: Jazra Khaleed (CHE/GR), Ghayath Almadhoun (SYR/SE), Ekaterina Petrova (BG), Hamed Abboud (SYR/AT), Shqiptar Oseku (RKS/SE).

Moderator: Lura Limani (RKS)                                                                                               Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

Human history is no stranger to migration, but it is in the age of global capital–sustained by transnational institutions, corporations and cooperation that we have witnessed the radical acceleration of all kinds of movement. In 2015, 244 million people were international migrants (living outside the country they were born in), and 20 million of these were refugees. ‘The refugee crisis’; the permanent state of war; the looming climate disaster; and the nationalist reawakening accompanying these phenomena raise questions about the role of the writer, especially the migrant writer, in what often feels like the end of time.

From Dante to Danticat, exile and heimweh, a longing for the lost home and ambiguity towards the newly found shelter and self have been at the heart of literature. This spatial and temporal experience marks the relation of the writer to their surroundings, the ties to their ‘homeland,’ the acceptance and rejection of their adopted home. What does this relation mean for contemporary writers? How can we define the tension between home and elsewhere today? How does it affect our language? How does that reflect on our imagined addresses – to whom do we write, and in what language do we address them? How does our spatial positioning force us to define ourselves and our work – who we are and what we do?


18:00–19:30 The Balkans as the Avant-garde 
Fatos Lubonja (ALB), Lura Limani (RKS), Miloš Živanović (SRB), Dinko Telećan (CRO).

Moderator: Saša Ilić (SRB)                                                                                             Translation into English and Albanian will be provided.

Charles Simic, an American poet of Serbian descent, observed in 2012 that “widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy is our new national goal”, referring to the United States of America four years before Trump even came to power. It seems that he was right. In addition, he claimed that the educated, well informed population is the only possible foundation of a true, functioning democracy. If politicians of dubious qualities come to power through the democratic process, then it is clear that the voters’ insight, knowledge and ability to make informed decisions should be questioned.

Simic does not offer any solutions to the issues he highlights. However, like himself, we – the participants of the Polip festival – feel urged to debate these issues, as they relate not only to global politics, but to regional politics as well. Furthermore, this is not the first time that the global events have had its most pronounced form in the Balkans. Whereas the great majority of people in the Western world are stunned by the latest developments and the spirit that has prevailed – not only in the United States, but in the EU too – the people in the Balkans are well used to the complex relations between ignorance and intelect, truth and lies, democracy and dictatorship. We could say that, in fact, the Balkans appear to be the avangarde, like it has been many times in the past, even though in the Western imagination it exists as a backward place. But, who was the first to spread fake news in order to create conditions for inciting hatred? Who was the first to mobilise masses and create policies using “alternative facts“? Who was the first to use the democratic process in order to gain power, only to abolish democratic institutions immediately after being elected? Hardly anyone could deny the Balkans all the hard work and the fervour put in creating this type of politics – without doubt this region merits the avant-garde status.


Literature in Exile/Elites in A Political Fever

The political arena has been shaken significantly in the year we have left behind– BREXIT, Trump’s victory, the rise of the right-wing populism across Europe – which,in turn, will bring about many changes. The Chinese ancient curse‘May you live in interesting times’, often quoted by Hanna Arendt in discussions on political crisis, comes to mind. A massive flux of refugees and migrants, with the right-wing on the rise, has exposed cultural, ethnic and religious tensions lurking beneath the surface in Europe. The post-Communist countries, including those in the Western Balkans striving to enter the EU, have also been deeply affected by the political turbulences, mainly because of their corrupt governments and the lack of tangible economic development.

A recent period which was marked by progress, albeit conditional, towards a more stable Western Balkans has now been replaced by a tumultuous phase of permanent provocations and suspended dialogue. In place of talks, the political elites chose instead high-risk performance acts. At the moment both Serbia’s and Kosovo’s political elites operate outside of The Brussels Agreement framework, while simultaneously maintaining their pledge that the process of normalization of their relations has no alternative. The relations between Belgrade and Zagreb, and between Belgrade and Sarajevo, are not much better either. The opposition in these countries offers no political solutions, while some representatives of the opposition demand radicalization of the relations or even for the dialogue to be completely abandoned. In such circumstances culture and literature are threatened by being subjected to ideological interferences and exposed to increased surveillance. Literature is,hence,forced into exile – both an external and internal one. In the spheres of culture and literature it is possible to look for the answers that politics is unable to offer, openly refusing to confront the problems in the first place. Finally, literature doesn’t offer solutions, that’s not its purpose, but rather proposes critical examination of the political and cultural processes, as Predrag Matvejević (1932-2017), one of the most prominent intellectuals of the Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav period, said in the past.

For many, if not for the majority, migration is the exit strategy from the political and economic crisis. Whereas some people from this part of the world want to leave ‘home’, others are forced to leave ‘home’ – predominantly people from Syria and other countries in the Middle East,thus confirming the state of exile as an inevitable part of the human condition.

The immediacy that characterizes the way we access information today, together with many other technological advances,adds a new dimension to the issue of exile and to our experience of political unrests. In line with this, one could pose a question – does literature adopt a new dimension of creation and consumption? How does literature respond to mobility (or a lack thereof)and to the idea of home or multiple ‘homes’? Simultaneously, saturation with images portraying political crisis, makes literature a space of possibilities, a bridge to plurality of experiences of the self in relation to others, of new spaces in relation to the known ones. The very use of language, being the sole medium of writers, enables us to grasp the complexity of human condition in a profound way.

Polip’, the International literature festival taking place in Pristina 12-15 May 2017 will bring together thirty authors from different parts of the world, some of them living and working in exile.

