Salonfestival in Ekenäs 2022

Salonfestival in Ekenäs 2022

In July 2022, meet for a select literary festival in one of the most beautiful places in Southern Finland and experience not only excellent literature, but also breathtaking nature.

The idea of the “Salonfestival” started 2014 in Cologne, Germany, and became a grand success over the years. Private people opened up their houses for inspiring personal encounters with authors and their readers. In Feb 2020 “Salonfestvial Cape Town” in South Africa was established: From South Africa the Salonfestival now heads North to Finland – in cooperation with the AB Agentur Brüggemann, the Satama House Artist & Writer Residency in Ekenäs and Villa Skeppet.

Unique encounters

Meet with other guests from Germany and Finland, as well as the invited authors from both countries. Almost all of whom will be on site for the entire duration of the festival. We want to ignite the spark of inspiration in a personal atmosphere to create lasting connections.

Excellent literature

Experience intercultural dialogue. Each event brings together a German author and a Finnish or Finnish-Swedish author with international bestseller status. From poetry, to novels, to non-fiction. And, with a wide range of topics, from ‘the happiness of the present’ to ‘the end of space and time’.

The events are in English, except for the reading with poet Tua Forsström, which is presented in Swedish and German. Each event ends with a get-together.

Event Overview

Thursday 28.7. 

11.00-12.00 Happiness, a life practice: Merete Mazzarella meets Ariadne von Schirach

10.30 Meeting point Villa Skeppet

Location: Forest clearing on Ramsholmen

The award-winning Finnish-Swedish writer Merete Mazzarella (born 1945), who lives in Ekenäs, has published over 20 books. She is best known for her essays, in which she combines scientific observations and literary quotations with personal reflections, turning the everyday into something special.

Ariadne von Schirach (born 1978) is a German philosopher and bestselling author. She teaches philosophy and Chinese thinking at universities in Berlin, Hamburg and Krems (Austria). In autumn 2021, her book “Glücksversuche. Von der Kunst mit seiner Seele zu sprechen” (Tropics / Klett-Cotta) was published. Knowing that Finland has been voted the happiest country in the world four times, the two talk will about how happiness can succeed in the here and now.

Friday 29.7. 

11.00-12.00 Where we once walked: A Matinee with Kjell Westö and Paul Berf

Location: Villa Skeppet garden

Kjell Westö is one of the best-known Finnish-Swedish novelists. He was born in Helsinki in 1961, where he still lives today. He has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Finnish Literature Prize for “Where We Once Went” (btb). His novels have been translated into many languages. His translator Paul Berf (born 1963) will talk to him about the highly interesting, historical Finnish-German relations. And, about Kjell Westö’s personal connection to Christine and Göran Schildt, for whom the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto built Villa Skeppet in Ekenäs. Göran Schildt was not only Alvar Aalto’s biographer, but also an art historian and author. He and his wife, whose father was German, cultivated a cosmopolitan lifestyle that continues to shape the activities of their Schildt Foundation today.

18.00-19.00 A journey to the end of space and time: Esko Valtaoja meets Heino Falcke. (Free entrance)

Location: Church in Ekenäs

Esko Jorma Johannes Valtaoja (born 1951) is a Finnish astronomer and writer. Valtaoja worked as a professor at the University of Turku, where he studied quasars. According to the Finnish Science Barometer, Esko Valtaoja was the best-known scientist in Finland in 2013. On 10 April 2019, award-winning astrophysicist Heino Falcke (born 1966) presented the first image ever taken of a black hole – a turning point in astronomy. In his international bestseller “Light in the Dark. Black Holes, the Universe and Us” (Klett-Cotta), which has also been translated into Finnish, he takes his readers on an extraordinary journey to the end of space and time. Esko Valtaoja and Heino Falcke reflect on the big questions that arise when we look up at the stars. A plea for curiosity, faith and humility.

Saturday 30.7. 

11.00-12.30 „Geheimniszustand“: a matinee with Tua Forsström and Paul Berf. Including concert by cellist Helen Lindén-Pons

Location: Villa Skeppet garden

Tua Forsström (born 1947) is one of the most important poets of Swedish-speaking Finland and a member of the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy. She has won all the major poetry prizes in her country and her works have been translated into Danish, German, English, Italian, Finnish, French and Dutch. Paul Berf (born 1963) is an award-winning translator who has translated many of Tua Forsström’s poems into German. He also works with Kjell Westö, Håkan Nesser, Henning Mankell or Karl Ove Knausgård, to name but a few. For our festival, he will present – exclusively for our audience – newly translated poems from Tua Forsström’s latest volumes.

Cellist Helen Lindén-Pons has many connections with Ekenäs. She is related to the famous Finnish-Swedish artist Helene Schjerfbeck, who lived in Ekenäs from 1925-1941. Helen Lindén-Pons is also an impressive painter herself. She plays solo and chamber music and lives – when she is not in southern Finland or travelling – in the southwest of France. She knows how to wander between worlds and will take us on a musical German-Finnish journey from Sibelius to Bach.

19.00-20.00 Time of the Magicians: Lars Hertzberg meets Wolfram Eilenberger

Location: Historic Knipan restaurant on the pier.

Lars Hertzberg (born 1943) is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the Åbo Akademi and lives, together with Merete Mazzarella, in Ekenäs. He has translated some of Wittgenstein’s works into Swedish and edited the collection “Essäer om Wittgenstein” (in Swedish). The international bestselling author and philosopher Wolfram Eilenberger (born 1972) studied with Lars Hertzberg at the Åbo Akademi. In 2018, he published his bestseller “Zeit der Zauberer” in Germany and dedicated an entire chapter in his book to Wittgenstein. “Time of the Magicians” was awarded the prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger in France and translated into more than twenty languages, including Finnish. The former teacher meets his student and talks to him about how magical philosophical thinking can be.

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