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Issue 46 - April 2008

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Arab Readership Survey discussed at the London Book Fair

(JPG) This year’s LBF had Arab countries at key guest of honor. Next Page was unable to attend so we cannot report on how it went.

Our own panel, dedicated to Arab readership and co-organized by the British Council took place on the last day of the fair. We invited several people to reflect critically upon the result of the survey on readership in 9 Arab countries that Next Page undertook in 2006-2007, and also to share views on how the study’s results could or could not be of use in their professional practice as publishers, educators and policy makers. Gregor Meiering, currently OSI representative for the MENA region in Amman, who designed the very idea of the survey, gave an excellent presentation of the report. The discussion was then continued by James Wile of the International Reading Association and Ramy Hadeeb of Kotobarabia – Cairo who were able to contextualize, and offer their own insights from the perspectives of readership and publishing. Their contributions to the debate were based on their earlier commentaries on the survey that are available in full-text here.

While unfortunately there were not as many people who attended the seminars on this last day of the fair, everyone who did attend was extremely engaged with the topic and queued to speak to the panel afterwards. On the occasion of the fair, we published all updated data from the surveys (in both English and Arabic) on a CD that is available from Next Page by request as well as on our web-site.

East - East exchange in cultural periodicals

(JPG) The electronic magazine Potyah 76 has dedicated an issue to Balkan literature, supported by the East Translates East program of Next Page Foundation, which can be found on www.potyah76.org.ua. Potyah 76 is an online Ukrainian magazine publishing contemporary literature and criticism from Central and Eastern Europe with a regular news bulletin. The name originates from a daily train formerly linking the city of Gdansk at the Polish Baltic Sea cost and the Bulgarian city of Varna at the Black Sea, passing through the Ukrainian Lviv, Stanislav (Ivano-Frankivsk), Kolomyja and Chernivtsi. That is why the website is constructed like a train with carriages, loaded by “prose”, “poetry”, “interviews”, etc, and an engine, introducing the people in lead - Yuriy Andrukhovych (editor-in-chief), Oleksandr Boychenko (contributing editor), Tetyana Oliynyk (project coordinator).

The Balkan issue is inspired by the idea that contemporary literature written in Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, or Macedonian is underrepresented in Ukrainian, in spite of the common historical and language background. It features texts of Alek Popov, Zoran Feric, Lamija Begagic, Mihajlo Pantic, Renato Baretic, Ante Tomic, Ljubica Arsic, Mileta Prodanovic, Nenad Velickovic, Venko Andonovski, Goran Petrovic and others, and some of the translators involved are Ostap Slyvynsky, Yuriy Vynnychuk, Alla Tatarenko, Nataliya Bilyk, Oksana Okhrim-Brezvyn.

The “Balkan Express” was promoted at the Lviv Publishers’ Forum, the biggest book-fair in Ukraine – with the help of a printed almanac, which is usually published once a year, comprising of “the best of“ the online version. Great interest provoked the authors readings of Goran Petrovic, Zvonko Karanovic, Zoran Feric, Renato Baretic, Mihajlo Pantic, Sava Damjanov. The “Balkan Express” also traveled to Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivci, and is going to visit Kyiv now in the spring.

(JPG) The electronic issue of Genero , prepared together with the Macedonian “Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender, and Culture”, and supported by the East Translates East program for translations in cultural periodicals of Next Page Foundation, can be found on www.zenskestudie.edu.yu. It contains translations from South-Eastern European languages into Serbian of previously published articles by Bobi Badarevski, Elizabeta Seleva, Eva Bahovec, Masa Ogrizek, Milco Mancevski, Katerina Kolozova, Zarko Trajanovski. This cooperation represents one of the first attempts to establish an exchange of texts between two key journals for gender and philosophy in the region.

New books published

(JPG) Zene u Hrvatskoj. Zenska i kulturna povjest (Women in Croatia/ Female and Cultural History), ed. by Andrea Feldman, translation from Croatian into Hungarian by Tilda Fehér, (Balassi, Budapest - 2008), supported by the Women Issues Translation Project

Originally, this is a pioneering collection, which gathers several generations of Croatian historians, writing about women’s history in Croatia. The13 interdisciplinary essays, included in the book, create an overview of the gendered cultural history of the country. For the Hungarian publication however, the editor Andrea Feldman selected 8 of the chapters, and rewrote the introduction, thus embedding the historical narrative into a new and broader context. Undoubtedly, the Hungarian readers would be the perfect audience for such a book, considering that women’s history is already a well-established discipline in Hungarian universities.