International Literature Festival  polip

6th Edition
 13–15 May 2016

Program 2016

Friday, 13. 05. 2016

19:00 – 19:30 Intro: Martin Bieri and Fitzgerald & Rimini
19:30 – 20:00 Offical opening of the polip festival

20:00–22:00 Readings
Xhevahir Spahiu (ALB), Viveka Sjögren (SE), Rosa Pock (AT), Flutura Açka (ALB), Bojan Babić (SRB), Donika Dabishevci (RKS)
Moderators:  Qerim Ondozi (RKS) & Saša Ilić (SRB)
Live music: Ah Ahilej (SRB)

Saturday, 14. 05. 2016

Panel discussion
16:00–17:30 How can we speak about the contemporary moment?
Panelists: Mehmet Yashin (CYP), Peter Ahorner (AT), Katrin Thomaneck (DE), Annette Rosengren (SE), Jan Böttcher (DE)                                           
Moderator: Alida Bremer (DE/HR)

Translation into English will be provided.

Panel discussion
18:00–19:30 What kind of literature do we need?
Panelists: Luljeta Lleshanaku
 (ALB), Rumena Bužarovska (MK), Bojan Babić (SRB),  Xhevdet Bajraj (RKS/MEX), Rosa Pock (AT), Viveka Sjogren (SE)
Moderator: Saša Ilić 

Translation into English will be provided.

20:00– 22:00 Readings                                                                                                   Xhevdet Bajraj (RKS/ MEX), Rumena Bužarovska (MK), Luljeta Lleshanaku (ALB), Peter Ahorner (AT), Annette Rosengren (SE), Jan Böttcher (DE), Mehmet Yashin (CYP)                                                                                                                                      Moderators: Ardiana S. Prishtina (RKS) & Svetlana Rakočević (SRB/UK)                 Music and readings: Martin Bieri and Fitzgerald & Rimini (CH)

Sunday, 15. 05. 2016

Panel discussion
16:00–17:30 Theatre of the newcomers
Panelist: Sabine Kock (AT) Martin Bieri (CH), Stefan Schletter (DE), Senem Cevher (TR), Viveka Sjögren (SE), Ralph Hamerthaler (DE)
Moderator: Jeton Neziraj (RKS)

Translation into English will be provided.

18:00–19:30  Writing by the “politically inappropriate” of 1980’s
Readings & discussions by: Shukrije Gashi (RKS), Dije Neziri Lohaj (RKS), Shemsije Elshani (RKS), Myrvete Dreshaj Baliu (RKS)
Moderator: Eli Krasniqi (RKS)

Translation into English will be provided.

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Sabina Viktor Veizaj (ALB), Vladimir Tabašević  (SRB), Svetlana Rakočević (SRB/UK),  Katrin Thomaneck (DE) Gëzim Aliu (RKS), Gjergj Anton Filipaj (RKS)
In Memoriam: Home and World: Ales Debeljak  as a child of Atlantis 
Moderators:  Alida Bremer (DE/HR) & Jeton Neziraj (RKS)
Live music: Bajram Kafu Kinolli & Faruk Banjska (RKS)

Panels & Debates

Saturday, 14.05.2016

16:00–17:30 Literature and crisis: How can we speak about the contemporary moment?
Panelists:  Mehmet Yashin (CYP), Peter Ahorner (AT), Katrin Thomaneck (DE), Annette Rosengren (SE), Jan Böttcher (DE)                                            Moderator: Alida Bremer(DE/HR)

The refugee crisis and the crisis of the European Union create a painful impression that we are at the moment dealing with a very serious crisis. We feel that the world is getting closer, and on the other hand we feel that the conflict borders cut through our societies. How can we speak and write about this?
Can literature act beyond the other public discourses? Can literature change something? How does the literature respond to the contemporary problems? Is a reaction to immediate reality the task of literature at all? The range of topics that move contemporary writers is very large: freedom of speech, boundaries of politically correct speech, exploring of values, researching conflicts and transferring them into literary imagination, searching for the causes of the conflicts, discovering unknown aspects of the past.
Which aesthetical, ethical and political values do refugees bring into the polyphony of European voices? And are we capable of understanding them?
Some of the questions are more theoretical, others are more practical: In contemporary Arabic world writers are often persecuted, even sentenced to death; European authors have made such experiences in various totalitarian regimes in the past – is it possible to learn from experiences of each other and how we can show solidarity with persecuted writers?
In an open conversation we will approach the most important issues that today move writers and the world of literature.

16:00 – 17:30 What kind of literature we need?
Panelists: Luljeta Lleshanaku (ALB), Rumena Bužarovska (MK), Bojan Babić (SRB), Xhevdet Bajraj (RKS/ MEX), Rosa Pock (AT)
Moderator: Saša Ilić (SRB)

Translation into English will be provided.

There are no easy answers to complex issues. Therefore maybe art, in all its forms, is the most equipped to respond to the contemporary moment using the power of its expression. That is also why we need literature – to explore the reality in the complicated world of our days.
One of the important questions is the question on the relationship between politics and literature. There is an infinite subject and it has not lost its relevance in our time. Even if the literature completely ignores political issues, it can be very political. That seems to be a paradox, but the literature is never created in a vacuum.
In this discussion we will also talk about the priorities of the literary work in our countries. In different countries there are different priorities of the current problems. Therefore literary works include this local component. These differences make the translated literature so interesting for us – we can learn from translations lot about other societies.
But on another hand literature offers us a way to consider the essential human dilemmas, the ones that never change. It’s why some books are so important for us — not because what they describe is so different from our experience, but because it is essentially the same.

