FILL | Festival of Italian Literature in London 2018

Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 October 2018

Two days of events featuring over forty speakers, with a mix of established and exciting new voices. Italian, British, and international authors discuss literature, migration, the future of London, Italy, Europe, gender and contemporary culture.

Festival Line-Up

Saturday October 27

Saturday 27 October 2018, 13:45, Studio
Black Words, Black Worlds
with Igiaba Scego, Sharmaine Lovegrove, Marianne Tatepo

Saturday 27 October 2018, 14:15, Auditorium
The Politics of Translation
with Vincenzo Latronico, Sophie Collins

Saturday 27 October 2018, 16:00, Studio
The Fascist Paradox
with Paolo Berizzi, Joe Mulhall

Saturday 27 October 2018, 16:30, Auditorium
The Story of Now
with Ali Smith, Olivia Laing, Walter Siti, Fabio Deotto

Saturday 27 October, 18:15, Studio
Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again. On Feminist Dystopias
with Veronica Raimo, Sophie Mackintosh

Saturday 27 October 2018, 18:45, Auditorium
Postcards From Reality
with Michela Murgia, Ben Okri, Paola Nelli

Saturday 27 October 2018, 20:15, Bar
DJ Set
with Giovanni Coppola

Saturday 27 October 2018, 20:30, Studio
Wretched Strangers
with Caroline Bergvall, Giovanna Coppola, Livia Franchini, Ariadne Radi Cor, George Szirtes, Jane Yeh, Maddalena Vatti

 

Sunday October 28

Sunday 28 October, 11:30, Studio
Translation Workshop
with Vincenzo Latronico

Sunday 28 October, 12:00, Auditorium
Italy. Europe. The Age of Nationalism?
with Donald Sassoon, Lorenzo Marsili, Annalisa Piras

Sunday 28 October, 14:30, Auditorium
Detecting Violence

with Lorenzo Pezzani, Matteo de Bellis

 

Sunday 28 October, 15:00, Studio
London as a Second Language
with Xiaolu Guo, Saleh Addonia, Vanni Bianconi

Sunday 28 October, 16:45, Auditorium
Long Live the European Novel
with Nicola Lagioia, Mathias Énard, Catherine Taylor

Sunday 28 October, 19:00, Auditorium
My Brilliant Novels… and TV Series
with Eva Ferri, Lisa Appignanesi, Haydn Gwynne

Sunday 28 October, 20:20, Bar
DJ Set
with Francesco Nerini 

Help us bring the curtain down on FILL 2018 while we celebrate with a DJ set by Francesco Nerini.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Standard ticket: £5 (All Studio and Auditorium events)
Workshop: Standard ticket £18 | Student and concessions £12
Events in the bar:  Free, subject to availability and capacity
Multi-buy offer:  Book two or more events in one transaction and receive a 10% discount

The festival events are held in English, or with English translation provided.

If you are attending multiple sessions, please be aware that events in the Studio Room can overlap with those in the Auditorium. The festival sessions have a running time of approximately 80 minutes, and workshop sessions will last approximately 150 minutes.

 

Black Words, Black Worlds

Saturday 27 October, 13:45, Studio. £5

The inclusion and representation of black voices in the literary and cultural world is a prominent theme, in different ways, both in Italy and the UK. In Italy, a country that has long tried to erase its colonial past, the voices of a new array of authors from the African diaspora have just recently started to be heard. Elsewhere in Europe and in the UK, black and ethnic minority voices have been contributing to the cultural debate for a long time now, yet their representation and inclusion still seem to be a complex issue.

Speakers:
Igiaba Scego is an Italian novelist, journalist, researcher, and activist. She was born in Rome to Somali parents who took refuge in Italy following a coup d’état in their native country. The English translation of her novel Adua was published in 2017 by New Vessel Press in the US and will be published in the UK by Jacaranda Books.
Sharmaine Lovegrove is a publisher. After co-founding a literary scouting company and becoming literary editor for Elle UK, she now heads her own imprint, Dialogue Books (part of Little, Brown), with a focus on BAME voices and improving diversity in the literary world.
Chair: Marianne Tatepo works in publishing in London. She has written for the Guardian, the Bookseller, Spread the Word and Brooklyn magazine, and was published in On Anxiety by 3 of Cups Press.

