Henriëtte Louwerse hosted the UK version of citybooks on behalf of The Department of Germanic Studies/SLC (University of Sheffield) . She welcomed five authors, a photographer and a video artist to create a unique portrait of the city of steel.
For some Sheffield will always be the grey industrial city of steel but just like the Belgian city Charleroi it has since long outgrown its (proverbial) greyness. Sheffield has approximately 3.5 trees per inhabitant. But Sheffield has far more to offer than a large number of parks and gardens or historical steel industry, it also has a very rich cultural life. Many of those and other aspects of the thriving city feature in the citybooks about Sheffield.
Dutch author Joost Zwagerman was the first to visit Sheffield. Otto Vallei, the main character in Zwagerman novel Chaos en Rumoer, returns with a vengeance and finds himself in Sheffield, where the energetic Elleke Bestevaer shakes his world. Flemish actress and podcaster Rebecca Lenaerts stayed in Sheffield in Spring 2011. She invites you to explore Sheffield's picturesque past and demonstrates the consequences of a dreadful disaster. Hungarian-English poet Ágnes Lehóczky undertakes a linguistic journey through Sheffield while poet Helen Mort describes a nocturnal stroll in the Sheffield of our dearest dreams – or worst nightmares. Abdelkader Benali visited Sheffield in autumn 2011. In his citybook he explores, examines and comments on Sheffield’s nightlife. During his two-week residency in Sheffield, Benali was at hand too to offer advice and inside information to the students of the University of Sheffield, who were translating Benali’s citybook on Skopje from Dutch into English. Read more about this translation Project here.
Photographer David Bocking shows us everyday life in a green, snow-white, warm, ice-cold, lonely, cosy – in a word – versatile Sheffield. Dominic Green recorded the 24 City One Minutes films.
Abdelkader Benali during his residency in Sheffield.
Above: with studenten of the Virtual Dutch Translation Project.
Left: Abdelkader Benali and Ágnes Lehóczky.
© Henriette Louwerse