Regional Literature Festival for "The Other"

Regional Literature Festival for "The Other"


Text by: Sanja Janevska


Category: Individual initiative


The Another Story festival is a three-day artistic event that is taking place each year in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia. The name of this festival alludes to attesting the nearby and worldwide appearances of otherness in culture and literature. At its inauguration in 2016, the festival's topic was 'Literature and Activism', and was inspired by the "Colorful Revolution" protests in the country. "For years we wanted to make a literary festival, a small group of people around the former cultural center Tocka. In 2016, with little money and joint forces, we made the first edition of Another Story. This first edition was good enough and encouraging, to continue the story with the same fervor and passion in the following years. The first winner of the festival's main prize was David Albahari". said Nikola Gelevski, editor in chief of Templum and Okno, and a member of the editorial board of Another Story.
The inauguration of the festival corresponded with the mass protests, organized by the civil sector in North Macedonia, against alleged corruption within the country's political elite. The thought behind the festival is to "reap" the creativeness and the energy from the street dissents and to change them into creative articulations of the longing for democratization and liberation. Another objective of the festival is to popularize literature and culture, both of which, according to the organizers, have been quite marginally maintained in the country due to a widespread poverty and poor cultural demand.
The phrase 'Another Story', selected as a name of the festival, aims at affirming the otherness in culture and literature, as well as of the many faces of local and global otherness. The principle message of the Another Story Festival is the resistance and the craving to make an(other), distinctive sort of Macedonia - progressively open and tolerating towards diversity.
Short fiction is the main topic od the Another Story, nevertheless, hybrid literature forms, as literary forms that combine written word with music, graphics, media, theory, etc. are also the forms that the festival covers.
The first edition of the festival happened in 2016. This festival arose from the need for another story everywhere: in the literature, in the culture, politics - in the whole society. Among the more important goals of this festival are popularization of the literature; re-evaluating the role of the literature in the society; re-evaluating the borders of the genres, of the relations between the "popular" and "elite", "high" and "low", re-evaluating the role of the writer in his/hers local and global contexts; shaping and practicing of new strategies for cultural connections on a local, regional and global level; networking among the Macedonian authors and experiences in a regional context, enriching the Skopje cultural offer. The subtitle of the festival, entitled "Small fictions", means that of primary interest are the small literature forms, which are adequate for public and scenic sharing. But, also here are the hybrid literature forms, the places where the literature meets the music, graphic, mediums and showbiz. In the concept of the festival they include book promotions, different workshops, literary readings and discussions, they organize gigs within the duration of the festival and in general they focus on literature and activism.
The fourth edition of the festival Another story will be held from 5-8 September in the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia.
"On the margins" is the main theme of this year's fourth edition of the festival Another Story. The immediate occasion for such a topic are two important anniversaries: 25 years from the Margin magazine and 10 years from the Okno portal. Of course, the topic also refers to many other things: the marginal position of culture and literature in the society, the marginal position of our region in Europe, the marginal position of the individual before the capitalist machine ... The presence on the Fourth Other Story has so far been confirmed by two dozen participants from abroad and as many domestic participants ". added Nikola Gelevski, editor in chief of Templum and Okno, and a member of the editorial board of Another Story.
If you'd like to learn more about them you can do so by visiting their Facebook page.