Press release

"Le Printemps Simenon" in Liège in March 2023

Major event in Belgium


In Institution Press releases

John Simenon, through his company Simenon.tm, and the University of Liège are joining forces to organise an ambitious cultural event in Liège next spring, in close collaboration with the City of Liège, around Georges Simenon and his work.

The Printemps Simenon Festival will take place from 8 to 11 March 2023. Its diversified programme will allow people to discover or rediscover the work of the world-famous writer from Liège.

 

Why a Simenon Festival?

  • To offer all Simenon lovers, wherever they come from, a range of events and meetings that will enable them to share and deepen their knowledge of the work and its creator.
  • To show the topicality of Simenon's work, by presenting recent projects and by giving a voice to current creators who claim his influence.
  • To strengthen the links between the City and its most famous internationally creator, by offering the people of Liège an opportunity to encounter Simenon, through a series of activities and events that will allow them to discover or rediscover him.

GSD 2004-10-21 10h44.08 Photo Sanjiro Minamikawa, © Simenon.tm, Collection John Simenon

Photo Sanjiro Minamikawa, © Simenon.tm, Collection John Simenon

The events of the pre-programme

Exhibition "Simenon, images du monde en crise" (images of a world in crisis) (provisional title)

At the Grand Curtius (Liège), from 8 March to 31 August 2023

Exhibition curator: Benoît Denis (ULiège)

Opening on 8 March 2023 - Official launch event of the Festival

Simenon Tour

Inauguration of the redesigned Simenon tour in Outremeuse and visit of the “Caque” as a digital walk with virtual reality reconstructions (collaboration between Simenon.tm, ULiège and the City of Liège's tourism office)

Meetings with comic book creators

The scriptwriters and cartoonists who are preparing a new series of Simenon adaptations for Dargaud, under the supervision of John Simenon, will be present in Liège during the Festival.

Literary meetings

Organised by the Liège novelist Philippe Marczewski and supported by the Jan Michalski Foundation (Switzerland), the meetings will bring together French and international writers who will all talk and debate about their relationship with Simenon.

Reading-dialogue

A reading-dialogue of Simenon's African texts by Aïko Solovkine.

Cinema

Retrospective at “Les Grignoux” cinemas (Liège), in collaboration with Dick Tomasovic (ULiège). A prestigious film guest will launch the retrospective and present the film selection.

Conference

Conference for the general public by Olivier Barrot, French journalist, writer, producer and television presenter.

Colloquium

8, 9 and 10 March 2023

University colloquium: "Les études simenoniennes: bilans et perspectives" (Simenonian studies: results and perspectives), under the direction of Laurent Demoulin, associate professor, novelist, Curator of the Simenon Fund at the ULiège.


Other events
will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

All the events will be gradually announced and detailed on the "Printemps Simenon" website, which will go online in January 2023.

If it is successful, the Simenon Festival will become a recurrent event.

What they say about it...

Anne-Sophie Nyssen, Rector of the University of Liège - With his donation in 1976 of a considerable set of archives, Georges Simenon made the University of Liège a key place for the study of the work of a writer who, even today, remains one of the most widely read, translated and adapted in the world. The Festival project announced today is a continuation of the close and respectful collaboration between the University and John Simenon, the administrator of his father's work. This Festival, which fully involves our Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and beyond, will be a wonderful experience of discovery, learning and immersion in the work and life of Georges Simenon, for our students and for the public. It is part of a movement, which I would like to see at the University, of a meeting between science, art and culture, and of sharing knowledge with the community. The festival will contribute to the influence of Liège and its University through new ways of looking at the best known citizen of Liège in the world.

John Simenon, President of the Festival and Director of Simenon.tm - I am delighted that our Festival project, which was announced a year ago, is now coming to fruition with such a high-quality programme. This will be the first close collaboration, around this unique work and its author, between two worlds that are often separated: that of management and that of research, and I would like to thank very warmly all the legal and physical persons, too numerous to mention here, who contribute day after day to the future success of this undertaking.

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Jean-Pierre Hupkens, Alderman for Tourism of the City of Liège - Promoting Liège on the international scene cannot escape the evocation of Simenon because we then echo the omnipresence of his birthplace in his novels. He is like a fellow traveller who always kindles the fire of curiosity about him, his work and our "Cité ardente".

Mehmet Aydogdu, Alderman for Culture of the City of Liège - Simenon often repeated that he remained a "child of Outremeuse". His beginnings as a reporter for the "Gazette de Liège", then several of his novels or stories, such as "Au Pont des Arches", "Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien", or "Pedigree" attest to this state of mind. Through his first wife Tigy (Régine Renchon), he opened his eyes to the world of the arts. Subsequently, the creation of the character of Maigret, Simenon's international fame, and the bequest of his literary archives to the University of Liège make him, very probably, the greatest cultural ambassador of Liège in the 20th century.

Benoît Denis, Professor of Literature at the University of Liège, Director of the Simenon Festival and Director of the Georges Simenon Study Centre at ULiège - The title "Printemps Simenon" that we have given to this festival expresses our desire to show a "living" Simenon: by seeking to restore what animated him in his creative process, by showing the topicality of his work from many points of view and, above all, by demonstrating the permanency of his legacy in contemporary creation.

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