To Bot or Not to Bot: Brave New World of Literature
of the European Writers‘ Council (EWC) – Fédération des Associations Européennes d’Ecrivains
Together with the Bundesverband deutscher Schriftsteller*innen (VS in ver.di),
VG Wort, Staatsbibliothek Unter den Linden, and Kulturwerk e.V.
Friday, 2 June 2023, 19:00
Staatsbibliothek Unter den Linden, Humboldtsaal, Berlin, Germany
++ Only upon invitation ++
European literature meets politics and the cultural community of Berlin.
Speeches, music, satirical stage act, exchange over blissful wine and buffet.
In addition to the EWC delegates, invited guests include selected political representatives of cultural, legal, digital and European policy, colleagues from Berlin’s literary and cultural associations, institutions and publishing houses, as well as embassy officials from the cultural departments.
18:30: Open for Check-in
- Music introduction: Lennart Schilgen
- Kick-off of the Welcome Reception by the Conférencière and Moderator of the Evening: Nina George, EWC President, and the Master of the House, the Director General of the Staatsbibliothek Unter den Linden, Prof. Dr. Achim Bonte
- Opening Speech: Michael Sacher, Member of the Bundestag, Committee on European Union Affairs, Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs
- Interlude Music: Lennart Schilgen
- Interlude remarks by Robert Staats, CEO of VG Wort, co-supporter of the EWC-days
- Welcome remarks by Prof. Lena Falkenhagen, President of the German Writers‘ Union, Host of the EWC days
- Satirical Stage Act by René Sydow, Satirist
- Music by Lennart Schilgen
- Closing remarks by Nina George, EWC President
- relaxed get-together over drinks and buffet
About the Speakers
Prof. Dr. Achim Bonte, born 1964 in Karlsruhe, is a philologist, historian and librarian. After a stint at Heidelberg University Library, he headed the Saxon State Library – Dresden State and University Library (SLUB). For the past year and a half, he has been Director General of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
Prof. Lena Falkenhagen, born 1973 in Celle, is a German multi-awarded freelance author and narrative game designer. In 2017, she was elected one of the 10 most influential female developers of the German games industry. Falkenhagen teaches Game Design at the University of Europe for Applied Sciences Germany (UE Germany) in Hamburg. She also is the President of the German Writers‘ Union (Verband deutscher Schriftsteller*innen (VS in ver.di). https://www.falkenhagen.de
The multiple award-winning novelist Nina George, born 1973 in Bielefeld/Germany, has been writing novels, non-fiction, essays, reports, short stories, blogs and columns since 1992. Her book The Little Paris Bookshop has been translated into 36 languages and was a New York Times Bestseller.
Since 2019, Nina George is President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC).
Lennart Schilgen is a songwriter and a poet, born in 1988 in Berlin. Since 2015 he has written three feature length shows, won several awards (including the prestigious „Prix Pantheon“) and performs nationwide in theaters and cabarets. https://lennartschilgen.de
“Sparkling word artistry.” (AZ) – “Witty and moving at the same time.” (Neue Westfälische)
Michael Sacher, born 1964, in Dortmund, is Member of the Bundestag, and worked as a independent bookseller in Unna until he entered the Federal Parliament. Since 2009 he has been a member of the Unna city council; since 2020 he has also been the First Deputy Mayor of Unna. Michael Sacher is the Chair of the Committee on European Union Affairs, and member of the Committee on Cultural and Media Affairs.
Robert Staats has been the joint CEO of VG WORT since 2009. He is a lawyer by profession and holds a Doctorate degree in copyright law. Between 1994 and 2008, he worked as a judge and civil servant. Robert is also a Board member of the Society of Audiovisual Authors (SAA) and of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFFRO). In Germany, he chairs inter alia the Copyright Committee of the German Cultural Council.
The multi-award-winning satirist, author, actor and director René Sydow, born in 1980, has been performing on stages in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 2012. The German media says about him: “The country needs men like this. Angry intellectuals who whip the people out of their lethargy. Who are ethical without being moralistic. Relentless in their analysis, but always compassionate and cheerful (…). Dieter Hildebrandt would have applauded.”
About the venue
Unter den Linden 8, 10117 Berlin
By metro and Bus:
S + U Friedrichstraße, U Unter den Linden
Bus H Unter den Linden, Friedrichstraße
(Bus 100, 147, 245 + 300)
As Germany’s largest academic library, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin holds an extensive collection of fiction literature from the European language area. The collections are spread across various departments and also reflect the historical developments of literature and literary studies.
On the occasion of the Annual General Meeting of the European Writers’ Council, the SBB strengthens its relations with the European writers’ associations and invites them to a festive evening event together with the federation.
About the Organisations and Supporters
The European Writers’ Council (EWC) represents 46 professional writers’ organisations from 31 countries and has been advocating the interests of over 160,000 writers of all genres in the European and international book sector to the European Parliament, WIPO, Unesco and the European Commission since 1977. Its president since 2019 is the Berlin based novelist Nina George. At the invitation of the German Writers’ Association (VS) and with the support of the Kulturwerk e.V., the VG Wort and the Staatsbibliothek Unter den Linden, the EWC and the 50 Delegates from all member countries are heading to Berlin for three days to discuss the legal, economic and cultural challenges that authors face. Friday is the opening ceremony of the meeting days, starting off as pleasantly and as relaxed as possible. https://europeanwriterscouncil.eu
The Verband deutscher Schriftsteller*innen (VS) – German Writers’ Union represents the interests of professional writers in Germany and is part of the trade union ver.di. The VS was founded on 8 June 1969. In 1977, at the invitation of VS member Ingeborg Drewitz in the then still divided city of Berlin, the VS initiated the gathering of 24 delegates from 19 countries for the first “European Writers Congress” (EWC) to represent common interests at European level. At the 7th congress of the EWC in 1985, Per Kågeson (Sweden) and Hans Peter Bleuel (VS president at the time) succeeded in establishing a legal structure as a federation with European NGO status.
Now, 46 years after its founding, the EWC is returning to Berlin on invitation of the VS.
As a non-profit association, the Kulturwerk deutscher Schriftsteller*innen contributes to shaping literary life in Germany and also promotes German literature on an international level. The association works together with the German Writers Union (VS in ver.di) on all extensive literary projects and writers’ congresses. The purpose of the association is to promote art and culture in the field of literary creation and literary translation. The association promotes international and national relations. It serves tolerance in all areas of culture and international understanding as well as general education through author readings.
In 2023, the Kulturwerk supports the EWC and its Assembly Days in Berlin as a co-sponsor.
The Collective Management Organisation Verwertungsgesellschaft WORT (VG WORT) is an association, in which authors and publishers have joined forces for the collective administration of their copyright protected works. The main task of VG Wort is the administration of so-called secondary exploitation rights. This includes, in particular, the enforcement of statutory remuneration rights, such as for private copying, public lending or the making available of works in schools and universities. VG WORT represents writers and translators of literary, dramatic, audiovisual, journalistic and scientific works and their respective publishers. Founded in 1958, today VG WORT administers rights for approximately 300,000 authors and 10.000 publishers. The association is also active in promoting culturally important works and providing social benefits to authors.
VG WORT is a co-sponsor of EWC during the AGM Days in Berlin.