Public appearances by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio are rare – and little wonder: the French writer travels constantly from one end of the planet to the other. Alburquerque (New Mexico), Paris and Nanjing (China) are just some of the destinations that feed his sombre and scintillating style.

For the fifth edition of the Passa Porta Festival, the winner of the 2008 Nobel Literature Prize stops off exceptionally in BOZAR to talk about the festival's theme – "Now & Then" – and his work and the issues that have always been close to his heart. Interview by Jean-Luc Outers, preceded by an opening speech by Belgian author David Van Reybrouck.

The author of some 40 works since The Interrogation (1963), Le Clézio is an extremely astute observer of our world and our time. He has never hidden his interest in Native American cultures or his environmental concerns. Moving between territories, points of view and styles, his work (Désert, Ritournelle de la faim, Tempête, ...) is among the most important in French and world literature. In January, he also expressed his emotion in the wake of current events, publishing in Le Monde a "Letter to his daughter, after 11 January 2015".