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May 2017: Press Release: Translation Collider Forum will gather professionals from over 10 countries
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Press Release: Translation Collider Forum will gather professionals from over 10 countries

The event encourages the literary exchange between the Balkans and Arab world
Wednesday 31 May 2017

Press Release: Translation Collider Forum will gather professionals from over 10 countries

The first „Sofia Translation Forum 2017. Enhancing literary translations between Arabic and the languages of the Balkans“ will be held 3-4 June 2017, House of Europe and Sofia Literature and Translation House in Sofia. The event will be opened by Yordanka Fandakova, the Mayor of Sofia. Official speeches will be made as well by Hatem Atallah, director of Anna Lindh Foundation, Ludmila Dimitrova, director of the State Institute for Culture by Minister of Foreign Affairs (Bulgaria) and Yana Genova, director of Next Page Foundation (Bulgaria).

It appears that after the end of socialism the practices of cultural exchange and literary communication between Bulgaria, the rest of the Balkan countries and the Arab-speaking world, have retreated in a long repose. A strong tradition of Arab studies still exists in Bulgaria and in most of the other Balkan countries, and there is a community of professional translators to sustain the interest in Arab literature of today. Reversely, there are almost no professional literary mediators with Arabic as a mother tongue for the translation in the other direction.

As an EU member as well as a country in the Balkan region, Bulgaria has the potential to play a key role in enhancing the role of culture in the so called EU Neighbourhood Policy for the “Southern Neighborhood”. That’s why the culture has to play a central role in the people’s communications which to help the improvement of the economic and social development of Bulgaria, the Balkans and the Arab countries. In connection with this and in the context of the forthcoming in 2018 Bulgarian Presidency of the EU Sofia Translation Forum will take place. The event is the first meeting for gathering key literary mediators – translators, publishers, literary agents, festivals and cultural organizations, which contribute to the intercultural exchange.

Khaled Alkhamissi, writer and director of Cairo Library, the translators Hakan Özkan, Srpko Leštarić, Bayan Rayhanova, Hayri Hamdan, as well as prof. Alexander Kiossev, Sofia University, Manol Peykov, Janet 45 Publishers (Bulgaria) and others are among the lecturers of the forum. The Forum participants will draw an overview of the translation and publishing landscapes on the Balkans and in some Arab-speaking countries, will debate on common concerns in contemporary literature and on translation challenges, will present instruments for promoting literature in translation.

„With this I hope to contribute together for the process of attitudes’ change and prejudices’ overcoming between the Balkans and Arab countries. Actually the readers here and there nearly have no access to translations of contemporary texts. With this Forum we aim to wake up the mutual interest – first among the book professionals: publishers, translators, literary agents. We will start sustainable direct partnerships which to bring to more visible translations of Balkan literature in Arabic in future“, Yana Genova, director of Next Page Foundation.

As a part of the event, Residency program for participants in the forum – translators in Arabic from Bulgarian, Slovenian, Serbian, Greek and Turkish language. During the program they will work on translations of contemporary authors chosen by themselves.

Everybody is welcomed on the Forum after his registration here.

The event is part of the Translation Collider project of Next Page Foundation, in partnership with „KalemKultur“ (Istanbul) and Sefsata (Cairo), kindly supported by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality. Partners of the Forum: The State Institute for Culture at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Literary Newspaper, BNT and the National Palace of Culture.

The Anna Lindh Foundation promotes intercultural exchanges and common projects among the civil societies of the Euro-Mediterranean region. We are an international institution, established by the governments of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and the European Union as the central institution for intercultural dialogue among the people of the region. With its headquarters in Alexandria, the Anna Lindh Foundation runs as an international network of over 4000 civil society organizations with the aim of facilitating collaborations and common actions among them. For more information:
The Anna Lindh Foundation is co-funded by the European Union