The ELF is a project involving 31 European cultural institutes and embassies that aims to celebrate the translation of European literature into English. The European Literature Night is the British annual literary showcase bringing the best of the continent’s writers to the British Library. Held in May each year in London, the night was expanded in 2016 to include a week’s worth of literary events.
Haringey Unchained writers were asked to support the launch party and event of the festival at the British Library. They helped sign guests in, pass out literature and direct them to their seats in the auditorium. They were then able to participate as audience members during Rosie Goldsmith’s interview with each of the featured writers.
Jon Slack, Creative Director of the European Literature Festival, asked Haringey Unchained to host two visiting writers at the college. With the support of Haringey 6th Form and several of our colleagues, we were able to deliver a programme of creative writing workshops and a magazine launch to students outside of the Haringey Unchained enrichment.
We were then able to integrate the festival with the launch of the first magazine-style edition of Haringey Unchained. We welcomed Slovenian writer Gabriela Babnik and Belgian writer Peter Verhelst to our college to share their expertise and to work with our students on their creative endeavours.
“You know, I’ve been a teacher myself for 10 years AND I have had a complicated pupil career: I know very well that it’s not very common what happens in your school.
I was really touched by your dedication, the way you talk to your pupils, the way you treat them, the way you love them, the way you teach them to have a dream, to believe in themselves, to go for a future. Wish you had been my teacher.
It was an honour to come to your school. And Jesus, I wish you and all of those great girls (and boy) ALL the happiness in the world.Peter Verhelst, writer
At the end of our festival day, dancers from WeMove, the college dance enrichment programme, brought the work of Haringey Unchained writers to life with choreographed dance and dramatic pieces performed in our theatre.
Haringey Unchained writers also read some of the pieces they published in the magazine, thus integrating spoken word performances with the cabaret style dance pieces that circulated the audience and front stage. It was a beautifully varied showcase of the college’s vibrant arts provision.
We were also excited to welcome several year 9 students and their teachers from Woodside High School, our local feeder school just down the road, who came along as our audience to share in the creativity of the college.
“Thank you for the invite. The students and staff who attended thought the event was very impressive and enjoyable.”Ms Gerry Robinson, Co-Headteacher, Woodside High School