This event will be held in English.
Running time: 80 minutes

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The Politics of Translation

Saturday 27 October, 14:15, Auditorium. £5

When we translate a novel or a poem, we’re also translating a country, a tradition, the society in which this text was formed. We can use translation to subvert our own ideas of what is foreign and what is domestic, but we can also use it to reinforce stereotypes and make the world smaller. A translator can be a smuggler, a secret agent or a saboteur through different languages and cultural empires, but what is the translator really accountable for in this art of conquer and loss? Is literary translation a political act at its core?

Speakers:
Vincenzo Latronico is a writer and translator living in Milan. He has published three novels, a play and a non-fiction book about Ethiopia with Armin Linke. As a translator, he focuses mainly on new versions of literary classics; after translating H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde and F.S. Fitzgerald, he is currently working on Alexandre Dumas’ Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. He is guest editor of the 2018 Serving Library Annual on “Translation as a medium”.
Sophie Collins grew up in Bergen, North Holland, and now lives in Edinburgh. She is editor of Currently & Emotion (Test Centre, 2016), an anthology of contemporary poetry translations, and author of Who Is Mary Sue?, a poetry collection published by Faber & Faber in 2018. She is currently translating a full-length poetry collection, and a novel from the Dutch of Lieke Marsman.
Chair: Claudia Durastanti is a London-based author and translator.

This event will be held in English.
Running time: 80 minutes

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The Fascist Paradox

Saturday 27 October, 16:00, Studio. £5

Neo-fascist groups are popular on social media and enjoy media exposure. In Italy, they are invited to TV shows, have their own fashion brand, and are even allowed to patrol beaches and streets in vigilante-style groups. Despite this, their typical rhetoric claims that the “liberal media” conspire to silence them; in a striking paradox, fascist groups appeal to freedom of speech and liberal democracy in order to express their “ideas”. In this panel discussion, two leading experts discuss their work, researching racist and hate groups in Italy and UK, and the latest evolution of far-right movements.

Speakers:
Paolo Berizzi is a journalist for Italian national newspaper La Repubblica. His book NazItalia. Viaggio in un paese che si è riscoperto fascista (2018) is a journey through Italy’s neo-fascist groups, their organisations and their ties with mainstream politics.
Joe Mulhall is a senior researcher at anti-racism and anti-fascist organisation Hope not Hate, where he monitors far-right and hate groups. He runs Hope not Hate’s anti-Muslim monitoring unit and sits on the board of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust.
Chair: Angelo Boccato is a London-based journalist.

This event will be held in English and partly in Italian with English translation provided.
Running time: 80 minutes

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The Story of Now

Saturday 27 October, 16:30, Auditorium. £5

Literary writing works on a different time scale than the tumultuous flow of news that we live in. How can a literary story, taking months or years to write, try and reflect the turns and shocks of a world that seems to change radically day by day? Yet, there are novelists and storytellers who undertake the task of addressing the turmoil of real-time contemporaneity or the very recent turns of history – whether it is global anxieties, financial crashes, the rise of new demagogues, or the moral dilemmas of our times.

Speakers:
Ali Smith has won numerous prizes for her literary work, including the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Costa Novel Award, and has been shortlisted for many others including the Man Booker and the European Strega Prize. With Autumn (2016), heralded as the “first great Brexit novel”, she started an in-progress quartet of novels whose second instalment, Winter, was published in 2017.
Olivia Laing is a novelist and cultural critic. In 2016, her book The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone was named a Book of the Year in many publications including the Guardian, Observer, Telegraph and Times Literary Supplement. Her new novel, Crudo (Picador 2018), partially set in Italy during the summer of 2017, has been described as “a funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse”.
Walter Siti is a novelist and literary critic. In his academic career, he has focused on Neorealism and contemporary Italian poetry; he edited the complete works of Pier Paolo Pasolini for Mondadori. In his novels Siti explores themes such as television, sex, and the commodification of human experience. With Resistere non serve a niente he won the Strega Prize in 2013. His latest novel is Bontà (Einaudi, October 2018).
Chair: Fabio Deotto is an Italian writer and translator. As a journalist he writes about literature, culture, technology. His latest novel is Un attimo prima (2017).

This event will be held in English and partly in Italian with English translation provided.
Running time: 80 minutes

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Make Margaret Atwood Fiction Again. On Feminist Dystopias

Saturday 27 October, 18:15, Studio. £5

In the last couple of years, TV series like The Handmaid’s Tale and a wave of new bold literary fiction have brought the feminist dystopia genre to the forefront of the literary debate. In this panel discussion, two acclaimed writers discuss what this new prominence of the feminist dystopian novel has meant to them and to their work, and how this literary genre keeps reflecting the gender issues of our deeply conflicted present.

