Lavinia Frey, born in Hamburg in 1969, studied history, theater studies, philosophy, and dance in Zurich, Bern and London.
After her studies, she worked as a director, choreographer and dramaturg at the Schauspielhaus Zurich, Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin, Staatstheater Schwerin, and Stadttheater Hildesheim, among others. In 2007, she became a co-founder and Managing Director of the cultural and concept agency Graf & Frey. As such she designed and implemented cultural events, festivals and symposia at the interface of politics, business, and science. In 2016, Lavinia Frey was appointed Board Member for Culture at the Stiftung Humboldt Forum im Berliner Schloss and as Managing Director of Humboldt Forum Kultur GmbH. From 2018-2023, she led the Programs and Projects Department at the Stiftung Humboldt Forum as Managing Director, and was thus responsible for the international temporary exhibition program, artistic events, “History of the site”, and individual projects that she curated herself. From 2017-2023, she was also a co-project leader in the national collaborative project “museum4punkt0. Digital Strategies for the Museum of the Future”. Since 2019, she has been a member of the Akademie Deutscher Sachbuchpreis. From 2022-2023, Frey was also a mentor in the mentoring program of the German Cultural Council. Lavinia Frey is also engaged in organizational development and is certified with the Neuwaldegg Curriculum for Systemic Organizational Development.
Tatjana Gridnev, born in Russia, studied Cultural Studies and Cultural Management in Berlin. Since 2016, she leads the finance, cooperation and personnel department of the international literature festival berlin, international literature festival odesa as well as for the other projects of the Peter-Weiss-Stiftung für Kunst und Politik e.V.
Anouk Krämer, born in Jena in 2002, is studying General and Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. She already volunteered at the international literature festival berlin from August 2021 to September 2022 as part of an FSJ Kultur. Now she supports the ilb as Program Assistant.
Nora Mengel, born in Berlin, is head of the ilbDIGITAL programme and programme manager. She holds a PhD in Eastern European History from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität [LMU] Munich, studied Eastern European Studies at LMU Munich and Cultural Studies at Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt [O .], Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Lomonosov State University Moscow. She gained her first professional experience in intercultural communication and political development cooperation at the Goethe Institute in Minsk [Belarus] and at the Federal Foreign Office in Moscow as well as at the Deutsch-Russisches-Forum e.V. in Berlin. After numerous research stays in Vienna and Saint Petersburg, she completed her dissertation »Biograph(i)en of the Empire« – a comparison of imperial consciousness in the Habsburg and Russian Empires at the end of the 19th century – at the Institute for European History in Mainz, for which she was awarded the Research Prize of the Institute for Personal History in 2020.
Charlotte Rauth, born in Bonn in 1991, is head and co-editor of the publication project Refugees Worldwide 4 in the ilb’s Programme section. She studied German language and literature, cultural studies and business administration at the University of Mannheim [BA] and cultural mediation with a focus on literature at the University of Hildesheim [MA]. In addition to subject-related stays abroad in Turkey [Marmara Üniversitesi, Instanbul] and in India [Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore] she co-coordinated, among other things, the pop-up exhibition Freedom Transmissions, funded by the German Foreign Office, in collaboration with the Berlin artists’ collective coculture e.V., and actively participated in the founding, conception, and coordination of the artist protection program Creative Haven Hildesheim.
Christoph Rieger, born in Potsdam in 1984, has headed the ilb section »International Children’s and Youth Literature« since 2011. He studied theater, film and media studies, sociology and psychology in Frankfurt am Main and Aberystwyth. In 2012, he initiated the annual ilb award »The Extraordinary Book«. From 2014 to 2017, he was a member of the Council for the Arts. Since 2015 he has curated the young program of the odessa international literature festival. 2016 to 2018 he was a member of the ZEIT lynx literary award. 2017 he directed the versfest berlin. 2022 he is a member of the special award jury of the german youth literature award.
Henrike Schmidt, born in Lüneburg in 1994, is head of school communication and production in the ilb’s Young Program. She studied Cultural Studies with a focus on literature as well as Business Psychology at Leuphana University Lüneburg and Applied Literary Studies – Contemporary Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. In Lüneburg, she worked as a student assistant at the Institute of English Studies as well as at the Institute for Historical Studies and Literary Cultures. She worked in publishing after moving to Berlin and subsequently started her master’s degree. In 2022, she took over as production manager of the ilb’s Young Program.
Lucia Muro Schmidt, born in Berlin in 2005, is completing her high school diploma with an FSJ Culture course at the Berlin International Literature Festival. She has been supporting the ilb program department since September 2023.
Simone Schröder, born in Frankfurt am Main in 1986, is the director of the ilb’s evening programme. She studied General and Comparative Literature, Hispanic Studies and Political Science in Mainz. She then lived in London for several years and was awarded her PhD in 2017 from the University of Bath with a thesis on nature essayism. In 2019, her book »The Nature Essay: Ecocritical Explorations« was published by Brill/ Rodopi. In addition to her work for the festival, she is a translator, editor of various anthologies and essayist. She has been awarded the Edit Essay Prize and the Essay Prize of Merkur magazine for her texts, among others, and was a scholarship holder of the LCB and the Jürgen Ponto Foundation.
Taqi Akhlaqi, born in Afghanistan in 1986, is a writer and journalist and works as a dramaturge and author for the ilb program. In Kabul, where he lived with his wife and two sons until the Taliban took power in August 2021, he studied international relations and worked for national and international organizations. His texts have been published in German-language media and in various anthologies. Kabul 1400, his debut novel, will be published in July 2023 in Farsi, his native language, in Iran. He is also the first Afghan writer to receive a grant from the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin program in 2021
Sydney Noemi Stein, born 2000 in Dresden, holds a bachelor degree in Area Studies Asia/Africa at Humboldt University Berlin and studied Arabic at the University of Malta. After working as a Student Assistant and living in Malta and Amman, she returned to Berlin to join the 23rd ilb as an Assistant in Program/Communication/Logistics. At her home university, she published first articles on the intersections of art, activism and human rights in South and Southeast Asia.