Initiated by Vera Michalski and Brigitte Bouchard in 2016, the Un Week-End à l’Est festival is back for its sixth edition. Each year, a city from Central or Eastern Europe is celebrated in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. After Warsaw, Kyiv, Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia, one can understand, given the geopolitical situation, that the organizers wanted to return to Ukraine. It is Odessa that will be highlighted, from November 23 to 28, for an event resolutely under the sign of poetry: Ilyan Kaminsky and Boris Khersonsky are respectively the sponsors and guests of honor.
Ilya Kaminsky, Ukrainian poet: “Will I be able to return to Odessa? »
A hundred guests will thus be gathered around forty events, which are intended to be “at the height of the support [des organisateurs] to the Ukrainian people at war”. Among these, we can for example attend the opening of the festival, Wednesday November 23, on the words of Ilya Kaminsky and Andreï Kurkov, writer recently distinguished by the foreign Medici prize for “the gray bees” (Liana Levi), a novel about the absurdity of the conflict unleashed by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine in 2014. of ska and patchanka by the writer Serhiy Jadan, now based in Kharkiv. It will also be possible to hear the latter during a meeting on Thursday, November 24 at the Maison de la poetry, hosted by Julie Clarini, head of the Ideas department of “l’Obs”.
Friday, November 25, at 7 p.m., a meeting will be held around the book “Tribute to Ukraine” (Stock), a collection of unpublished texts in which 14 authors tell the story of the place that symbolizes “their” Ukraine. Will be present: the authors Kateryna Babkina and Irena Karpa, Boris Khersonsky, the writer Emmanuel Ruben who directed the project and the translator, historian and head of Ukrainian studies at Inalco Irina Dmytrychyn. We can continue the same evening by going to the Saint-Sulpice church at 8 p.m. for a concert by the virtuoso pianist Alexey Botvinov.
“When an enemy army occupies your city, everything changes”: 14 Ukrainian writers tell their country and the war
Saturday November 26, at 5 p.m. at the Polish Bookstore, Ilya Kaminsky will talk with the photographer, painter and videographer Yelena Yemchuk about their very strong link with the city of Odessa and their beautiful book “Odessa 2015-2019” (Gost Books ). At 6 p.m., at the Espace des femmes – Antoinette Fouque, the debate on ideas “Women facing war” will bring together Kateryna Babkina and Tetyana Ogarkova. On Sunday, for example, we will be able to attend the exchange between Boris Khersonsky and Geneviève Brisac, the great editor and writer, very sensitive to the situation in Ukraine and who has been particularly involved in the mobilization for the release of the filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.
And that’s just a sample of the fun. Among the other guests, we also find the writer and translator Sofia Andrukhovych, whose “Felix Austria” (Black on White), her first novel translated into French, explores the theme of the shifting of a world, the writer, journalist and singer Irena Karpa, violinist, member of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra from 2008 to 2018 and co-founder of the Odessa Chamber Orchestra Yevgeniy Kostrytskyy, bass-baritone Igor Mostovoi…
A Weekend in the East Festival. From November 23 to 28 in Paris. More information : weekendalest.com