The Living Word: Post Babel Condition (ISWAF), an international literary festival within the 18th International Book Fair of Non/fiction in Moscow.
Supported by the Swiss Pro Helvetia cultural council, the French Institute, the Goethe Institute, the Cervantes Institute, the Greek Cultural Center, NORLA (of Norway) and the US Speaker program.
The Living Word is not only a creative translation and generic definition of “spoken word,” but it is a new kind of literary format in Russia.
Poets and writers from Russia, the U.S., France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Columbia and other countries will read their own works in Moscow.
Among the participants are such stars of the spoken, multimedia genre as Ursula Rucker, Pilote Le Hot, Ann Cotten, Andrei Rodionov, German Lukomnikov, Lev Rubinstein and others. We will see and hear poets whose words are maximally enhanced by their own personal presence, and by being expressed through a stage persona, a mask. Also participating will be Yelena Morozova, an actress of the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre.
“As an author who was formed in the conditions of a ‘non-Gutenberg’ manner of poetic dissemination, I naturally am partial to the oral tradition. I am accustomed to perceive poetry (including the poetry of the past) exclusively by way of spoken articulation. I do not understand poetry that is not spoken aloud - at least in thought. To a certain extent I am accustomed to considering poetry a bodily art. The very figure of the poet, the poet’s biography, voice and intonational ‘gait’ are for me crucial elements and signs of his or her personal poetics to no less a degree than their texts. For that very reason I consider my participation in this festival natural, logical and organic. – Russian poet Lev Rubinstein.
“The goal of our festival is primarily to expand the space of non/fiction books with the living word that penetrates cities and streets. And in that we do not differ much from the recent decisions of the Nobel Prize committee to recognize Svetlana Alexievich and Bob Dylan. Literature today, as in the days of Homer, must have sound – it must be heard and sung. – Oleg Nikiforov, the letterra.org project, an initiator of ISWAF.
“We will weave a multilingual verbal canvas, bringing together famous masters and young writers. Spectators shall witness exciting literary and theatrical surprises. The chief aim of the festival is to give audiences a sense of the creative energy that masterful writers command, and to create an opportunity for direct, live communication that does not require the employment of a dead, printed text. If every person who comes to the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre connects with even just one writer that he or she can say is ‘mine,’ or that ‘that is my kind of energy,’ we will consider our mission accomplished.”– Festival co-organizer Svyatoslav Gorodetsky.