Sunday, 15. 05. 2016


16:00–17:30 Theatre of the newcomers
Panelist: Sabine Kock (AT) Martin Bieri (CH), Stefan Schletter (DE), Senem Cevher (TR), Viveka Sjögren (SE), Ralph Hammerthaler (DE)
Moderator: Jeton Neziraj (RKS)

Among the hundreds of thousands of refugees that have come from the Middle East, a few dozen or perhaps hundreds are theater artists. Some of them are already located in various states in Europe; others are on the way, coming…!
What are the challenges and opportunities for refugees who are theater professionals? How many of them can be integrated into theaters in Germany, Switzerland, Austria or Turkey and how can this be done? Are these refugees, the new “exotics”, people with whom everyone wants to collaborate? What kind of potential might they bring to our theaters today?
And another thing: what are the real problems of refugees that European theater can and should be addressing today?
While the public is being bombarded with news stories and information by the media, from politicians, from pro and anti-refugee groups, is it (or could it become) the theater that provides space for a third voice, which has so far been missing?
Dealing with the fate of refugees and their problems, articulating their experience of suffering, their needs and demands, can we presume that in this manner, the theater could indirectly represent those (refugees) to the receiving society?
Alternatively, can we agree that as the majority of theaters in Europe (especially independent theaters), are in a continual financial crisis, topics regarding refugees and emigrants are “attractive” precisely because they might also raise money more easily?


18:00–19:30  Writing by the “politically inappropriate” of 1980’s
Readings & discussions by: Shukrije Gashi (RKS), Dije Neziri Lohaj (RKS), Shemsije Elshani (RKS), Myrvete Dreshaj Baliu (RKS)
Moderator: Eli Krasniqi (RKS)

Translation into English will be provided.

In 1980’s, Albanian political prisoners made around 80% of the total number of the imprisoned in Yugoslavia (Dragovic-Soso, 2002, quoted from Cocozelli, 2009:41). Some of the Albanian prisoners (perhaps majority) were part of the underground movement, known as the Ilegalja [Illegality]. This movement comprised various groups of young women and men, who since the end of the Second World War had adopted different programs in response to the political circumstances of the times in question. Right after the war, some of these groups aimed unification with Albania and by years of 1980’s – the creation of an Albanian Republic within Yugoslavia. Throughout all these period, the common denominator of all these groups was fighting against Yugoslav discrimination toward Albanians. Once imprisoned, the Ilegalja activists were systematically tortured, in contravention of all norms and rights guaranteed by international conventions. In the movement in general, especially in 1980’s, the activism of women was particularly important, not just on national, but also on gender grounds – concretely, by raising awareness among women about their rights. Literature was one of the ways which activism expressed ideals about freedom, diversity, life and equality. For some of the political prisoners, (some of whom were poets before they were imprisoned), writing was a survival mechanism inside prison, as well during the difficult times after prison. Literature written by women activists in the movement and those who were political prisoners communicate between time and reality, often still entirely unaccepted and sometimes even distorted. As part of the international poetry festival, “polip”, Alter Habitus has invited some poets, activists and former political prisoners from the 1980’s, to read their texts and then to discuss this literature, as a form of expression from brutal political times. Besides the importance of this creativity as a literary genre or as art of resistance, the panel will also be discussing or pose questions such as – how does this literature resists partial collective political amnesia in a patriarchal and transitional society like Kosovo.



FRIDAY, 22.05.2015

19:30 – 20:00 Offical opening of the polip festival

20:00 – 00:00 


Fatos Kongoli (AL), Biljana Srbljanović (SRB), Primož Repar (SI), Alida Bremer (GER), Elfriede Czurda (AU), Jurij Hudolin (SI), Margret Kreidl (AU).

Moderators:  Qerim Ondozi (RKS) & Saša Ilić (SRB)

Live music: Nezafete Shala & band

SATURDAY, 23.05.2015

11:00 – 13:00 

Let’s talk about freedom 1: How to Defend the Media Freedom?

Panelists: Elke Schmitter (GER), Hubert Spiegel (GER),  Ralph Hammerthaler (GER)
Moderator: Alida Bremer (GER)
Translation into English will be provided.

17:00 – 18:30 

Let’s talk about freedom 2: Freedom and repression in the Balkan states: Creating cultural and political alternatives as a platform for joint future

Panelists: Biljana Srbljanović (SRB), Veton Surroi (RKS), Arina Leka (ALB), Marko Pogačar (CRO)

Moderator: Saša Ilić  (SRB)

Translation into English will be provided.

20:00 – 00:00 Readings

Veton Surroi (RKS),  Tanja Šljivar (BiH), Marko Pogačar (CRO), Stanislava Chrobáková Repar (SI), Edmond Tupja (ALB), Elke Schmitter (GER), Ervina Halili (RKS)

Moderators: Besa  Shahini (RKS) & Jeton Neziraj (RKS)

Music: tbc

Sunday, 24.05.2015


Let’s talk about freedom 3: Freedom, literature, censorship: What are we allowed to write, here and now? How the market, past, politics and religion influnce the literary production in the region

Panelists: Margret Kreidl (AU), Edmond Tupja (ALB), Primož Repar (SI), Tanja Šljivar (BiH), Stanislava Chrobáková Repar (SI)

Moderator: Arian Leka (ALB)
Translation into English will be provided.


Let’s talk about freedom 4: Let’s talk about ‘sex/gender’ baby!

Panelists: Miroslava Malešević (SRB), Ervina Halili (RKS), Fjolla Hoxha (RKS), Stanislava Chrobáková Repar (SI)
Moderator: Eli Krasniqi (RKS)
Translation into English will be provided.

20:00 – 00:00 


Fjolla Hoxha (RKS), Miroslava Malešević (SRB), Balsor Hoxha (RKS), Ralph Hammerthaller  (GER), Vasko Raičević (MN), Vesa Qena (RKS), Arian Leka (ALB),
Moderators:  Eli Krasniqi (RKS) & Arian Leka (ALB)

Live music:  Edona Reshitaj & band

Panels & Debates

Saturday, 23. 05. 2015

11:00 – 13:00 Let’s talk about freedom 1: How to Defend the Media Freedom?

According to HYPERLINK “”Reporters Without Borders, more than a third of the world’s people live in countries where there is no press freedom. How are media freedom and freedom of speech defined? What are their main principles? What is the journalistic ethics? Are there self-censorship or unintentional errors of prejudice and ignorance in the best European media and how to deal with it as a conscientious journalist? Are there other repressions beyond the political, for example those of the market? What is the relationship of the German media to politicians and other powerful people in their country? Do the media make influence upon social processes? These and similar questions Alida Bremer as moderator will interview the three guests from Germany, all of which have great experience in journalism and working for major German newspapers: Elke Schmitter (Der Spiegel), Hubert Spiegel (FAZ) and Ralph Hammerthaler (freelance writer of various newspapers ).

