Brussels, Belgium

Passa Porta Festival

24-26 March 2017

The Passa Porta Festival will take place from Friday the 24th untill Sunday the 26th of March in Brussels (Belgium). The leitmotif of the sixth edition is: risk-taking in our uncertain age. A total of hundred events - debates, readings, interviews with Dutch and international authors - are programmed in 20 venues in the city centre. Included are a number of digital literary works that have been presented, with support of the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Creative Industries Fund NL, for the first time at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2016.

The bi-annual Passa Porta Festival opens on Friday with the American writer Paul Auster, whose new novel 4 3 2 1 has been translated into Dutch for De Bezige Bij publishers, and closes on Sunday with French writer Annie Ernaux and Dutch authors Herman Koch and Connie Palmen. Saturday evening brings ‘Duality’ to the Beursschouwburg where you can move from room to room to watch artistic duo’s perform. Writers will work together with artists of other disciplines. Among them, for example, Mexican debutant Aura Xilonen, who is writer in residence in March and April upon invitation of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and Danish artist and illustrator Halfdan Pisket.

On Saturday and Sunday Passa Porta offers the opportunity to ‘undergo’ a number of digital literary works, that were made with support support of the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Creative Industries Fund NL. Out of Sight, a virtual reality-installation for two by Sara Kolster and writer Jaap Robben is on show on Saturday (10.00 - 19.30) and Sunday (11.00 - 17.30) in deBuren. The Rode Hal from the Beursschouwburg will be transformed into a Gamezone (open on Saturday 14.00 untill midnight and Sunday 10.30 - 19.30). Here you can play the literary games Puzzling Poetry and Winter.


Winter is a narrative driven exploration game about a young girl’s journey through her purgatory. The game takes place in the second before she dies. The moment where her body decides to fight and live or to give up and die. The world she ends up in is a collection of memories of the places and events in her life. It also contains memories of the people that died in the same second as her. The journey she needs to take is ultimately a decision between her living mother and her death father. The player will learn gradually that choosing life, the natural reaction, might not be the best choice.

Puzzling Poetry

In the game Puzzling Poetry the poem is an empty puzzle and the words are the puzzle pieces. In solving the puzzle the player is guided by the graphic design of the game. Everything has its own shape and colour: verbs, nouns, short words, long words. Together they form patterns that give insight into the structure of the poem and the style of the poet. Playing with words leads to an unexpected and concentrated way of reading poetry. For a moment the player steps into the shoes of the poet. It is an exciting way of understanding poetry.

Out of sight

_Out of sight _ is a drawn Virtual Reality that takes you to the world of 9-year old Lena and her father. While Lena is busy dissecting an owl pellet, her father is swallowed by his own memories. They are having a conversation, but at the same time, they aren’t. Without knowing, they are both thinking about the same: the loss of Lisa, her sister and his daughter. As a viewer you find yourself in the head of the father or the daughter and you experience the two different perspectives.