Alter Festival


Julia Maria Gieysztor Bertelsen was born in 1992 and has Polish/Danish origins. She graduated from the Swedish writers’ school Biskops Arnö in 2019 and has studied at “Heskeskoen” and the School for Children’s Literature.

In her debut work “Koktebel” published in 2020, she presents an enigmatic sci-fi-like novel that casts a postcolonial gaze on tourism.  The book functions as a compendium of the mechanisms of exploitation unfolding on the holiday island Koktebel: the lustful tourist who seduces both the island’s girls and fruits; the locals who extract money from the visitors; the children who rampage the island with their daring festivities; and the women who take pleasure in keeping their own children captive in the otherwise empty summer houses off-season. Julia Maria Gieysztor Bertelsen’s debut is a polyphonic symphony of literary abundance, captivating with its rarely seen originality. Julia blends genres like erotica, children’s fables, horror, and pop music to challenge clichés and explore topics such as exoticism, tourism, and power dynamics.