17:00 – 18:30 Let’s talk about freedom 2: Freedom and repression in the Balkan states: Creating cultural and political alternatives as a platform for joint future

We live in the times when all kind of rights and freedoms are violated – human, intellectual, creative and media ones. On the other hand, we can observe the rise of neo-liberal democracies in Europe taking the form of democracy, but suspending at the same time the fundamental rights and freedoms that used to be garanteed before. Those countries are recognised and supported because they seemengly fit into the ″acceptable″ ideology and current state of affairs. Such developments can be observed in the Balkans too, in the states formed after the break up of Yugoslavia. In which ways do these political developments affect the cultural sector and politics in general in these countries? In which ways are various forms of democratic developments turning against those who strive to preserve the basic rights and freedoms? What is lurking behind the idea of ″free market″ in these new states, where is the repression beginning to take place and how can one become aware of it? Are literature, theatre and the arts governed by the free market principles and what is the future of alternatives in the cultural sector? Has the concept of reconciliation in the region from year 2000 and onwards affected the cultural exchange in the Balkans and in which way?

Sunday, 24.05.2015

15:00–17:00 Let’s talk about freedom 3: Freedom, literature, censorship: What are we allowed to write, here and now? How the market, past, politics and religion influnce the literary production in the region

Each literary scene has its own tested and proved mechanisms, which are used to manage production and representation of cultural products, as well as the whole infrastructure of performing, publishing and presenting of literary awards. Touching upon the issue of censorship, only a rare EU official will confirm that censorship really exists. In the Balkans, the critical articles about those in power and about how the domain of public disourse is controlled can only be found in media outlets of the opposition. Generally, all forms of political or cultural subversive activity are declared illegal, destructive, against the state and even terroristic. Which place do literature and the arts occupy in these circumstances then? Is the domain of cultural activity restricted and by which forces exactly? What are we not allowed to write and talk about, and where do the signals that tell us that a topic is unwelcome or a taboo come from? Is satire under attack and is it just the religion which happens to be intolerant towards different forms of parody and artistic exposure of many issues, including social and cultural stereotypes?

17:00–18:30 Let’s talk about freedom 4: Let’s talk about ‘sex/gender’ baby!

There is a general perception that after the fall of socialism, societies in Western Balkans, or concretely in former Yugoslavia, have been re-traditionalized. In this line, if we accept this, one has to discuss also literature, and the impact (if any) of feminism, especially the aspect of language. Do women still remain objects of desire in literature rather then subjects? What is the language that women writer, or men writers use? Can literature be gender emancipatory? Does today’s literature still reinforce gender stereotypes? Do we need to de-romanticize literature so we could break down the clichés of metaphorical language about women? How can we break free from essentalization and moralization of women’s lives, women’s bodies, women’s voice in literature? Are there attempts from philologists or literature researchers to dig deeper about women writers? Some of them not even put to the surface. Is there a space within Universities for such researches? These are some of the questions that this panel will discuss by bringing examples of literature developments from countries in the region.

All activities happening in Qendra Multimedia

polip International Literature Festival
5th Edition
22-24  May 2015
Organized by Qendra Multimedia, Prishtina
in cooperation with RK LINKS / Beton International, Belgrade


 Friday, 16.05.2014

 15:30 – polip 2014: Press conference

16:00 – 17:30 The surveillance of literature 1: Book promotion + debate
Panelists: Visar Zhiti (AL), Filip David (SRB),  Smajl Smaka (RKS)
Moderator: Adil Olluri  (RKS)

20:00 Offical opening of the polip festival

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Eli Krasniqi (RKS), Filip David (SRB), Visar Zhiti (AL), Lisiana Demiraj (AL), Vladimir Arsenijević (SRB),

Moderator:  Jeton Neziraj (RKS) & Saša Ilić (SRB)
Music:  Unplugged: Edona Reshitaj

Saturday, 17.05.2014

15:00 – 16:30 The surveillance of literature 2: what can not be translated
Panelists: Zuzana Finger (DE), Hans-Joachim Lanksch (DE),  Ulrike Syha (DE), Kim Komljanec (SI), Hakan Silahsizoglu (TUR)
Moderator: Blerina Rogova Gaxha (RKS)
Translation: Rexhep Bajrami (RKS)

17:00 – 18:30 The surveillance of literature 3: Contemporary literature, theater and the new political realities in the other EU
Panelists:  Neda Nezhdana (UA), Andreas Flourakis (GR), Anja Quickert (DE)
Moderation: Boris Postnikov (HR)

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Neda Nezhdana (UA), Tomislav Marković (SRB),  Kim Komljanec (SI), Jurij Hudolin (SI), Andreas Flourakis (GR), Zlatko Paković (SRB), Arian Leka (AL)
Moderation: Lulzim Haziri (MK) & Eli Krasniqi (RKS)
Music: Ana Ćurčin & Stray Dogg (Dukat) (SRB)

Sunday, 18.05.2014

17:00–19:00 The surveillance of literature 4: View on the future: Cultural cooperation between Prishtina and Belgrade 1989–2014
Panelists: Borka Pavićević (SRB), Shkelzen Maliqi (RKS), Jeton Neziraj (RKS), Saša Ilić (SRB), Tomislav Marković (SRB)
Moderator: Zlatko Paković (SRB)
Translation: Rexhep Bajrami (RKS)

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Shkëlzen Maliqi (RKS), Ardiana Shala Prishtina  (RKS), Saša Ilić (SRB),  Arber Selmani (RKS), Hristo Boytchev (BG), Adil Olluri (RKS), Hana Dalipi (RKS/SRB)
Moderator:  Hana Marku (RKS) & Jurij Hudolin (SI)
Music: polip jazz night with Enes Bajramliq (drums), Ilir Bajri (keys) and Dukagjin Muhaxheri (sax)


The surveillance of literature 1: Book promotion + debate
Reading and promotion of the book “Ëndrra per dashurine dhe vdekjen” [“Dreams of love and death”] by Filip David, author from Serbia, translated into Albanian by Smajl Smaka. Visar Zhiti, a poet from Albania, and Adil Olluri, writer from Kosovo will talk about the book. The author, the translator and the two speakers will also discuss literary translations and literary exchange in the context of Balkan. How much do we read one another, and can literature go beyond the usual prejudice and animosities of the people of the Balkans.  Is anyone actually interested today in translating and exchanging literature amongst the people of Balkans?

