Literature on the park bench: thousands at the festival in Cottbus

Cottbus (dpa / bb) – Cottbus was all about literature this weekend. According to the organizers, thousands attended the second edition of the open-air reading festival “Literature on the Park Bench”. This year the motto was “Blickpunkt Brandenburg & Sachsen”. 30 authors, including Grit Lemke, Lukas Rietzschel and Carl-Christian Elze, read from their works on Saturday and Sunday in the Goethe and Carl Blechen Parks – at the same time, each time on one of the park benches. For the first time there was also a “Poetry Night”.

Festival director Eckehard Hündgen described the two days as a complete success. “A certain warmth flows through me,” he said at the end of Sunday of the German Press Agency. It was a friendly and peaceful atmosphere.

Chairs were set up in front of every park bench. Festival director Eckehard Hündgen described the concept on Saturday as saying that where interested parties wanted to listen, they looked for a place and were able to have a picnic and experience literature . Red umbrellas mark the benches where literature can be experienced live. The readers dedicated themselves to one of the two federal states in stories and texts.

According to Hündgen, the festival should also help show the diversity of the city’s cultural landscape. “We all know, unfortunately, that Cottbus is not always represented with the headlines that we all want,” he said. The festival definitely has that in mind. Brandenburg’s Interior Minister Michael Stübgen (CDU) speaks of a growing and changing right-wing scene in Cottbus and southern Brandenburg.

“Here, the visitors are on an equal footing with the authors,” said Hündgen, describing the special nature of the festival. Last year, the participants were enthusiastic because the listeners also told stories. This year, too, many people would have told the authors about themselves. In addition, the ambience couldn’t have been nicer: Both Cottbus parks are in the immediate vicinity of the historic old town. According to the organizers, the Goethe Park is the oldest park in the city. In 1895 it was laid out as a city park on the once swampy site of the mill island and is bordered on three sides by the Spree. It is connected to the Carl Blechen Park by the Blechensteg.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220903-99-615551/3

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