The programme of the Review of Small Literature with the title the Return of the Imagination has a geographical focus on the Mediterranean, especially on the Balkan and Arab regions because these regions have been affected by great migrations over recent decades, and migrations are a theme which has always been close to Rijeka.
The two-day programme of the Return of the Imagination features lectures, concerts, film screenings and staged readings by writers, artists, theorists and musicians from various Arab, Western European and Balkan countries plus various artistic and literary poetics.
The Review of Small Literature opens with a video work by Moroccan-French artist Bouchra Khalili after which follow lectures by Croatian literary historian Ivana Peruško Vindakijević, a reading by Egyptian writer Haytham el-Wardany and German writer and director Merle Kröger, and closing it is a musical recital by Tuzla author Damir Avdić.
The second day of the programme starts with a literary performance by Lebanese novelist Sahar Mandour and Croatian playwright Goran Ferčec, and it continues with a lecture by Iranian anthropologist Shahram Khosravi and readings by Rijeka writer Tea Tulić and the Yemeni poet Galal Alahmadi. The Review of Small Literature closes with a concert by the Bosnian Herzegovinian sevdah musician Damir Imamović with double bass player Greg Cohen (US), kemenche player Derya Türkan (TR) and violinist Ivana Đurić (BA).
The Return of the Imagination starts with a warning by writer Daša Drndić (HR) that says “there is no small fascism” and that people “often gouge out one another’s eyes, and they still do it, only in secret.” The waves of fascism that are advancing across Europe and elsewhere, are largely fuelled by an economic crisis, they blame migrations and are constantly constructing their ideology on the imagined “other”, whether it be of Eastern Europeans, Romany, Arabs, Muslims, Jews… The Mediterranean, and particularly the Balkan and Arab regions are experiencing great emigrations of their inhabitants to Western Europe, often to escape death, and not only to find a better life.
The programme has been conceived by the writer Adania Shibli (PS) and the literary programmer Miljenka Buljević(HR).