- LTI Korea held the Seoul International Writers' Festival (SIWF), in its 6th year now, from September 25 through October 1, 2016. The festival’s theme this year was “The Forgotten and the Unforgettable.” Fourteen Korean and fourteen foreign writers were invited to the festival, which was held at Daehangno in Seoul.
- Group photograph of the invited writers
The festival kicked off with an opening ceremony held at the Arko Art Center at 11 am on September 26. The 28 writers introduced themselves briefly, spoke about what they were looking forward to in the festival, and read aloud a sentence each that they had written in their own languages about the festival’s theme.
- The writers out on cultural excursions (Top: Huwon or Secret Garden at Changdeokgung Palace; Bottom: Jingwansa Temple)
The writers also visited Changdeokgung Palace on September 25 and stayed overnight at the Jingwansa Temple on September 28. For the festival, one Korean and one foreign writer were paired up. “Free Talks” sessions, in which the paired writers discussed their works with each other in front of an audience, were held for four days from September 26 to 30 at Space Feelux in Daehangno. - Jeong You Jeong & Santiago Gamboa
- Cheon Myeong-kwan & David Vann
- Bae Suah & Werner Fritsch
There were also “Performance & Reading” sessions in which the writers read excerpts from their stories included in the festival anthology. Some writer even exchanged their texts and read from each other’s stories. To add to this, a Q&A session was also arranged in which the audience members could ask questions to the writers.
- Santiago Gamboa’s Reading & Performance session
- Linda Maria Baros’s Reading & Performance session
- Jeong You Jeong & Cheon Myeong-kwan’s Reading & Performance session
The performances based on the writers’ texts, including plays, dance, songs, and magic, were held for five days from September 26 to 30.
- A play being held as part of the Reading & Performance session
Moving beyond simple booking readings, the “Reading & Performance” sessions are the standout feature of the SIWF that differentiate it from other literary festivals by blending of a variety of performance genres that stimulate the five senses and make the text come alive for the audience. - Group photograph after the farewell dinner
The 2016 SIWF came to a close with a farewell dinner for the writers hosted by LTI Korea. The SIWF will keep growing bigger and better as a major international literary festival held in Korea, thus helping in the flow of exchanges between Korean and foreign writers.
- + more