BIBLIOTOPIA literary week-end around the world

From Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May 2019

Join us at the Jan Michalski Founadtion

for a weekend of world literature

from Friday 17 May to Sunday 19 May 2019.

The second edition of the Bibliotopia festival invites you to
consider the role of writers and writing in society,
examine the issues of political engagement and artistic freedom,
celebrate literature and the courage of writers.

With writers from around the world :

Ali al-Muqri * Raluca Antonescu * Oya Baydar * Jonathan Coe * Jacek Dehnel * Pierre Ducrozet * Aminatta FornaAndrey Kurkov * Max Lobe * Anne Nivat * Oliver Rohe * Philippe Sands * Mikhail Shishkin * Juan Gabriel Vásquez

and with the musician Rodolphe Burger


Ali al-Muqri is a Yemeni writer. 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.


Raluca Antonescu, a writer, was born in Romania. She spent her childhood between German speaking Switzerland and the canton of Vaud, then settled in Geneva. She worked in the field of video and documentary filmmaking before teaching visual arts. Her novels, L’inondation, followed by Sol, look at the issues of migration, identity and displacement.


Oya Baydar is a Turkish novelist, journalist and political activist. Exiled after the military coup of 1980, she lived in Germany, then returned to Turkey in 1992. She has written six novels, including The Lost Word, and won multiple awards. Her work has been translated into over twenty languages.



Jonathan Coe, is a British award winning novelist, biographer, critic and script-writer. His novels include the highly acclaimed bestsellers What a Carve Up!, The Rotters’ Club, Number 11 and Middle England. His books have an underlying preoccupation with political issues, often expressed through satire.


Jacek Dehnel is an award winning Polish poet, novelist, essayist, critic and translator. He is the author of several novels, including Lala, and Saturn. His non-fiction as well as his newspaper columns often focus on the current political situation in Poland.



Pierre Ducrozet, a French writer, also translates from Spanish and English and teaches creative writing at the École supérieure des arts visuels in Brussels. His latest novel, L’invention des corps (Prix de Flore 2017), explores the ethical dilemmas arising from the intrusion of technology into our lives.


Aminatta Forna, a writer and academic, was born in Scotland, and raised in Sierra Leone and Great Britain. Her award winning and politically engaged novels, including the latest, Happiness, and her memoir, The Devil that Danced on the Water, are a powerful contribution to post-colonial literature.


Unfortunately Elias Khoury had to cancel his visit. He will be replaced by the writer Ali al-Muqri.


Andrey Kurkov, a Ukrainian writer and journalist, is the author of nineteen novels, from Death and the Penguin to The Bickford Fuse, children’s books, screenplays and film scripts. Kurkov’s fiction and journalism have often focussed on the situation in Ukraine. He has recently been elected the President of PEN Ukraine.


Max Lobe, born in Douala, Cameroon, moved to Switzerland, when he was 18. His award-winning novels: 39 rue de Berne, Confidences and, most recently, Loin de Douala touch upon the subject of immigration and join the two perspectives of Cameroon and Switzerland. He lives in Geneva.


Anne Nivat is an award-winning French journalist and war correspondent who has covered conflicts in Chechnua, Iraq and Afghanistan. Chienne de guerre won the Albert Londres Prize, France’s highest award for journalism. She is known for coverage of civilians, especially women, and their experiences of war.  


Oliver Rohe, a novelist, essayist and French cultural journalist, grew up in Beirut before moving to Paris. A founding member of the collective Inculte, he is the author of Origin Unknown and Vacant Lot, as well as À fendre le cœur le plus dur with Jérôme Ferrari, which explores the issues of violence and the role of writing.


Philippe Sands, QC, a Franco-British writer and international lawyer, is Professor of Law at University College London. East, West Street is a personal exploration of the origins of international law, the Nuremberg Trials, the city of Lviv and his family history. He is the President of English PEN.


Unfortunately Dubravka Ugrešić had to cancel her visit. She will be replaced by the writer Mikhail Shishkin.


Mikhail Shishkin studied German and English at the University of Moscow. He has lived in Switzerland since 1995. After working as a teacher, translator and interpreter, Mikhail Shishkin is now dedicated to writing. A novelist and essayist, he is the only writer to have received the three most prestigious Russian literary prizes, for Taking Ismail (2000, Russian Booker Prize), Maidenhair (2006, National Bestseller) and The Light and the Dark (2011, Bolshaya Kniga). He is also the author of Dans les pas de Byron et Tolstoï (2005, Best Foreign Book Award) and La Suisse russe (2007). An active commentator on the situation in Russia at the moment, he has taken a stand on ethical grounds.


Juan Gabriel Vásquez is a Colombian writer, columnist and translator. Published in twenty-eight languages, Vásquez’s award-winning books, including his latest, The Shape of the Ruins, often confront the past of Columbia to understand the present. After sixteen years in Europe, he now lives in Bogotá.



The second edition of Bibliotopia, the week-end of world literature, opens on the evening of Friday the 17th of May at 6pm, with two full days of encounters with writers from all over the world until Sunday, the 19th of May.

BIBLIOTOPIA | Friday 17 May-Inaugural evening Programme

BIBLIOTOPIA | Saturday 18 May Programme

BIBLIOTOPIA | Sunday 19 May Programme 


  • readings, films and music,
  • workshops for children
  • a pop-up bookshop with books from invited writers,
  • a cafeteria with lunches and snacks in the central square of the Foundation,
  • a regular shuttle bus between the train station in Morges to Montricher,
  • day pass for all events on the day: CHF 20.- (full price) | CHF 10.- (retired, unemployed, AI, and under 30s) | free for under 18.

Reservation and practical informations !

Photos:  Ali al-Muqri © Ed. Liana Levi | Raluca Antonescu © Caroline Fernandez | Oya Baydar © Kalem Agency | Jonathan Coe © D.R | Jacek Dehnel © Szymon Szczesniak | Pierre Ducrozet © Jean-Luc-Bertini | Aminatta Forna © Nina Subin | Elias Khoury © Nina Subin | Andreï Kourkov © Pako Mera, Opale, Leemage, Éditions Liana Levi | Max Lobe © Romain Gélat | Anne Nivat © Hannah Assouline | Oliver Rohe © Hélie Gallimard | Philippe Sands © Antonio Zazueta Olmos | Mikhail Shishkin ©  Evgeniya Frolkova | Juan Gabriel Vásquez © Karoly Effenberger