Speakers:
Veronica Raimo is a novelist and screenwriter. She is the co-translator of the Italian version of Sisters of The Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology. Her latest novel, Miden, has been published by Mondadori in Italy this year.
Sophie Mackintosh published her highly anticipated debut novel, The Water Cure, in 2018 with Hamish Hamilton. The novel was described as heralding; “a radical new voice in literary fiction” and has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Chair: Giorgia Tolfo is a London-based editor.

This event will be held in English.
Running time: 80 minutes

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Postcards From Reality

Saturday 27 October, 18:45, Auditorium

How can writers engage with the reality of their country, beyond easy clichés or postcard-like visions? In this conversation, award-winning Sardinian author, journalist, and activist Michela Murgia talks about the relationship between realism and the myths of one’s homeland, and how a writer or an intellectual can be vocal about the most compelling political issues of their time. Michela Murgia will be joined by another special guest, award-winning author Ben Okri, making this a truly extraordinary conversation.

Speakers:
Michela Murgia is one of the most popular writers in Italy. With her novel Accabadora she won the Premio Campiello in 2010. Her latest books, both published in 2018, are L’inferno è una buona memoria and the pamphlet Istruzioni per diventare fascista.
Ben Okri is a Nigerian novelist and poet. With The Famished Road he won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1991, making him one of the youngest ever recipients of the prize. He has received critical acclaim for his adaption of Albert Camus’ classic novel The Outsider, with its stage premiere at Print Room at the Coronet on the 18 September 2018.
Chair: Paolo Nelli is a London-based writer and teaches Italian language and culture at King’s College.

This event will be held in English and partly in Italian with English translation provided.
Running time: 80 minutes

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DJ Set

Saturday 27 October, 20:15, Bar. Free

Join us in the theatre’s atmospheric bar for a special DJ set.

Giovanni Coppola is a Sicilian-born Londoner who writes about music, culture and music in Noisey, Auralcrave, Indie for Bunnies. He is the author of Dance per la mente (Arcana Editore, 2018) and is a composer of electronic music. As a producer, he has been featured in publications such as DJ Mag and Mixmag.

Free event, no booking required. Entry subject to availability and capacity.

Running time: 120 minutes

 

Wretched Strangers

Saturday 27 October, 20:30, Studio. £5

An exclusive poetry performance featuring authors from Wretched Strangers, a poetry anthology that marks the contribution of innovative foreign-born writers to the UK’s poetry culture. Published to commemorate the anniversary of the 2016 EU Referendum, Wretched Strangers documents the challenges faced by writers from elsewhere, while offering hopeful re-conceptions of “shared foreignness”. Proceeds from the book are donated to charities fighting for the rights of refugees. The performance will be followed with a Q&A.

Caroline Bergvall is a French-Norwegian poet who has lived in England since 1989. Crossing languages, media, and art forms, her work takes the form of published poetry, performance, sound-driven projects, and has been commissioned and shown by such institutions as MoMA, Tate Modern, and the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Antwerp.
Giovanna Coppola is an Italian-American poet and writer. After living in London for 10 years, she recently moved to Naples, Italy. Her poems and essays have been published in Crab Fat Magazine, The Stockholm Review of Literature, Journal 69, JSTOR Daily, and Zeno Press.
Livia Franchini is a London-based writer and translator.  Her selected publications include The Quietus, 3:AM, Hotel, PEN Transmissions and The White Review. She has translated Michael Donaghy, Natalia Ginzburg, Sam Riviere and Jack Underwood among others. She has also performed internationally, most notably at Faber Social, Lowlands and Hay Festival Segovia.
Ariadne Radi Cor is an Anglo-Italian poet, collage maker and coffee spoon collector, published in Stories of Change, Cordite 47.0, HVTH 3.2, and Knives Forks and Spoons Press (forthcoming, 2019). Her video poems, recordings and postcards can be found on www.chantillycream.co.uk
George Szirtes, originally from Hungary, has lived in the UK since coming to the country as a refugee at the age of eight. He has won several awards for his work as a translator from Hungarian into English, including the European Poetry Translation Prize. As a poet, he was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize for his book Reel (2004). His poetry has been translated into numerous languages and widely anthologized.
Jane Yeh’s first collection of poems, Marabou, was shortlisted for the Whitbread, Forward, and Aldeburgh poetry prizes. She was named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society for her second collection, The Ninjas. Her third collection published by Carcanet, Discipline, will be published in 2019.
Chair: Maddalena Vatti is a freelance writer and editor at Croco Magazine.

