Festival of Hope 1
I hope, we hope. Many conversations, messages, emails or letters sent to you or by you begin with these words. Hope is the final, ultimate aspiration that stays caught in Pandora’s box after all evil has been released. Hope is a key concept of imagining a different, better future in the most difficult, unpredictable and challenging times.
Contrary to Pandora’s box, the Festival of Hope, a global initiative of Versopolis, was launched in 2020, in a situation where the connection between literary creators and readers, as well as the global exchange of ideas and content were limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our main idea was to create an open celebration of literary creativity in many forms, a laboratory and a showcase of the most innovative approaches of how literature festivals and other intellectual institutions and enterprises across the continents envisage our common and interdependent future and, with the vessels of literature and creativity, fight back against radical political, social, ecological and economic appropriation of the situation.
Acknowledging the fact that many organizations and festivals had to adapt their programmes or reschedule their activities, we sent out an invitation to the whole global community and offered them an online platform to present their past and current creations. The response far exceeded our expectations and the festival, which was supposed to take place between 23rd and 30th April 2020, was extended until July. In our programme we hosted more than 94 events by institutions from all continents, over 500 authors and artists and succeeded in delivering diverse literary creativity in different forms (video readings, films, art works and virtual discussions), a laboratory of the most innovative approaches, to an international public, which was highlighted as an example of good practice. by the audiences all around the globe and by the European Commission in 2020.
Together with you Festival of Hope in 2020 successfully built a bridge between continents and cultures, while giving a clear signal to the widest global community that poetry has no boundaries, that it can bring hope even in times of crisis.