Themes: Our Creativy Diversity
A new global ethics
A commitment to pluralism
Challenges of a media-rich world
recasting cultural policies

Speakers on the conference
The Power of Culture
Adiraan van Dis
Biographical Information

Adriaan van Dis was born in Bergen on 16 December 1946. He studied Dutch (MO college) and Afrikaans in Amsterdam. In 1978 he graduated with a thesis on Breyten Breytenbach's Om te vlieg ('To Fly'). Meanwhile, in 1974 he began to write regularly for NRC Handelsblad. Adriaan van Dis made his name in the Netherlands with the TV programme Here is ... Adriaan van Dis, which was first broadcast on 16 March 1983. In 1986 the programme won the Nipkowschijf prize. The series continued until 3 May 1992.

In 1983 Adriaan van Dis published his first literary work, the novella Nathan Sid. It won him the 1984 Gouden Ezelsoor, a prize for best-selling literary debut. Nathan Sid was acclaimed by the critics, particularly for the author's painstaking style. In 1986 he published De rat van Arras ('The Rat of Arras', a special edition by De Bijenkorf) and a collection of stories, Casablanca. In addition to the critical acclaim, Van Dis enjoys a wide, general audience of readers, as sales for Nathan Sid and Casablanca show. Each sold more than 100,000 copies. Indeed, by the end of 1988 sales of his 1987 book Een barbaar in China ('A Barbarian in China') had passed the 140,000 mark.

In 1986 Van Dis premiered as a playwright with his drama Tropenjaren, followed in 1988 by Komedie om geld ('Comedy about Money'). In the same year he produced Zilver of Het verlies van de onschuld ('Silver, or the Loss of Innocense') to mixed reactions from the critics. As Hans Warren wrote in response to Zilver of het Verlies van onschuld, 'What's so remarkable about his prose? Principally, it is the elegant style.' Tom van Deel saw it in a different light, 'Arij Prins­like prose, smooth and coquettish'.

In the spring of 1990 Adriaan van Dis travelled to South Africa. In December 1990 he published a report of his experiences there with the title Het beloofde land (The Promised Land'). In 1991 a second book followed on his experiences in Africa (Mozambique) with the appropriate title, In Afrika ('In Africa'). In 1992 Waar twee olifanten vechten ­ Mozambique in oorlog ('Where Two Elephants Fight - Mozambique at War') appeared (written together with K. van Lohuizen). The long, highly successful novel Indische duinen ('My Father's War') appeared in 1994. Within weeks it was top of the Dutch bestseller list and is still one of the most successful books around. Indische duinen was the best-selling book of 1994­1995 and has now sold over 300,000 copies.

In the press reviewers called it 'a merciless autobiographical novel' (Carel Peeters, Vrij Nederland), 'superbly written' (Jaap Goedegebuure, HP/De Tijd), 'heart-winning' (Hans Warren, PZC), 'painful, moving and heartbreaking stories' (Gertjan van Schoonhoven, NRC Handelsblad). For Indische duinen Van Dis was awarded the 1995 Gouden Uil and the 1995 Trouw Publieks prize as well as receiving nominations for the Libris prize, de AKO prize and the Aristeion prize.

Adriaan van Dis wrote the presentation book for the 1996 book week, Palmwijn ('Palm Wine').

 Adriaan van Dis

General Introduction
pijltje_beneden.gif (179 bytes) Speakers
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Lourdez Arizpe
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Adriaan van Dis
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Josette Feral
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Riffat Hassan
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Dragan Klaic
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Hans Küng
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Flora Lewis
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Madala Mphahlele
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Bert Mulder
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) David Nostbakken
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Herman Philpse
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Anil Ramdas
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Allister Sparks
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Horst Stipp
kruisje.gif (919 bytes) Nasr Zaid
our creative diversity