April 5th | Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
April 5, 2024

April 6th 2024

Toplocentrala Centre for Contemporary Arts

Hall 1

The main program of Literary Talks Spring 2024 awaits us on 5 and 6 April at Sofia Arsenal - Museum of Contemporary Art and Toplocentrala Centre for Contemporary Arts. 'Growing' fits as a thematic core in the whole agenda of events in the Spring. It is explored in various ways - from going through difficult teenage years, through complex (scarring or traumatic) child-parent relationships to discovering inner motivation and a driving force for change. In this way, the talks with the authors, the discussion, the reading, and the performance that will take place over three days are linked into a common narrative.

Free entrance

Literary Talks Spring 2024 is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sofia Municipality, Culture Programme. Goran Vojnović's visit is supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Sofia, Slovenian Book Agency and Beletrina.

Literary Talks is organized by the Reading Sofia Foundation. They are held with the partnership of the National Gallery: Sofia Arsenal - Museum of Contemporary Art), and the ICU Publishing House.

6:00 p.m. - Discussion on the Bulgarian Bildungsroman
In recent years, several novels have appeared dealing with the theme of 'Growing up'. Mostly auto-fiction, in some cases debut novels, usually well received by readers and critics, they offer different variations on the narrative of childhood, youth, and growing up in Bulgaria in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Why is this plot relevant in literature? How can childhood and growing up be narrated? What was it like to grow up in Bulgaria in the 1990s and the early years of this century? These will be the topics of the conversation with the writers Antonia Apostolova, Emanuil Vidinski, and Kamelia Panayotova.
7:30 p.m. - Meeting with Goran Vojnović, Slovenia
The famous Slovenian writer Goran Vojnović is coming to Sofia exclusively for Literary Talks in Spring 2024! Writer, poet, director, screenwriter, playwright, and columnist - Goran Vojnović is considered one of the most talented authors of his generation. The conversation with him will be led by journalist Boyko Vassilev.
Vojnović graduated from the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film, and Television in Ljubljana, majoring in television directing and screenwriting. In 2023 Slovenia was the Guest of Honour Country for the Bookfair in Frankfurt, and Goran Vojnović was among the main guests and participated in a series of discussions and events.

The theme of this year's Literary Talks is "Growing Up", and the young characters are part of his literary background. He is the author of several books, translated into many languages, and is the winner of the prestigious European Angelus Literary Award and the Kresnik Award for Novel of the Year, which he received three times. Bulgarian readers know his books in translation by Liliya Merzlikar - 'Yugoslavia, My Country', and 'The Fig Tree'. His novel 'Djordjic Returns' will be published in a few days. This book makes quite a few connections with his debut novel, 'Cefurji raus!' (The Cefurs - Out!, 2008), which won him many awards... and some trouble with the Slovenian police, who summoned the writer for questioning because of insults to police officers directed by the novel's protagonist, Marko. The teenager in the fictional story has problems with the police, and Goran Vojnović is forced to explain to investigators in Ljubljana just what fiction means. The two books, "Djordjic Returns" and "The Cefurs - Out!" are set in Ljubljana's Fužine district, share similar characters, and deal with similar issues related to the lives of young immigrants from different ethnic and cultural communities.
Vojnović co-wrote the film 'Good Luck Nedim', which won the Heart of Sarajevo Award and was nominated for Best Short Film at the European Film Academy. He has directed short and full-length films.