This event will be held in English.
Running time: 80 minutes

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Translation Workshop

Sunday 28 October, 11:30, Studio. Standard £18 | Student and concessions £12

A special workshop with translator Vincenzo Latronico who is also a panelist on The Politics of Translation. Drawing from his experience as a lecturer and running workshops, Vincenzo will use samples from different translations of F.S. Fitzgerald’s work to offer an introduction to literary translation, inviting the participants to take part in a few simple interactive activities. Just bring a notebook, a pen, and your passion for words.

Vincenzo Latronico is a writer and translator living in Milan. He has published three novels, a play and a non-fiction book about Ethiopia (with Armin Linke). As a translator, he focuses mainly on new versions of literary classics; after translating H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde and F.S. Fitzgerald, he is currently working on Alexandre Dumas’ Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. He is also the guest editor of the 2018 Serving Library Annual on “Translation as a medium”.

This workshop is designed for bilingual Italian-English participants and will focus on English-to-Italian translation. The maximum number of participants is 30.

Running time: 150 minutes

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Italy. Europe. The Age of Nationalism?

Sunday 28 October, 12:00, Auditorium. £5

The second day of our festival starts with a panel discussion about politics in Italy, in Europe, and the dark force that seems to increasingly connect them: nationalism. After managing to become Italy’s main political player, the Lega seems to be the new driving force of Europe’s nativist parties. All eyes are now set on the next European Elections; while the EU will still be rebounding from the Brexit divorce, nationalist and Eurosceptic movements will try and seize the European Parliament. Is there a way to fight the resurgence of nationalism?

Speakers:
Donald Sassoon is Professor of Comparative European History at Queen Mary College, University of London. He has spoken in conferences in over forty countries, and is the highly acclaimed author of One Hundred Years of Socialism and Contemporary Italy: Economy, Society, Politics since 1945.
Lorenzo Marsili is a writer and philosopher, co-author of Citizens of Nowhere: How Europe Can Be Saved from Itself (Zed Books 2018) and Il terzo spazio: Oltre establishment e populismo (with Yanis Varoufakis). He is the founder of European Alternatives and a coordinator of Democracy in Europe Movement 2025.

Annalisa Piras is a London-based journalist, film director and producer. She produced, co-wrote and directed Girlfriend in a Coma, a feature documentary on Italy seen from abroad. With The Great European Disaster Movie she won the German CIVIS media prize in the information category in 2014.

Chair: Leonardo Clausi is a London-based translator and journalist, and the author of Uscita di insicurezza. Brexit e l’ideologia inglese (2018).

This event will be held in English.

Running time: 80 minutes

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Detecting Violence

Sunday 28 October, 14:30, Auditorium. £5

In an age of post-truth and media manipulation, how can we investigate some of the most controversial incidents of our times? Forensic Oceanography – the affiliate group of Turner Prize-nominated Forensic Architecture – is an independent research agency that documents the violence perpetrated against migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Like Forensic Architecture, it employs a range of advanced research techniques (including video, computer graphic, investigative journalism) on behalf of international prosecutors and human rights organisations. With the participation of Amnesty International, this talk will look at the current migration crisis from the first-hand perspective of those who are shedding light on it and fight to end human rights abuse against migrants.

Speakers:
Lorenzo Pezzani is a researcher for Forensic Oceanography, the Forensic Architecture’s affiliate group that was launched in summer 2011 to support a coalition of NGOs demanding accountability for the deaths of migrants in the central Mediterranean Sea.

Matteo de Bellis is a researcher on asylum and migration at Amnesty International. He recently co-authored the report Libya’s Dark Web of Collusion: Abuses Against Europe-bound Refugees and Migrants.
Chair: Marco Magini is a London-based writer.

