Writer in Residence Programme 2014
Dato Turashvili as WiR in Amsterdam
3 Feb-11 March 2014
From February 3rd until 11 March, Georgian novelist and playwright Dato Turashvili will live and work in Amsterdam at the invitation of the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.
Turashvili is a writer of novels, plays, travel stories and screenplays. He was born in 1966 in Tbilisi, Georgia, and was one of the leading figures in the student protests at the David Gareja monasteries in 1989.
The turbulent climate in Georgia, at that time a part of the Soviet Union, is a central theme in Turashvili’s first novels. Flight from USSR was based on the Tbilisi-hijacking in 1983: nine young Georgians hijacked the Aeroflot Flight 6833 from Tbilisi to Leningrad in the hopes of fleeing to Turkey. The story of the failed attempt to escape the Soviet Union was the basis for Jeans Generation, Geogia’s most succesful theatre play up to the present.
Turashvili has twice been awarded the SABA prize for literature: in 2003 for Island in the Black Sea and in 2007 for Black Baseball Boots. Amongst his travel stories are Known and Unknown America (1993) and Katmandu (1998); his novels and short stories were translated into seven languages and were published in several countries. May 2013 Cossee published the first Dutch translation of his work, Weg uit de USSR (Flight from USSR).
Dato Turashvili is planning on working on his novel Another Amsterdam during his residency, in which he will describe the history of several people living in Amsterdam, starting with his own grandfather Meliton Maskhulia who fought the nazi’s in the Second World War in the Netherlands, starting in Texel and ending up in Amsterdam.
Turashvili will perform at several occasions during his residence:
- February 9: lecture at the Georgian embassy in The Hague
- February 17 to 22: Turashvili in Brussels (Georgia conference)
- February 20: performance at From Georgia. With Love? #1, a literary evening around Georgia and its art in Flemish-Dutch House deBuren (“the neighbors”) in Brussels. The evening is English and Dutch spoken.
- March 4: interview with Michel Krielaars in the NRC Talkshow in Amsterdam