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The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
The Ministry of Culture
of the Republic of Lithuania

The Lithuanian Media Support Foundation



UNESCO Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Chair at Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts

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"Vilnius Alibi"


Vilnius Alibi

The bureau of the Nordic Council of Ministers introduced the festival The Vilnius Alibi. It is the first international festival of detective literature in our country. The festival was held in Vilnius on November 8-12, 2005.
The most famous detective writers and a spectacular programme dedicated for detective stories was presented in the festival. 10 writers from the North and the Baltic States as well as from Russia came to attend the festivals events.
Writers: Arne Dahl (Sweden), Leif Davidsen (Denmark), Raidas Dubrė (Lithuania), Leena Lehtolainen (Suomija), Birutė Mackonytė (Lietuva), Aleksandra Marinina (Rusija), Jo Nesbø (Norvegija), Eeva Park (Estija), Jānis Ivars Stradiņš (Latvija) ir Árni Thórarinsson (Islandija).
The purpose of the Vilnius Alibi was to present the North criminal literature traditions for Lithuanian public and to encourage Lithuanian publishers to publish criminal literature of the Nordic countries. The discussions and the meetings were supposed to help the writers to develop and popularize the genre of criminal literature in the countries of the Baltic Region, and the festivals events had to encourage the readers to take interest in this genre.
The Nordic countries have strong traditions of criminal literary. This genre is popular and all the books by the most famous writers become bestsellers.
Critics acknowledge that the best works of northern criminal literature reveal the darkest and the cruelest sides of our society. However, it does not mean that northerners novels are simply the statistics of crimes or propaganda pamphlets with social programme. The novels are in the first place literary works that are tended to variety as any other literary tradition.
Seeking to make the discussions more comprehensive there were invited writers not only from the five Nordic countries but from the three Baltic states and Russia as well. Russian criminal literary is also popular in the Baltic States.
The exceptional feeling of responsibility and professionalism connects the writers who came to the festival The Vilnius Alibi. Despite the fact that violence exists in their books, it does not become an entertainment in these works.
Criminal novels are often related with a certain place. We could find excellent examples in the works of our guests: Stockholm is described very lively in the stories by Swede Arnė Dahlis, and Finn Leena Lehtolainen recorded the town of Espo next to Helsinki. Writer Aleksandra Marinina shows her love to Moscow in her works, and we can meet the heroes of Leifas Davidsenas not only in Copenhagen, but in such places as Madrid and Berlin as well.
Maybe because of this tradition we dared to ask the writers to write a criminal novel related with Vilnius. Some our guests were very kind to agree (but of course, we respect the decisions of those who refused). The stories were issued during the festival: they were published in the web site of the festival and in a book named “The Vilnius Alibi”.
The events of the Festival The Vilnius Alibi:
Meetings with detective stories writers,
Seminars and discussions about detective literature,
Interactive detective internet game “In the shadow of the Lord”,
Programme of criminal films “Crime and punishment” in the film forum of the Nordic Countries “Scanorama”,
The collection “The Vilnius Alibi” consisting of the novels by festivals writers,
Readings of detective novels in the programme “Classic” on Lithuanian Radio,
Other entertainments in the style of detective.

Based on the information of the bureau of the Nordic Council of Ministers


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