polip - International Poetry Festival

A project initiated by Lucia Zimmermann and further developed by Elisabeth Desta and Nita Hasani

Host organization: Qendra Multimedia

October, 2010, Pristina and Gračanica (Kosovo)
May 2012 and May 2013, Pristina (Kosovo)

In 2010, "polip" invited young poets from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Kosovo, Croatia, Macedonia, Austria, and Serbia to Pristina to present their texts and discuss their lyrical work. "polip" presented young voices in different languages that developed their own rhythms, specific melodies, and musicality - at the intersection of word art, music, film, and performance.

Over four days, visitors has the chance to become familiar with contemporary young poets' multifaceted oeuvres. Sometimes with an ironic bite, the authors dealt with current socio-political issues: With mechanisms of oblivion or elimination in the Balkans' recent history, for example, or the writing of national myths. They touched on questions of the speakable, experimented with sound and linguistic musicality, or captured the mood of their immediate environments - whether in Berlin, Mostar, or Pristina.

The range of events on the program included concerts, street poetry events, workshops for literary translation and writing poetry, discussions about regional literary networks, and the role of "minor" and "major" languages in literature. The following editions of the festival further developed its content.

About the name: The "polip" (polyp or octopus) works with ink, like a poet: It releases a cloud of ink to make a picture of itself. With this phantom image, it confuses its predators and escapes attack. The polip is able to create fictitious worlds - a trait it shares with the poet. Another trick is camouflage. The polip changes color, and thus its appearance, and creates a new aesthetic that can be perceived in different ways. This performative act is similar to the poetic use of language. Using existing words, the poet creates a new artifact, constructing different levels of meaning and thus opening up different possibilities for interpretation.

With support from: forumZFD, Tetris, Dit' e Nat', Goethe-Institut Belgrade Pristina, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Kosovo Ministry of Culture, International Olof Palme Center