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Issue 37 - June 2007
Friday 29 June 2007
East - East exchange in cultural periodicals
Next Page is pleased to announce that the first translations in cultural periodicals, supported last year within the East Translates East program, have been published - in Literary Newspaper (Bulgaria), Margina (Macedonia), Romboid (Slovakia) and Fakel (Bulgaria) magazines.
Literary Newspaper , a weekly for literature, culture and art, reflecting the dynamic exchange of ideas and artistic trends accompanying the transition from totalitarian to civil society in Bulgaria, has launched its East – East rubric, aiming to present common and different trends within up-to-date Eastern European literature, where translations of essays by eminent European intellectuals like Alexander Prokopiev, Jiří Kratochvil, Jiří Travníček, Goran Petrovic, Michal Viewegh have been coming out for the last two months.
Margina , a quarterly magazine for “integration and differences”, published by Templum publishing house, has also started a new rubric - Transitional Justice, devoted to topics such as war, religion and state, presenting key intellectuals from the Balkan region like Slavoj Zizek, Alexander Kiossev, Obrad Savic, Ugo Vlaisavljevic, Rada Ivekovic, Nenad Dimitrijevic. The latest issue 74-75 is accessible at: http://www.templum.com.mk/margina/sodrzina/margina74/index74.htm
Romboid (www.aoss.sk/romboid), a monthly magazine for literature, communication in arts and reflection, published by the Association of Writers’ Organizations in Slovakia (AOSS), has been supported for the publication of a special double-issue Romboid +, dedicated to the contemporary Croatian and Montenegrin literature. ROMBOID is a member of the network and a participant in the international Review within Review project, coordinated by the Slovenian Apokalipsa magazine and involving 11 reviews from 9 Central and Eastern European countries. The double issue thus not only presents foreign literatures, but also the work of Quorum and Ars magazines from Croatia and Montenegro, partners within the project, composed from the texts of different authors, genres or aesthetics.
The new issue of Fakel (http://fakelexpress.com), a quarterly literary and political magazine, published for over a quarter of a century, has just come out and offers over 10 texts analysing the contradictions and perspectives of EU integration. The magazine also aims at encouraging the public interest in democratic processes and globalization issues, contributing to a better awareness of the role, responsibility and power of culture in the post communist countries and of the importance of creating working models of dialogue and mutual understanding.
Next Page is looking forward to the publications in 10 more journals in 9 countries, supported within the East Translates East program that are expected to come out by the end of the year. They will be featuring various topics and genres, in print or on the web, also including mirror publications in special issues and revealing networking and partnerships between cultural periodicals in the region.
Balkan-Mediterranean cooperation – how is it possible?!
BalkanMed meeting, Ljubljana, 6-8 May 2007
Last month, at the invitation of the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), the Next Page director took part in a 2-day meeting of cultural operators from the Balkans and the Mediterranean organized by Bunker, Ljubljana. With this meeting ECF is sowing the seed of what will surely be the beginning of a brand new and a challenging process of exploring synergies and opportunities for cooperation between the two regions.
With no strict meeting agenda to follow, the 20 participants had the unique chance to formulate their joint concerns and common topics of interest. Some of the issues that have emerged were mainly related to the position of the cultural NGO-sector vis-à-vis the state as well as the experience of war in both regions but also to other topics such as alternative spaces and cultural actions, responsibility and audience development, public and private funding, the added value of regional cooperation.
A detailed report of the meeting by Catherine Cornet of Babelmed (www.babelmed.net) is soon to be posted at the ECF web-site. In the meantime, one can consult the rich body of materials of the ECF Mediterranean Reflection Group at http://medreflection.eurocult.org.
With its background in the Balkans and its already extensive experience in the Arab world, Next Page is already playing a part in this now-emerging dialogue between the two regions. The question of how we will translate this unique position into an operational approach is a matter of on-going discussion at Next Page that will result in a new strategy to be announced in the months to come.
All Bosnian books you can buy in one place - www.knjige.ba
Yes, there is already a Bosnian Books-in-Print catalogue! And yes, it was supported by Next Page in its on-going effort to boost publishing development in the Balkans.
With consequences of the war still present, shaky economy, poor libraries and the competition of Serbian and Croatian books, Bosnia is far from being the publishing heaven of the Balkans. It takes plenty of courage to be a publisher and perhaps even more commitment to be an active reader and a book buyer. The latter is one notch easier now with the launching of the first ever Bosnian Books-in-Print catalogue of all Bosnia-produced books that are available on the market - www.knjige.ba. The project is developed and is being operated by the Interliber bookstore and provides everything one can expect from a good book service – an user-friendly search engine, annotations on books and authors, lists of publishers, distributors, bookshops and libraries, bestsellers and … an English-language version. Currently, the database contains up-to-date information on 5417 titles by 380 publishers that are present at the market or about 80% of all in-print titles.
The effect of www.knjige.ba – in both financial and cultural terms – is yet to be observed but we wish it good luck and a sustainable future.
New books published
Luludi, a bi-lingual magazine for children, ed. Dezider Banga, Luludi Association, supported by the Grants program of VORBA project
Luludi Association, one of the first organziations in Slovakia dedicated to strengthening the Roma cultural identity via literature and writing for a range of age groups, published two issues of the Romani children magazine Luludi (meaning “flowers” in Romani).
Dezider Banga, an acclaimed Roma poet from Slovakia and editor of the series, had decided to set up the series in 1997 after publishing the booklets for children – Romano hangoro and Romani genibarica. The mission of the magazine was to fill in the gap that the education system in Slovakia is confronted with – lack of proper reading materials for Roma children.
The two issues supported by the VORBA project are dedicated to raising the cultural awareness of Romani children by presenting them with reader-friendly materials in stories and poems. The readings are expressive with colorful visuals to spark children’s imagination. The two issues of the magazine reached their target audience via a broad distribution done by Slovak institutions from the education system - schools and other education authorities.