The Surveillance of Literature 2: What cannot be translated
Translating literature is a reoccurring issue that has been present throughout all periods of literature. But how does literature rise above its own linguistic limitations? How much has Albanian literature been translated into German, and what is the role of translators from Albanian in German and vice-versa?
Albanian is a particular and complex language when it comes to its morphological and syntax structure. So, what are the challenges of translating Albanian literature into German?
What are the chances that the work of Albanian author finds its light in German? Does this depend on the quality of literature, the subject theme, or how it talks about the present, or is it simply, chance and individual efforts? How does translation determine the fate of the translated work, how much it is accepted or refused when it goes beyond its language barriers?
What is the difference or what are the main differences between translating literature and other kinds of works? Are the skills and the talent of the translator the most important thing, or do ethics play a role too.
Translation is not only about words, but also about where those words come from. How much does the translator need to know about the writer, the culture of the language that they the belong to and its tradition?
Through translation we manage to know literature, great works of art, the cultures and the mindsets of other people. How do we approach translation of literature today, so we don’t get lost in translation?

The surveillance of literature 3: Contemporary literature, theater and the new political realities in the other EU
The crises in Ukraine, after the economic crises of Greece, have created a new political reality in Europe. Borders re-appeared again as an issue and a parallel is being drawn often between Kosovo and Crimea. What exactly happens to literature and theater in these circumstances, in these countries that are referred to as “the other European Union” (former countries of Eastern Europe)? How does literature and theater address these “emergent” political and social issues? Is the word “engaged” automatically added to literature and theater that is created during the time of “crises” and do writers (of literature and theater) have enough courage to look beyond the national lines of the problem? On the other hand, how are these political and social crises dealt with by the literature and theater of “spectator” countries, respectively, countries that follow these crises only through media! What is actually considered “sexy” to be treated by the European theater? Theater and literature vs. political and social crises in the other Europe.

The surveillance of literature 4:  Looking into future: Cultural cooperation between Pristina and Belgrade from 1989 – 2014
The problem of cooperation between cultural scenes of Pristina and Belgrade ever since the fall of the Berlin wall and after Yugoslavia’s melt down, until today, is an important topic to discuss, in its historical, political and cultural sense. Considering that that for a long time there was almost no contact at all, misunderstanding ensued and as ethnical stereotypes from the past were reinforced, at one point the two sides could only look at one another from this perspective. Even in such a state, when we look back, a few important historical bits and pieces happened in different segments of cultural industry: in visual arts, theater, performances and literature. The publishing of the cross anthologies From Pristina with love and From Belgrade with love in 2011, with the support of TRADUKI, marked the beginning of a new period of reading one another’s works, between authors of Kosovo and Serbia, but also on a wider context of the region. On how important these non-institutional initiatives were, that only happened more and more often afterwards, and how these activities helped establish a peaceful process of dialogue, this all will be discussed by our panelists who during the 1990ties and onwards have contributed in overcoming the conflict through artistic projects.


Ana Ćurčin & Stray Dogg (Dukat) (SRB) are independent musicians  that have been intensively occupying Belgrade and regional indie scene in past two years,  performing on the most prominent festivals such as Exit Festival in Novi Sad and travelling around Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia. These young, talented and beautiful voices have been uniting for some time now, from the Americana Festival in Belgrade all over the Belgrade club scene which has always been packed. Next to their own songs, they line up with careful choice of covers which they interpret in a stripped down acoustic arrangements with all their sensibility and carefulness, bringing the new life to classics of Neil Young , Portishead,  Elliot Smith etc.

All activities will happen at:

Qendra Multimedia 
Rr. Idriz Gjilani 7/9 – 1
Lagja Dardania
(Përballë Shkollës Fillore “Xhemajl Mustafa”)
10000 Prishtina, Kosovo

Contact:  /

Tel: 038 555 799




Program 2013

Friday, 10.05.2013

19:30 – 20:00 Offical opening of the polip festival

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Tal Nitzán (IL), Tomislav Marković (SRB),  György Dragomán (HU), Eftychia Panayiotou (CY), Beqë Cufaj (D/RKS), Ralph Hammerthaler (D)
Moderator:  Sasa Ilić (SRB), Sunita Kurti (RKS)
Music: Trio Mozaic (AL)

Saturday, 11.05.2013

14:00 – 15:00 Public presentation of the performance “Internally Displaced”
Performance realized during the workshop of the Atelier of the Documentary Theater: “Transforming Trauma Through Art: War Rapes and the Re-Collection of Self and Community “ lead by Elizabeth Hess
Performers: Arberora Sylaj, Alketa Sylaj, Dhurata Hoti, Fjolla Hoxha, Vesa Qena, Vjosa Shala dhe Vlora Nikci

15:00 – 16:30 Panel I: “The literature market in Germany and the literature of the Balkans”
Panelist: Volker Dittrich (D), Jörg Sundermeier (D), Verena Nolte (D), Beqë Cufaj (D/RKS)
Moderator: Doris Akrap (D)

17:00 – 18:30 Panel II: “Literature and the unknown Others”

Panelists: Tal Nitzán (IL), Yolanda Castaño (ES), Eftychia Panayiotou (CY), György Dragomán (HU), Miloš Živanović (SRB), Blerina Rogova Gaxha (RKS)
Moderation: Mirela Kumbaro (AL)

