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A celebration of literature and free speech

A celebration of literature and free speech

Each year Stavanger transforms into a literary wonderland full of writers and book-lovers who all share their passion for the freedom to speak up. 

Kapittel Festival is all about words, lots of them. In 2015 the festival took its guests across the Atlantic to a diverse continent with an equally vibrant literature, America. [...] 

[...] With America as the theme, Kapittel Festival is bound to be exciting. People tend to forget that America does not equal United States, it’s a continent boasting a variety of nations and cultures, each with their own issues and literary traditions.

“At this year’s festival visitors are taken, not only to the US, but also further South, where the tense social and political situation in Mexico will be an important focus. Thanks to the contribution of the prominent journalist Alma Guillermoprieto, the audience get to look at Mexican issues in new ways," explains Espen Røsbak, manager of Kapittel Festival.

The festival was founded on strong principles, fuelled by a determination to protect the freedom of speech by creating public discussions on human rights and presenting the voices of silenced writers. This is a legacy they still honour the day today, 20 years after the first festival took place. With the American theme set, guests will learn more about important issues in the world today, and as Kapittel moves further North, the US will take the centre stage, where both the good and the bad will be put on display.

“The US’s position as a global superpower gives us an ambivalent relationship to the large nation. The human rights record of the USA will be discussed during the festival, not least through the visit of Larry Siems, editor of prisoner Mohamedou Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary,“ reveals Røsbak.

The festival program consists of concerts, talks and debates on books, shows and exhibitions. Kapittel presents meetings with famous authors and experimental newcomers alike, often combining music and literature in mesmerising performances [...]. 

If you care about world issue and artistic mastery, then Kapittel Festival is for you.

The article was first published in Scan Magazine, july 2015.