Representing Aruba in Bogotá

BOGOTÁ — "Salir de la casa puede ser mortal así que no salimos ala calle, pero si hoy es el día en que nos vamos a morir, igual moriremos adentro." Time to brush up on my Spanish!

The 29th edition of the Feria Internacional del Libro de Bogotá (FILBO) kickstarts on the 19th of April and culminates with a closing concert on the 2nd of May. The FILBO is one of the largest book fairs in Latin-America welcoming over half a million visitors every year. The Dutch Kingdom has been selected as the guest of honor this year and thus the Dutch embassy has been invited to showcase their literature, art, music, design and culture. I am incredibly honored to have been selected by the Dutch embassy to represent Aruba as part of the Dutch Caribbean. To be mentioned in the same breath as inspiring author Roland Colastica, who will be representing Curaçao, is gratifying.

Some of my activities at the book fair include a creative writing workshop with 10 year olds in a 'sesión de literatura infantil,' a panel discussion on poetry in the Netherlands and the Dutch Caribbean in a 'Poesía en dos continentes' event, a performance combining poetry and music alongside Aruban artist Michael Lampe in a 'sesión de música & literatura' and my work will be exhibited and translated from English and Papiamento to Spanish in a sound installation. In addition to these activities, I am looking forward to attend the official ceremonies, dinners, networking sessions and being exposed to the literature and art of Bogotá, a city which I will be visiting for the first time. Follow my social media pages for daily updates on my experience at the FILBO and stay tuned for a reflection blog post upon my return.

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