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Faruk Šehić (BiH), Ivana Simić Bodrožić (HR) , Yolanda Castaño (ES), Dragoslava Barzut (SRB), Blerina Rogova Gaxha (RKS), Alida Bremer (HR/D)
Moderation: Sasa Ilić (SRB), Qerim Ondozi (RKS)
Music: Ah Ahilej (SRB)

Sunday, 12.05.2013

15:00–16:30 Public presentation and performances:
– “Subpoetics: Inner poetry in Performance” with Dr Seth Baumrin
Performers: Bashkim Ramadani, Fitore Broqi, Burim Koprani , Valmira Hoti, Muhamet Arifi, Shqipe Gashi, Afrim Muçaj and Fisnik Syka

– Panel discussion: Transforming Trauma Through Art
Panelists: Seth Baumrin, Eli Gashi, Fjolla Hoxha
Moderator: Abdullah Ferizi

17:00 – 18:30 Panel III: Does a post YU literature exist?
Panelists: Faruk Šehić (BiH), Ivana Simić Bodrožić (HR), Jovica Ivanovski (MK),  Alida Bremer (HR/D), Basri Çapriqi (RKS)
Moderator: Sasa Ilić (SRB)

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Jovica Ivanovski (MK), Ervina Halili (RKS), Genc Kadriu (RKS), Ardian Haxhaj (RKS), Miloš Živanović (SRB), Arben Idrizi (RKS), Doruntina Vinca (RKS)
Moderator: Nita Hasani (RKS), Arben Zharku (RKS)
Music: Eldita Tarani & Pure Jazz Trio

1. The literature market in Germany and the literature of the Balkans
The literature market in Germany is definitely one of the vibrant’s  and dynamic markets in Europe. In addition to local authors, the literary market in Germany is also very open to other authors from around the world. But the focus of interest is changing fast and it is determined by different factors. What makes the literature market of Germany  turn it’s attention towards a “small” literature, lets say the Kosovo, Montenegro or Macedonian literature?  After the end of the wars in the Balkans, what still remains to be “sexy” in the Balkans, that encourages the translation of it’s literature in Germany?  Good literature? How does the German publisher identify good literature from the Balkans?!  How do the countries from the Balkans promote their literature in Germany? Is Croatia a good example in this case?

2. Literature and the unknown Other
The focus of this years edition of the polip festival is the literature of the separated worlds, more concrete of the neighbor countries that haven’t been in contact politically and culturally for decades, or cities that have been separated and function as two different worlds that insist to refuse constantly to know something about the other, that is on the other side. Does your literature know  such a phenomenon and who is the unknown other in the literature meaning and which in the political? How is the literature developed in such environments in the proximity of the unknown other? Does this nearness of the unknown other and the denial affect the creating of contacts and the literal – cultural and political creation? How does this affect the creation of a literary canon and how in the forming of the national remembrance? Is it possible to establish contact with the unknown other? How do you name it in your texts and how in the political and cultural narratives? 

3. Does a post YU literature exist?
14 years have pasted since the last war on the ex Yugoslavian ground. In the region there has been built a fragile structure of intercultural connections and they are mainly non institutional. There are some critics who follow the literary scene outside their own. There have been organized some post YU projects for literates and critics, like the price “Meša Selimović“ in Tuzla, which integrates the literature of the mentioned areas and a  competition for drama from the region by Hartefakt. More often there have been organized residency programs for writers from the region (Split, Rijeka, Sarajevo, Prishtina, Belgrade). The writers started moving. Is there still something in common in the literature that remained in the pieces of what once used to be Yugoslavia, or is even the Yugoslav literature studied institutional? What do you think of the concept of a post YU literature?

Subpoethics: Inner poetry in Performance
Subpoetics is a process of elaboration whereby actors create physical actions associated with particular texts. These physical actions are shorn away from that text and perfected with precision. They are then attached to a different text even though the actions and the new text are unrelated. The actions are then justified to function as appropriate physical actions for the new text. The process of justification and adaptation of actions to different texts requires reducing, magnifying, or changing the rhythm of the original physical actions. In order to reduce or magnify a physical action, its original impulse in the torso must be located and retained. Subpoetics embodies a training/performance regimen enabling participants to learn how to learn; learn how to teach; auto-didactic methodologies for self-realization; group dynamics that engender cultural awareness. Weaning young people away from stereotypes promoted by electronic and popular media—virtual reality replaced by truth—by constructing their own identity. This kind of work is crucial during a period of potential cultural erasure as borders both real and artificial obscure the struggles of the individual.


Trio Mozaic (AL) is a acoustic Albanian Accordion trio. They perform: Balkan music, variete and french tango – piazzola. The musicians that are part of this trio are: Elton Balla, Erand Kurani and Mirjan Sulovari.

Ah Ahilej (SRB) is a band along the lines of black cabaret. Established in 2000 in Belgrade.So far published six albums:“Great Life”, “Music from Home”, “Autopsy”, “Objectively Worse Edition.”,  “Songs of evil volsebnika” written by Tom Markovic”, “Opera for the dinar” written by Milos Zivanovic.


