Ljubljana – This year’s literary festival Fabula, which gets under way tonight and will run until mid April, will reflect on human and societal vulnerability. The festival will host a number of celebrities of the international literary scene, including Russian author Sergei Lebedev, who is considered a vocal opponent of Vladimir Putin’s regime.
The festival will be held in person this year, but if the authors are not able to attend in person, they will make a virtual appearance. All conversations with authors will be available online afterwards as well, Fabula’s director Aljaž Koprivnikar said ahead of the festival.
Making the events available in the virtual realm too opens up the festival to vulnerable groups whose members find it hard or impossible to attend such events during pandemic times or in general, he added.
Fabula, a festival known for bringing to Slovenia’s capital established as well as up-and-coming authors, will this year host big literary names, such as Nigerian author and feminist activist and influencer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who is most famous for her work We Should All Be Feminists, and Japanese author Mieko Kawakami, whose novel Breasts and Eggs have brought her international stardom and praise by her compatriot Haruki Murakami.
Dutch non-binary author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, who won the 2020 International Booker Prize for their debut novel The Discomfort of Evening, will also be among this year’s guests as well as Croatia’s up-and-coming Dino Pešut, one of the voices of the Millennial generation.
Sergei Lebedev, described by Koprivnikar as “a strong voice of the Russian opposition”, will address the visitors in the Cankarjev Dom arts centre tonight via videolink. The Russian author will talk about his novel Oblivion, which follows a story of a young geologist as he unearths the secrets of Russia’s past, including the Gulag camp system.
The conversation, which will be held in Russian, will be available on publisher Beletrina’s and Cankarjev Dom’s YouTube channels and the option of simultaneous interpreting into Slovenian will be provided.
The pre-festival event Fabula Before Fabula hosted a talk with Bosnian author Dževad Karahasan in early February, and the festival will wrap up with Fabula After Fabula in the second half of April dedicated to Slovenian multilingual literature and presenting Slovenian authors Brina Svit and Maja Haderlap.
The accompanying programme will feature workshops, a theatre performance, exhibitions and other events. Fabula is organised by Beletrina in cooperation with a number of institutions, including Cankarjev Dom.