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Literature

Author, cultural outreach specialist, reader: a three-count waltz

On Friday 2 September, the opening day of the Literary Festival Le livre sur les quais (Books on the Quays) in Morges, authors, librarians, booksellers and cultural outreach specialists came together on the occasion of the second Professional Day on Cultural Outreach, organised by Pro Helvetia.

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Mathieu Menghini, historian and cultural action practitioner, opened the day entitled «Author, cultural outreach specialist, reader: a three-count waltz» with thoughts on «the ill-defined field of cultural outreach». Odile Cornuz, scriptwriter and author, then reported on her experience as a writer in the process of literary outreach. The two guest speakers replied to numerous questions from the participants, setting the tone of the discussions which were to be the focus of the workshops in the afternoon.

Working group

Valérie Jeanrenaud, Cultural outreach, Le Livre sur les quais
Nicole Grieve, Culture Department, Canton of Valais
Pierre Pittet, Public and School Library of Yverdon-les-Bains
Olivia Cupelin, Municipal Libraries of Geneva
Emmanuelle Benzieng, Speed Lecturing
Anna Schlossbauer, Pro Helvetia

The « Flash Projects » were well received due to their short and dynamic format. Six literary projects, ranging from audio books to an initiative on collaborative writing within a town, were presented in fifteen-minute sessions of small groups. At each ringing of the bell, the participants were invited to proceed to the next station, to listen to and share ideas with other project initiators. The afternoon was devoted to workshops, developed by the meeting’s working group. The workshops addressed both the challenges of the interactive book and the place of literature in public space.

The day’s epilogue took the form of the participatory performance « Les lecteurs (The Readers) », with David Rolland Chorégraphies. An offbeat moment full of dance and humour centred around the word in movement, of writing that creates sensations, and of text that says «what it says, literally and in all senses», as underlined by Mathieu Menghini in his introduction, quoting Arthur Rimbaud.

(Fotos: Pro Helvetia)