Litteraturhuset til Frankfurt med internasjonal forestillingSandra Kolstad, Lone Aburas og Kayo Chingonyi. Foto: Jo Straube

28. May 2019

The House of Literature to Frankfurt With International Performance

The House of Literature's contribution to the Frankfurt Book Fair brings Norway closer to the rest of the world.

-The House of Literature are proud to present a few select voices that will color European literature in the years to come. Our contribution to the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Norwegian Book Year is a performance which doesn’t shy away from the most burning questions in today’s Europe, says Susanne Kaluza, Executive Director at the House of Literature.

Three influential young European writers have been commissioned to write new text dealing with emotions, language and politics, with new music composed for each text. The result is a brand new performance about the issues engaging the young of Europe, by and with Maria Kjos Fonn (Norway), Kayo Chingonyi (UK), Lone Aburas (Denmark) and Sandra Kolstad (Norway)

Maria Kjos Fonn (Norway) has gained a name with her critically acclaimed body of work, in which she fearlessly explores themes such as physical and emotional abuse and sexual assault. Lone Aburas (Denmark) writes with anger, acuteness and wit about the many layers of racism and discrimination in liberal and globalized Denmark. Kayo Chingonyi’s (UK) texts are characterized by his keen ability to observe, his unconstrained ease, rhythm and flow as he explores the transitional phases of life, masculinity, skin color and community. In different ways, each of these writers challenge the ways we think about community, language and emotions. For this performance, they will write new texts and perform them to originally composed music by Sandra Kolstad.

– The project began with a performance by and with Édouard Louis, Athena Farrokhzad, Kristina Leganger Iversen and Sandra Kolstad, which premiered at the House of Literature in 2017. It was so well received that we wanted to take the project further, says Andreas Delsett, Artistic Director at the House of Literature.

The project has continued to grow. Édouard Louis has since developed the text he wrote for the House of Literature’s performance into the novel Who Killed My Father, which was launched in Norwegian translation on May 27.

The new performance is a continuation of the conversation that started in 2017, but with brand new voices. Maria Kjos Fonn, Kayo Chingonyi, Lone Aburas and Sandra Kolstad explore the role of emotions in society and in literature. Climate crisis, racism, and growing social inequality are all central issues in the current political debate. In light of these big questions, the performance asks: Who are allowed to be angry? What emotions are “allowed”? What does it mean that some are privileged enough to rise above emotions?

The new performance will premiere at the House of Literature on September 25 this year, followed by a tour in Norway and Europe before it will be performed at the guest pavilion in Frankfurt on October 18. The performance is produced in cooperation with NORLA and the Norwegian Book Year.

– Norwegian literature did not form in a vacuum, but through a continuous exchange of ideas and language with the world around us, and this performance show just that, says Delsett. – We are proud to deliver a contribution to the Book Year and to Frankfurt that places Norwegian literature within a European context.


Andreas Liebe Delsett