Writer in Residence Programme 2007

Witi Ihimaera in Amsterdam

1 August 2007 - 29 February 2008

Witi Ihimaera (1944), reknowned Maori novelist (The Whale Rider) will come to the Dutch capital this September to be a writer in residence for six months and work on the screen adaptation of his award winning novel The Matriarch.

Ihimaera is going to follow the Script Development Programme at Binger Filmlab, the international film lab for writer/directors to develop their projects coached by internationally acclaimed mentors and advisors. He will join the programme at Binger to work on the adaptation of his book The Matriarch (1986) about the Maori struggle against the loss of their sovereignty.

His visit is being supported by the Writer-In-Residence programme; a joint initiative by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature. The University of Amsterdam has made living space available in the heart of the old city. In return he will deliver a lecture for the Media and Culture faculty of the University of Amsterdam.

Ihimaera is the first Maori writer to publish both a book of short stories and a novel, and wrote since the start of his distinguished career an exceptional array of prize winning work, published all over the world. His books include Whanau (novel, 1974), The New net Goes Fishing (short stories, 1976), The Matriarch (novel, 1986), The Whale Rider (novel, 1987), Dear Miss Mansfield (short stories, 1989), Bulibasha, King of the Gypsies (novel, 1994), Nights in the Garden of Spain (novel, 1995), The Dream Swimmer (novel, 1997) and Band of Angels (novel, 2005).

The feature film based on his novel The Whale Rider (now in over 20 editions worldwide) won the prestigious Audience Awards at the Toronto and Sundance International Film Festivals and an Oscar nomination for Child Actress, Keisha Castle-Hughes.

Read about Witi’s experiences in Amsterdam here.

More information:

Fleur van Koppen


Fleur van Koppen

Programme officer

[email protected]