BIBLIOTOPIA literary week-end around the world | Saturday Programme

Saturday 18 May 2019 10.30am to 9.30pm


10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm Workshop for Young Public

   Budding Journalists

   Reservation and information

11am Interview with Philippe Sands

Confronting History and Memory

Moderation: Oriane Jeancourt Galignani, writer and editor at Transfuge magazine

In French, simultaneous interpretation into English

12pm Signing

1.30pm Jonathan Coe and Andrey Kurkov in conversation

   Political and Satire in Fiction Today

   Moderation: Clare O’Dea, writer and journalist 

   In English, simultaneous interpretation into French

2.30pm Signing

3pm Interview with Aminatta Forna

   Reversing the Gaze

   Moderation: Daniel Medin, professor of comparative literature and editor

   In English, simultaneous interpretation into French

4pm Signing

4.30pm Interview with Ali al-Muqri

   Giving a Voice to the Voiceless

   Moderation: Rania Samara, professor of literature and

   In Arabic, simultaneous interpretation into French

5.30pm Signing

6.30pm Echoes of the Library:  Multilingual Readings
               by 3 writers & 4 students Promotion 2020 
               of the Lausanne Theater School – Les Teintureries

Jonathan Coe, Aminatta Forna, Andreï Kourkov, invited to the festival BIBLIOTOPIA, will read extracts from their works in original language at the Jan Michalski  Foundation.

In response to the three writers, Térence Carron, Diane Dormet, Nicolas Roussi and Amélie Vidon from the Lausanne Theater School – Les Teintureries will read some pages of their books in French.


8pm Concert: Rodolphe Burger

Considering the role of artists in society, the festival BIBLIOTOPIA opens up to every kind of artistic expressions…

The guitarist, singer and composer, founder of the band Kat Onoma, Rodolphe Burger will give a rock concert to wrap up the day in music.




9.30pm Apéritif

Interpreters from English to French and from French to English: Alia Rahal and Frances Steinig-Huang
Interpreters from Arabic to French: Rawdha Cammoun-Claveria and Jihane Sfeir

Rates and Reservations 

Day Pass CHF 20.- (full price) | CHF 10.- (retired, unemployed, AI and under 30) | free under 18

Reservation at

Access to all the day events and bus shuttles from Morges Station are included in the Day Pass.

The authors

Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands QC, born in 1960, is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He frequently appears before international courts, including the International Criminal Court and the World Court in The Hague, and has been involved in many of the most important cases of recent years, including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq and Guantanamo. His previous books include Lawless World (2005) and Torture Team (2008). East, West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity (2016), is a uniquely personal exploration of the origins of international law, focussing on the Nuremberg trial, the city of Lviv and his family history. He contributes to many newspapers and appears regularly on radio and television, serves on the board of the Hay Festival and is the President of English PEN. He lives in London.


Jonathan Coe

Jonathan Coe, born in Birmingham in the UK in 1961, was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He taught English Poetry at Warwick, subsequently working as a professional musician, writing music for jazz and cabaret. An award-winning novelist, biographer, critic and script-writer, his novels include The Accidental Woman (1987), What a Carve Up! (1994, Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and Prix du Meilleur livre étranger Lire), The House of Sleep (1997, Writer’s Guild Award and Prix Médicis étranger), The Rotters’ Club (2001, Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize), The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim (2010), Expo 58 (2013), and Number 11 (2015). His non-fiction includes Like A Fiery Elephant, The Story of BS Johnson (2004, Samuel Johnson Prize), and short biographies of Humphrey Bogart and James Stewart. His work has an underlying preoccupation with political issues, often expressed through satire. His latest novel Middle England (2018) has just been published in the UK. Jonathan Coe lives in London.


Andrey Kurkov

Andrey Kurkov is a Ukrainian writer who writes in Russian. Born in St Petersburg in 1961, he graduated from the Kiev Foreign Languages Institute, worked for some time as a journalist, did military service as a prison warder in Odessa, then became a film cameraman, writer of screenplays and novelist. He is the author of nineteen novels, including the bestselling Death and the Penguin (2001), nine books for children, and twenty documentary, fiction and TV movie scripts. In 2013 he wrote Ukraine Diaries: Dispatches from Kiev, an account of the political crisis in his country. His work is currently translated into forty languages. Kurkov has been commenting on the situation in Ukraine in his fiction and domestic and international journalism. He has recently been elected the President of PEN Ukraine.


Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna was born in Scotland in 1964 and grew up in Sierra Leone and Great Britain as well as spending time in Iran, Thailand and Zambia. She is the author of the novels Ancestor Stones (2006), The Memory of Love (2011), The Hired Man (2013) and Happiness (2018), and the memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water (2002). Politically engaged and urgent, her books are a powerful contribution to post-colonial literature. They have won prizes, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in 2011 and the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prize in 2014 from Yale University for a body of work. She has acted as a judge for literary awards, including the International Man Booker. Awarded an OBE in 2017, she is currently Lannan Visiting Chair of Poetics at Georgetown University and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. In 2003 Aminatta Forna established the Rogbonko Project to build a school in Sierra Leone and run projects on adult education, sanitation and maternal health.


Ali al-Muqri

Ali al-Muqri is a Yemeni writer born in 1966. He has worked in cultural journalism since 1985. Two of his novels, Black Taste, Black Odour (2008, translated into English in 2009) and The Handsome Jew (2009) were longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. He was awarded the French Prize for Arabic Literature for Hurma (2015). Ali Al-Muqri was forced to leave Yemen after the publication of this brave and controversial novel and now lives in France as a political refugee. Some of his works have been also translated into German, French and Spanish.


See also

BIBLIOTOPIA | Friday 17 May-Inaugural evening Programme

BIBLIOTOPIA | Sunday 19 May Programme