This event will be held in English.
Running time: 80 minutes

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London as a Second Language

Sunday 28 October, 15:00, Studio. £5

Three authors born outside of the UK, each with a different background, discuss what it means to become a Londoner. Being a foreigner, finding a home, embracing a different language along with the London state of mind – what does all this mean, especially if you’re a writer? The three authors are all included in Lucifer over London / London as a second language, a collection of short stories devised by Babel (Festival of Translation in Bellinzona, Switzerland) and published by Milan-based Humboldt Books.

Speakers:
Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese-born author. Her novel A concise Chinese-English dictionary for lovers was translated into 26 languages. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Costa Book Award, and has won the National Books Critics Circle Award.
Saleh Addonia is an Eritrean-Ethiopian writer. He grew up in a refugee camp in Sudan, where he lost his hearing at the age of twelve. He migrated to Saudi Arabia and then to London some 20 years ago. His first collection of short stories, still unpublished in English, has been published in Italian translation under the title Lei è un altro paese (Edizioni Casagrande, 2018).
Vanni Bianconi is a Swiss-Italian author, poet and translator. He was awarded the Schiller Prize, the Marazza Prize for translation, and was shortlisted for the European Poet of Freedom Prize 2016. He is the founder and artistic director of Babel festival.
Chair: Olga Campofreda is a researcher in Italian Studies at University College London.

This event will be held in English.
Running time: 80 minutes

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Long Live the European Novel

Sunday 28 October, 16:45, Auditorium. £5

The old good European novel used to be full of cosmopolitan and experimental characters, obsessed with Mitteleuropa and exile. Things have changed quite a bit, so what’s the European novel in the age of Brexit and deaths at sea in the Mediterranean? In this extraordinary panel discussion, two major award-winning writers discuss how the tradition of the European novel can still try to establish a new canon in the face of political turmoil, investigating the bleeding edges of Europe and switching the focus onto neglected geographies and voices.

Speakers:
Nicola Lagioia is one of Italy’s most critically acclaimed contemporary novelists, a contributor to the most prominent Italian culture pages, and the programme director of the Turin International Book Fair. His novel Ferocity (published in English by Europa Editions) won the Strega Prize in 2015.
Mathias Énard won the 2015 Prix Goncourt for his novel Compass, the 2017 Leipziger Book Award for European Understanding, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. His books are published in the UK by Fitzcarraldo. His new book Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants, will be published in English in November 2018.
Chair: Catherine Taylor is the former deputy director of English PEN, and a literary critic and editor currently contributing to Guardian Review, New Statesman, FT Life & Arts, the TLS and the Irish Times.

This event will be held in English and partly in Italian with English translation provided.
Running time: 80 minutes

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My Brilliant Novels… and TV Series

Sunday 28 October, 19:00, Auditorium. £5

Novel and TV series: the debate on the relationship between these two intertwined forms of fiction is revived by an upcoming new HBO-Rai drama, based on Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend and her other Neapolitan Novels. We celebrate the upcoming international release of the series with a staged reading from Ferrante’s work, followed by a conversation with special guests on how Ferrante’s work has helped reshape the literary geography of our times. After resonating with the conscience of a global readership, her work is now poised to find yet another new audience on the world’s screens.

Speakers:

Eva Ferri is the Publishing Director at Edizioni e/o, the Italian independent publishing house behind the global success of Elena Ferrante’s books. She is also the acquiring editor of foreign fiction for Europa Editions, sister company of Edizioni e/o. She studied Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics, and Jungian Psychoanalysis in Milan.

Lisa Appignanesi is a writer, novelist, and the Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. She has been Deputy Director of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, and has produced various films for television. Her latest book Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love was published by Harper Collins in 2018.

Reading by Haydn Gwynne.
Haydn is an actress; she was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance for the comedy series Drop the Dead Donkey, and won the 2009 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical. Her other television credits include Peak PracticeMerseybeat, and The Windsors.

Chair: Marco Mancassola
Marco is a London-based author and the director of FILL.

This event will be held in English and partly in Italian with English translation provided.
Running time: 80 minutes

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DJ Set

Sunday 28 October, 20:20, Bar. Free

Help us bring the curtain down on FILL 2018 while we celebrate with a DJ set by Francesco Nerini.

Francesco Nerini is a Tuscan-born digital strategist and creative director who has curated campaigns for Tenax, Nervous Horizon and Turn Off Festival among others. He is the co-head of Italian based label Arroyo, known for its experimental, cross-discipline productions that merge poetry and electronica.

Free event, no booking required. Entry subject to availability and capacity.

Running time: approximately 100 minutes