Writing is life

If you are an open-minded person you will like this! If you love a good novel now and then or a poem or a short story or a comic book, you will like this! If you like to hear new voices in the midst of the literary scene of the North, you will love this! If you want to have a special Saturday afternoon in the company of talented writers, reading for you while you are slowly sipping some…quality tea…you will love this!

Sometimes you meet certain people who have a special shine about them; they inspire you and make you want to do more, to change something in the life of your city. Maybe this change is small and doesn’t get much attention, but each attempt leaves an aroma, a desire for more, a craving for the dynamics of the soul materialized in delicious happenings. Here is where our hero comes into the picture.

His name is Atle Håland and he is a professional dreamer. He studied writing in Telemark and is now a resident of Kristiansand and wants to change something. His plans are taking shape this Saturday at 16:00 at Pir6.

Unikum has met Atle and asked him more about his project.

Unikum: Saturday, January 11th, you are organizing Papir6, a literary arrangement, at Pir6. How did this idea take shape?

Atle: Some time ago, Pål Alsaker from Pir6, knowing I have an interest for organizing cultural events, asked me if I would like to collaborate with him and develop the literary scene in Kristiansand. I was not sure what to say because I was hoping to go and study abroad, in Denmark. When those plans got cancelled, I decided to go for it and after some back and forth, here we are today.

Unikum: Can you tell us more about what will happen on Saturday at Pir6?

Atle: AFV Press, A.K.R.O.N.Y.M, the literary magazine Kamilla and Splittet Kjerne are examples of literary initiatives established in Oslo in recent years. They are all coming at Pir6 to show their projects. You can be inspired by them, and you also have the chance to hear the new voices of the Norwegian literary scene.

Readers will be Mikkel Øyen, A.K.R.O.N.Y.M, Daniel Vatsvåg, Tom W-O Silkeberg, Isis Muhleisen, Hanna Rajs Lundstrom, Adam Humphreys, Caspar Eric and many more.

Unikum: Can you tell us more about these people?

Atle: These writers are a reaction against the sometimes absurd selection criteria of big publishing companies. Let us say a big publishing company accepts 1000 manuscripts per year. After the editors are done reading, maybe 30 go to the second stage of selection and from those maybe 4 are published. Probably those books have “bestseller” written all over them and maybe 1 author of those 4 is a young voice. The people coming at Pir6 this Saturday are publishing mainly by their own efforts, in small numbers, but beautiful books, each of them with a strong voice and very little compromise for the sake of appealing to the masses, maybe even none at all. The masses are not the goal.

Unikum: There is no entrance fee and of course there are many other economic issues to be considered when organizing such an event. How did you make ends meet?

Atle: I got good financial support from Cultiva Ekspress and Skillingsfondet. We are hoping for SIA to see the value of such an event  and maybe help us in the future so we can have more such happenings.

Unikum: What about you, Atle? As the brain of this event, what can you tell us about writing?

Atle Håland

Atle: I write mostly theatre and poems. The themes one can recognize most often in my texts are related to communication. Communication problems. Sometimes I feel I know so much but I cannot articulate it in spoken words, so I write it down.  The way I build a text shows how much the process of creation is intertwined with life: I can start something and leave it, but I feel it pulsating behind my back. Then I may be walking and figure out a detail, keep it safe until I reach my text and add it to it. Creation is a synonym of life. The fact that some choose to express and some don’t is a matter of prioritizing.

Unikum: Any future projects you can share with us?

Atle: Yes! I would love to bring together Yahya Hassan from Denmark and Terje Dragseth. Yahya is a young writer from Denmark writing under the shocks of immigration echoed mainly through the anxieties of his father. It would be very interesting to have them talking with each other and with the public on themes like cultural identity, cultural shocks, immigration, despair, confusion and more.

Unikum: Thank you Atle and good luck with your wonderful idea!

As you can read in the previous lines, this initiative needs your support. The cultural life of our town needs revitalization and these young authors coming from all around the country are a great opportunity to do so.

We hope to see you at Pir 6 this Saturday at 16:00 to enjoy a vibrant atmosphere filled with strong voices, passion for arts and communication, and for sharing and enjoying culture.

Text: Erika Ramona Erdos – red@unikumnett.no

Photo: Edith Alexandra Erdos – red@unikumnett.no

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