All activities will happen at:

Qendra Multimedia 
Rr. Idriz Gjilani 7/9 – 1
Lagja Dardania
(Përballë Shkollës Fillore “Xhemajl Mustafa”)
10000 Prishtina, Kosovo

Contact:  /

Tel: 038 555 799


Program  2012

Friday, 11.05.2012

9:00 – 12:00 Parnassus Paper
Kujtim Paçaku (RKS), Ivana Simić Bodrožić (HR), Marko Pogačar (HR), Olimbi Velaj (AL), Olja Ivanćević Savićević (HR)
Workshop Leaders
: Drew Cameron (USA), Drew Luan Matott (USA)
Moderator: Nick Dubois (UK)

19:30 – 20:00 Offical opening of the polip festival and the graphic, novel. exhibition
Sasa Ilić (SRB), Elisabeth Desta (D), Jeton Neziraj (RKS), Sonja Lau (D),                             Ute Friederich (D)

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Olimbi Velaj (AL), Marko Pogačar (HR), Olja Ivanćević (HR), Dragana Mladenović (SRB), Sibel Halimi (RKS), Dragana Tripković (MNE), Tomislav Marković (SRB)
Moderator: Saša Ilić (SRB), Adelina Berisha (RKS)
Unplugged: Edona Reshitaj & Faruk Banjska

Saturday, 12.05.2012
10:00 – 12:00 Parnassus Paper
Idro Seferi (RKS), Arben Idrizi (RKS), Nenad Joldeski (MK), Shpëtim Selmani (RKS), Sibel Halimi
Workshop Leaders: Drew Cameron (USA), Drew Luan Matott (USA)
Moderator: Nick Dubois (UK)

12:00 – 13:30 Panel I: Status of the independent intellectual in Kosovo and Serbia society
Saša Ćirić (SRB), Shkelzen Maliqi (RKS), Blerina Rogova Gaxha (RKS), Marija Karaklaić (SRB)
Moderator: Saša Ilić (SRB)

14:00 – 16:00 Parnassus Paper
Blerina Rogova Gaxha (RKS), Tomislav Marković (SRB), Enes Kurtovic (BiH), Lindita Arapi (AL)
Workshop Leaders: Drew Cameron (USA), Drew Luan Matott (USA)
Moderator: Nick Dubois (UK)

16:00 – 17:30 Panel II: Literature and Remembrance
Ute Friderich (D), Alida Bremer (D), Kruno Lokotar (HR), Halil Matoshi (RKS), Agron Tufa (AL)
Moderator: Roman Ehrlich (D)

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Agron Tufa (AL), Kujtim Paçaku (RKS), Lindita Harapi (AL), Nenad Joldeski (MK), Alida Bremer (HR), Miloš Živanović (SRB), Idro Seferi (RKS), Ivana Simić Bodrozić (HR)
Moderator: Kruno Lokotar (HR) & Qerim Ondozi (RKS)
Music: Klopka za Pionira (SRB)

Sunday, 13.05.2012
12:00–14:00 Panel III: Subversive literary practice surrounded by rigid politics
Tomislav Marković (SRB) , Shpëtim Selmani (RKS), Elvana Zaimi (AL), Enes Kurtovic (BiH), Robert Alagozovski (MK)                                                                                       Moderator: Jeton Neziraj (RKS)

16:00 – 17:30 Play readings
Doruntina Basha (RKS), Maria Karaklaić (SRB)
Moderator: Bekim Lumi (RKS), Jeton Neziraj (RKS)

20:00 – 00:00 Readings
Halil Matoshi (RKS), Blerina Gaxha Rugova (RKS), Shpëtim Selmani (RKS), Roman Ehrlich (DE), Arben Idrizi (RKS), Saša Ilić (SRB), Jeton Neziraj (RKS)
Moderator: Kruno Lokotar (HR) & Qerim Ondozi (RKS)
Music: to be anounced soon

1. Status of the independent intellectual in Kosovo and Serbia society
In the frame of this panel, we will try to give answers to following questions: How much freedom is left for intellectuals and artists in transitional societies of Serbia and Kosovo, with apparent problems of non-solution of either actual questions of co-existence as well as of predominance of recent traumatic past? How much can intellectuals influence through their voices upon socio-political processes and where does culture stand in whole context here and today? What are the reactions of media and how much space is left for them for different voices? Lastly, what is the responsibility of intellectuals not only for the past occurrences but also for what is occurring today?
2. Literature and remembrance
In this discussion round, we want to investigate the connection between writing and remembrance. Even though memories are closely knitted to visual impressions, literature mostly uses purely linguistically-communicated imagery when approaching the past. What happens, though, if the linguistic imagery is presented next to pictures and photographs that claim that ‘this is how it was’ regarding events anchored in the collective remembrance? Do these by now ubiquitous pictures risk overlaying the historical events? What happens if suddenly the pictures begin to tell their own story and the text slowly disappears in one’s perception? Where do we find the reality in this and where do we find fiction? And how is literature distinguished from history?  What are its strong points? We aim to analyze the combination of image and text with regard to their correlation and to discover the additional benefit that emerges from that.
3. Subversive literary practice surrounded by rigid politics                                        Is the state afraid of writers and are writers afraid of the state? Are the countries in Western Balkans dominated by fear of “subversive literature” taking into acount their communist past? Does the state continue to exercise control over “disobedient writers” and which are the contemporary methods of “punishment”? What are the taboos of today, which neither the subversive literature dares to tackle? What is considered subversive literature today? These and other questions will be discussed in this panel, which, among other things, aims to discuss creative freedom, challenges of this freedom and consequences of relationship of the state with subversive writers.

Play readings
Në “Play readings”, aktorë nga Prishtina do të lexojnë ekstrakte nga dramat e Doruntina Bashës dhe  Maria Karaklaiq. Pas leximeve, do të ketë diskutime me autoret, rreth dramave dhe rreth skenave teatrore në Kosovë dhe në Serbi.  Kjo është një mundësi e mirë për t’u njohur me dy autore të reja, t’cilat para së gjithash, shquhen për nga origjinaliteti dhe sensibiliteti i tyre krijues.

Parnassus Paper: Creating an exhibition for Poetry Parnassus, Southbank Centre, London, 26 June-2 July 2012
Poets are invited to contribute poems and take part in a hand-papermaking workshop from 11-12 May at Polip to create an exhibition for Poetry Parnassus, a gathering of poets from all 200 Olympic countries at London’s Southbank Centre. At Polip, poets will be invited to bring materials to turn into paper on which to write a poem without a title, the relationship of the material to the poem replacing the title.  Any fabric or paper-based material can be used and will be listed alongside the poem. The resulting handmade portfolio will be exhibited at the Poetry Library in London’s Southbank Centre during Poetry Parnassus, accompanied by a film about its making including interviews with the poets. All the poets taking part in Poetry Parnassus will visit the exhibition to write a poem in a handmade edition of theWorld Record, the volume of poetry being published to mark the occasion.

