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Romanian-American Transmedia Playwright and Artist Kat Mustatea at European Literature Night 2023

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

An evening of contemporary literary luminaries from 11 European Union countries

Authors, translators, and performers representing 11 European countries will gather in New York City for the annual European Literature Night. Hosted by Ukrainian Institute of America, the program will feature inspiring multilingual readings, Q&As, and panel discussions exploring the key topics of current world.

An annual literary showcase bringing some of the best European writers and contemporary literature to New York’s audiences and readers, ELN 2023 is presented by members of EUNIC New York cluster in collaboration with PEN America.

The Ukrainian Institute of America once again plays host, promising an evening rich with multilingual readings, engaging Q&As, and two panel discussions, moderated by Sabir Sultan, the Associate Director of the World Voices Festival and Literary Programs, and Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, Chief Program Officer, Literary Programming, both at PEN America.

Romanian-American transmedia playwright and artist Kat Mustatea joins fellow writers, translators and performers from Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Spain (Basque Country), Ukraine for a special edition of the European Literature Night. Kat will present fragments from her latest hybrid digital artistic and literary project, Voidopolis (The MIT Press Leonardo Series, 2023).

Free entry, please register HERE.

KAT MUSTATEA is a Romanian-American transmedia playwright and artist whose language and performance works enlist absurdity, hybridity, and the computational uncanny to dig deeply into what it means to be human. Her TED talk, about AI as a form of puppetry, offers a novel take to the meaning of generative art-making. She is a member of ONX Studio (Onassis Foundation) and a fellow at CPH:DOX, and was previously a resident at TED and a member of NEW INC, an art and tech incubator at The New Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work has been presented at Ars Electronica Linz, New Images Festival Paris, Stanley Picker Gallery London, New York Live Arts, and The Cube at Virginia Tech, among others. (Photo credit: Kevin Abosch)

Voidopolis is a first-of-its-kind publication from the The MIT Press Leonardo Series, this hybrid digital artistic and literary project in the form of an augmented reality book made to disappear, retells Dante's Inferno as if it were set in pandemic-ravaged New York City. The book’s pages are garbled and can only be deciphered through an AR app published alongside the book—but over a period of a year, its digital components decay the way memory might, leaving behind foggy imagery and half-remembered bits of language.The work's enactment of its own disappearance across all copies of the book worldwide turns the private act of reading into a collective experience of loss. The project won the Arts and Letters ‘Unclassifiable’ Prize for Literature and a literary grant from Cafe Royale Cultural Foundation, and has been exhibited internationally in a variety of digital and physical formats.


Doors open at 5:30 PM

6:00-6:15 Opening remarks by Czech Center New York, Ukrainian Institute of America, and the European Union Delegation to the United Nations

6:15-7:00 Panel Discussion 1 – Contemporary Literature and Global Crises (moderated by Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, Chief Program Officer, Literary Programming at PEN America)

The contemporary writer is a writer in a time of upheaval. Today, European writers write at a moment where instability looms and they are confronted with the human impact of global migration, the danger of the climate crisis, the long tail of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the devastating war in Ukraine. In this conversation, writers will discuss how they choose to speak to the current political moment in their work and reflect on how it may have affected their creative processes and approach to their craft. The panel will feature Kätlin Kaldmaa (EE), Anja Kampmann (DE), Andrey Kurkov (UA), Sanaé Lemoine (FR), and Kat Mustatea (RO/US).

7:00-7:20 Tribute to the poets Natália Correia, Eugénio de Andrade and Mário Cesariny. Performed by Pedro Henriques da Silva (PT)

7:30-8:15 Panel Discussion 2 – The Past is Present (moderated by Sabir Sultan, Associate Director, World Voices Festival and Literary Programs at PEN America)

While the historian’s work of excavating the past offers invaluable revelations about the current political landscape of Europe, writers employ literary imagination to create insights into who we are, what happened, and what comes next. In this conversation the speakers will reflect on how they sometimes mine the national archives, historical narratives, and collective memory in their practice as writers and storytellers. The panel will feature Anna Frajlich-Zajac (PL), Lore Segal (AT), Laima Vincė Sruoginis (LT), Kateřina Tučková (CZ), and Kirmen Uribe (ES).

8:20-9:20 Intimate Author Readings in Breakout Rooms

Breakout room 1 – Lore Segal (AT), Sanaé Lemoine (FR)

Breakout room 2 – Kätlin Kaldmaa (EST), Anja Kampmann (DE)

Breakout room 3 – Kirmen Uribe (ESP), Kateřina Tučková (CZ)

Breakout room 4 – Anna Frajlich-Zajac (PO), Kat Mustatea (RO/US)

Breakout room 5 – Laima Vincė Sruoginis (LT), Andrey Kurkov (UA)

9:20-9:30 Closing remarks

9:30-10:00 Final gathering and reception

10:00 PM Event ends

Authors and books that will be presented:

Austria – Lore Segal: Ladies’ Lunch

Czech Republic – Kateřina Tučková: The Last Goddess

Estonia – Kätlin Kaldmaa: One is none

France – Sanaë Lemoine: The Margot Affair

Germany – Anja Kampmann: High as the Waters Rise

Lithuania – Laima Vincė Sruoginis: Matilda Olkinaitė. The Unlocked Diary

Poland – Anna Frajlich-Zajac: The Ghost of Shakespeare. Collected essays

Portugal – Pedro Henriques da Silva: Tribute to the poets Natália Correia, Eugénio de Andrade and Mário Cesariny

Romania – Kat Mustatea: Voidopolis

Spain (Basque Country) – Kirmen Uribe: Past Life of Dolphins

Ukraine – Andrey Kurkov: Grey Bees

Free and open to the public with registration.

An edited recording of the evening will be available on




Check out the Trafika Europe radio teasers on the authors whom you can hear and meet during the European Literature Night 2023! Romanian-American author Kat Mustatea will take part in the panel titled "Contemporary Literature and Global Crises". Follow the link to find out more about Kat’s literary and artistic career and listen to her discuss her intriguing transmedia novel, Voidopolis:


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