Poppies and Literature
In the spring of 2015, citybooks will visit the city of Ypres. Together with the museum In Flanders Fields, we are inviting five writers and a photographer to reflect on the grim anniversary of the Second Battle of Ypres, and in particular on the first large-scale gas attack in history (April 22nd 2015). We ask aloud questions about the relationship between science and war, about historical and contemporary cultures of memorial, and about the innocence – or guilt – of landscape. An international party of artists will settle temporarily in the Westhoek to formulate a current answer to John McCrae’s poem, and to visit the Flanders fields where the famous poppies bloom.
The residencies will get underway in April 2015. Our first guest is Algerian author Maïssa Bey, followed by Syrian poet Ghayath Almadhoun. From the Low Countries, Catherine Vuylsteke and Kees t’ Hart will each spend a fortnight in the Westhoek to write a citybook. The visual part of this project will come from German photographer Oliver Leu, who will photograph a city portrait in 24 images. You’ll be able to read more information about the participants here soon!
Meet the authors: Dirk Clement interviews the authors in the public library of Ypres. 7 May: Ghayath Almadhoun; 28 May: Oliver Leu; 11 June Kees 't Hart; 1 October: Catherine Vuylsteke.
Due to unforseen circumstances, Joseph Boyden is unfortunately forced to cancel his participation in citybooks Ypres.
citybooks Ypres is coordinated in collaboration with local partner In Flanders Fields Museum. As with the series Grote Woorden (Big Words), this project takes place in the context of the HERA research project CEGC: ‘Cultural Exchange in a Time of Global Conflict: Colonials, Neutrals and Belligerents during the First World War.’