Walking through the streets mostly means walking to or from somewhere, away from or into something. You can walk the walk, walk the talk and walk the line, you can walk on eggshells or walk it off. While walking, you think about the last encounter, the people around you or the next meeting. When you walk, you unconsciously link the categories of past, present and future.
PAST/E is a set of stickers containing quotes, thoughts as well as visual associations which popped up while thinking about the linkage between past, present and future. On which premises we base our understandings of time? Is there anything like causality? Does the past influence the present, or is it the present or our future wishes that shape our understandings of the past?
PAST/E invites people to play around with these given terms, quotes and symbols to create their own understanding of the relation between past, present and future. Space is also left for own terms and symbols. The meaning of these stickers is changing depending on how the stickers are brought together as well as where there are pasted – on benches, trees, pavements, traffic lights, on a book, a bag or a laptop.
PAST/E uses stickers in public spaces to make passersby stop for a while to think about their understanding of time and its impacts on how we perceive the world around us.
PAST/E will be made available to you during polip – The International Literature Festival in Pristina.
In Cooperation: forumZFD, Qendra Multimedia, Goethe Guerilla Pristina

Graphic, Novel. Sketching W. G. Sebald in Pristina
In the past few years graphic novels have attracted more and more attention both in the field of literature and the visual arts. Not only do they allow for an alternative perspective on the complexities of everyday life, but because of their distinct use of two media – image and text – they also suggest how memories of the past can find new forms of expression despite their inherent blanks. This interrelation between image and text lies at the core of the project graphic, novel. The participants are invited to creatively delve into yet unprecedented graphic-novelist techniques, sketching what has been lost, what is to be retrieved, and how to conjoin the missing bits and contradictions of recent local history. Being an initiative from Pristina, the subject-matter from where to explore those techniques is the city and its (in-)visible histories. Therefore, additional to the seminars, the workshop will have a closer look at the matter and the surfaces of the city. Archival documents, found photographs, oral history and walks through the city will form a central part of the research and of the elaboration of a new graphic novel by means of visual and literary expressions. Throughout the workshop, the participants are invited to work on a chosen context presented to them in the city of Pristina. The results of the workshop will be shown in a group exhibition during the polip on 11th of May, 2012.

All activities will happen at:

Qendra Multimedia
Rr. Idriz Gjilani 7/9 – 1
Lagja Dardania
(Përballë Shkollës Fillore “Xhemajl Mustafa”)
10000 Prishtina, Kosovo

Contact:  /

Tel: 049 178759


Short program 2010

– readings and opening concert
place: TETRIS
with: Shpëtim Selmani (KS), Mirko Božić (BiH), Erëmira Çitaku (KS), Tomislav Marković (SRB), Mara Genschel (D), Genc Salihu (KS)
moderators: Jeton Neziraj and Lucia Zimmermann
music: Erëmira Çitaku and Agon Xharra
15:00 – poetry workshop
place: University of Prishtina
debatepanel I – literary networks in the Balkan
place: Dit’ e Nat’
17:00 – translation workshop
place: Qendra Multimedia
20:00 – readings and concert
place: TETRIS
with: Ana Brnardić (HR), Illir Ferra (AL/A), Saša Ilić (SRB), Arben Idrizi (KS), Sibylla Hausmann (D), Nora Prekazi (KS)
moderators: Jeton Neziraj and Lucia Zimmermann
music: Visar Kuqi
11:00 – debate
panel II – about “small” and “big” languages
: Dit’ e Nat’
17:00 – translation workshop
place: Qendra Multimedia
– evaporating memories – street poetry at places of remembrance in Prishtina
The location depends on weather conditions and will be announced 48 hours beforehand
20:00 – readings and concert
place: TETRIS
with: Agron Tufa (AL), Luise Boege (D), Trina Gojani (KS), Nikola Madžirov (MK), Ballsor Hoxha (KS), Miloš Živanović (SRB)
moderators: Jeton Neziraj and Lucia Zimmermann
music: Jan Böttcher
15:00 – evaporating memories – street poetry at places of remembrance in Gracanica
The location depends on weather conditions and will be announced 48 hours beforehand.
special program
panel I
literature networks in the Balkan
About literature in the region and today’s challenges concerning literature exchange.
15 October, at 11:00 at Dit’ e Nat’ – this event is open for all
with: Mirko Božić (BiH), Arben Idrizi (KS), Saša Ilić (SRB), Agron Tufa (AL)
moderator: Shkelzen Maliqi
panel II
about “big” and “small” languages
A roundtable discussion concerning literature translation from the so-called small languages into the so-called big languages and vice versa.
16 October, at 11:00 at Dit’ e Nat’ – this event is open for all
with: Jan Böttcher (D), Ilir Ferra (AL/A), Nikola Madžirov (MK), Tomislav Marković (SRB)
moderator: Jeton Neziraj
poetry workshop
Mara Genschel and Luise Boege organize a poetry workshop with students, talking about language and poetry and working together on a long poem.
15 October, from 9:00 to 16:00 at the University of Prishtina
literary translation workshop
The translator and author Ilir Ferra gives an overview about translation theories and presents different examples. In the second step, all participants work on translations from English, German or Italian into Albanian.
15 and 16 October, from 14:00 to 17:00 at Qendra Multimedia
evaporating memories – street poetry at places or remembrance
Young poets read their poems at places of remembrance in Prishtina and Gracanica. The readings will be accompanied by various street poetry actions. The aim of the readings is to introduce an alternative voice to memory cultures in Kosovo that does not remain in closed circles – street poetry has a lot to offer to open constructive debates on dealing with the past! The program is organized by forumZFD.
16 October, at 15:00 in the streets of Prishtina (canceled due to heavy rain)
17 October, at 15:00 in the streets of Gracanica