International literature and music festival

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Leonor Faber-Jonker


30 Sep 2021

Warren Ellis at Crossing Border 2021 and more

Covid-19 update
There are many nice additions to the line-up of Crossing Border, but let’s start with a recap of the latest corona regulations. Crossing Border is a festival with seated and standing areas and must therefore take place with 75% of the regular visitor capacity, and with a corona admission pass (CoronaCheck) at the entrance. Once inside there are no restrictions for the visitors. The evening programme takes place from 19.00 to 00.00 (doors open 18.00).

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New confirmation: Warren Ellis
Musician and composer Warren Ellis (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Grinderman) comes to Crossing Border! On Thursday 4 November he will be interviewed at Korzo Theater. During the lockdown Ellis kept himself busy writing, which resulted in a remarkable debut: Nina Simone’s Gum. A story about a piece of gum that became an icon and a meditation on the meanings we bestow on objects and experiences.

About Nina Simone’s Gum
On 1 July 1999, Dr Nina Simone gave a rare performance, fated to be one of her last in Britain. After the show, in a state of transcendent awe, Warren Ellis crept onto the stage and took Simone’s piece of chewed gum from the piano, wrapped it in her stage towel and placed it in a Tower Records bag. The gum remained with Ellis for twenty years – a sacred totem, his creative muse – until 2019, when Nick Cave, his collaborator and great friend, asked him if he had anything he could contribute to Cave’s Stranger Than Kindness exhibition . . . Together they agreed that the gum should be housed in a glass case, as though a holy relic. Fearing it would be damaged or lost, Ellis had it cast in silver and gold, sparking a chain of events that no one could have predicted, transporting him back to his childhood and his relationship to found objects.

Nina Simone’s Gum, in conversation with Warren Ellis
Thursday 4 November (extra festival day)
Korzo Theater, 20:00

Click here for tickets.

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More new names!
Other new confirmations are a.o. Auke Hulst, whose De Mitsukoshi Troostbaby Company is a touching novel about loss, guilt, and parenthood, the Russian-Flemish hip hop artist Chibi Ichigo who undermines linguistic and cultural boundaries with her raw but poetic lyrics and laidback beats, and spoken word artist Gershwin Bonevacia who reflects on a youth marked by dyslexia and racism in his new book Toen ik klein was, was ik niet bang.

Word artist Manu van Kersbergen also comes to Crossing Border, together with the Utrecht-based collective Multibeat. Manu ft. Multibeat shares the stage with three prolific spoken word artists: Suehaylee, who narrates vulnerable, musical stories in which she searches for truth, Guus van der Steen (known from a.o. hip hop collective KernKoppen), and the Palestinian, hip hop inspired Stryder.
Other newly confirmed spoken word artists are Neusa Gomes, who writes and speaks about religion, love, her own background, nature, and humanism, and Karim Ellouta aka Benzokarim, who in his texts moves between worlds of growing up, the now (dunya), the afterlife (akhirah) and having both a Dutch and Egyptian nationality.

Day programme 6 November
For the day programme the following names are added: poet, playwright, and performer Edna Azulay who writes about sexuality, alienation, and queer utopias, Levina van Winden, who made her debut last year with the fiery collection of poetry Er is een band die rapemachine heet, and 19-year-old Amara van der Elst, who became known nationally with her performance during the national commemoration of Remembrance Day.

They will perform on Saturday 6 November in The Bookstor Cafe as part of an afternoon with poets and spoken word artists. More information about the programme and times soon on the website. This location is freely accessible.

Click here for the full line-up.

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