Tintjournal Logo

Go back to all news

That was ... the Tinted Trails Festival

Published November 15th, 2023 News

© Clara Wildberger
© Clara Wildberger

From November 10 to 11, 2023, the Tinted Trails Festival, a celebration of translingual literature, took place in Graz, Austria, and partially online. Various tinted writers and editors as well as more than 200 visitors joined the festivities which also included the book presentation of Tinted Trails, the world’s first anthology of ESL writers.


Day I — It’s Book Launch Day!


The Pennyless Players staging texts from "Tinted Trails" © Clara Wildberger

The festival started out with an enactment of five texts from the anthology Tinted Trails, readied for and put on the stage by The Pennyless Players. Due to bad weather, this initial part of the program could not take place as a stroll through the city but had to be moved indoors. The actors performed the stage-readied poems and stories in the festival center’s entrance hall, an architectural eye-opener of the Afro-Asian Institute in Graz.

The festival’s highlight, the presentation of the anthology Tinted Trails, a book that is not only the first of its kind but also the first print publication by Tint, drew an immense crowd into the event hall upstairs afterwards. The Tint team ended up carrying all chairs they could find in the public rooms of the building into the space, and the atmosphere was just incredibly joyful, celebratory, and loving. Tint editor-in-chief Lisa Schantl and poetry editor John Salimbene led through the evening, inviting the Tinted Trails contributing authors Olja Alvir, Brianna Colmenares, Lindi Dedek and Laura Theis onto the stage to read and discuss their work.

Book presentation; Lisa Schantl, John Salimbene, Brianna Colmenares and Olja Alvir © Clara Wildberger
Book presentation; Lindi Dedek and Laura Theis © Clara Wildberger

Viennese Musician Fraeulein Astrid shared a few songs of hers, also in English as her second language, and before the official part came to an end, the remaining members from the Tint Anthology Committee who had put the anthology as well as the festival together with Lisa — Filippo Bagnasco, Andrea Färber and Chiara Meitz — joined the stage to give their thanks to the cooperation partners and sponsors. The entire book launch was livestreamed, and could and can still be watched online here on YouTube.

The evening concluded with a cheerful get-together in the entrance hall with vegetarian and vegan snacks from Parks, sponsored by the City of Graz Mayor’s Office. The book Tinted Trails was sold there for the first time, and Chiara was busy at the sales table until the team closed the doors for the public at about 10 p.m.

Get-together at the Afro-Asian Institute Graz © Clara Wildberger


Day II — Writing and Craft Workshops, and an Open Mic of Another Kind


The second and final day was all about the creative voices that Tint might not yet have seen or heard. From 10:30 a.m. onward until late in the afternoon, various kinds of workshops invited interestees of all levels to engage in creative practices themselves at the festival center or from afar.

In the Photography Workshop with Lena Baloch, the participants learnt how to look through a camera lense, using it as a tool for creating intriguing text illustrations. They were also able to take their creations home with them and some shared their fantastic productions with Tint, for which we thank them genuinely.

Tinted Trails Photography Workshop © Clara Wildberger

Tint art editor Vanesa Erjavec provided the participants in the Drawing & Illustration Workshop with hands-on insights into her illustration practices for the anthology Tinted Trails as well as other projects, and playwright Cecilia Servatius of The Pennyless Players encouraged writers to give voices and gestures to their characters in the Playwright Workshop.

Tinted Trails Drawing Workshop © Clara Wildberger
Tinted Trails Playwright Workshop © Clara Wildberger

Two workshops could also be joined either in person or online: the Prose Workshop “Writers Workout” with Lindi Dedek and the Poetry Workshop "Constriction and Expansion" with Olja Alvir. For this occasion, the Books4Life room upstairs in the Afro-Asian Institute Graz was turned into a hybrid setting, allowing participants to join both workshops on-site and from wherever they were.

Tinted Trails Prose Workshop © Clara Wildberger
Tinted Trails Poetry Workshop © Clara Wildberger

The creative energy that had been flowing throughout the day was streamlined into a closing evening at a different location: For the event Pages & Pints, an Open Mic of another kind, the festival crowd moved to the Scherbenkeller at Die Scherbe on the other side of the town. Texts were collected and readers signed up, and then — round after round — it was text vs. performance, a concept that quickly enraptured audience and open mic participants alike. Awarded with a free drink of their choice, the contest winners also received a liquid trophy.

MCs Filippo Bagnasco and Lisa Schantl opening Pages & Pints © Clara Wildberger

The festival closed with dancing, deep conversations and new friendships, the tinted spirit of community, acceptance and an open mind engulfing it all. We thank everyone who came and celebrated Tinted Trails and translingual literature with us!

More about the anthology Tinted Trails and where to get it can be found here.


Conception and organization: Tint Anthology Committee (Filippo Bagnasco, Andrea Färber, Chiara Meitz, Lisa Schantl)

Cooperation partners & friends: Afro-Asian Institute Graz, FORUM STADTPARK, treffpunkt sprachen, Center for Inter-American Studies, uniT, Books4Life, The Pennyless Players, BLÄTTERN, Radio Helsinki, Parks, Die Scherbe, Rost, Pro-Video

Supported by: University of Graz, Land Steiermark Cultural Department, Stadt Graz Cultural Department, Alps-Adriatic Alliance, Stadt Graz Mayor’s Office

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz