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Issue 23 - March 2006

Friday 24 March 2006

Romani Library project launch and planning meeting

On 17-18 February 2006, Next Page foundation organized in Sofia the first meeting to coordinate the team for the Romani Library project, bringing together all organizations that initiated and will manage the project (Romani Projekt at the University of Graz, Roma Page at Kurt Lewin Foundation, Romano Dzaniben, and Resource Center for Roma Communities) and a group of experts on Romani literature and culture (Beate Eder-Jordan, Dieter Halwachs, Helena Sadilkova, Mozes Heinschink, Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov).

The Romani Library is a pan-European program that focuses on the selection, translation, publication, distribution and promotion of significant works of contemporary Romani literature in a multilingual book collection. The aim of the meeting was to discuss and map the various stages of project implementation which focuses on promoting quality literature by Roma authors amongst the publishing stakeholders and reading audiences throughout Europe. The project has started with pioneering research on contemporary Romani literature that will study, review and evaluate quality literary works and their authors. The research results are expected in October, 2006 and will be available on-line at the project site (that will be launched in October as well). After two days of intensive work, the group encountered another aspect of Romani culture, when the session was concluded with a lively serenade of traditional Romani music at a local restaurant.

The Romani Library project is implemented with the support of the Culture 2000 programme of the European Union. More information on the project is available on

British Council Arabic/English Literature Translation Seminar

On March 6, coinciding with the opening of the London Book Fair, over 50 participants from 10 countries convened for the Arabic/English Literature Translation Seminar. The seminar which brought together some of the most notable names in Arabic literature, along with many of organizations actively engaged in Arab/English and English/Arab translation, literature promotion and exchange of culture was hosted by the British Council, UK in collaboration with The Arts Council England and Banipal Magazine. Animated discussions surrounding issues such as the misrepresentation of Arabs in literature, the disconnect between the literature offering and the market demands, and role of Arab authors as national and cultural attaches ensued – all in the context of moving towards the creation of an environment that fosters exchange to and from Arab countries. Yana Genova and Natasha Mullins both attended the seminar and presented on a panel describing current and planned support initiatives for translation. One of the highlights of 4 day event was a reading of contemporary Arab poetry, recited by the authors themselves, which received a well deserved standing ovation. The session concluded with a round-table discussion where ideas for concrete steps towards strengthening literary links between Arab world and other countries were shared and follow-up activities were identified.

New books published

(JPG) Pétér Nádas, Földbõl csinálj nekem oltár: Collected Essays, transl. into Bulgarian by Svetla Kiosseva (Sonm, Sofia 2006), supported by East Translates East Publications Project

Pétér Nádas is one of the most renowned contemporary Hungarian novelist, essayist, and playwright. His works are translated in most of the European languages, and are given many Hungarian and international awards. This collection of essays, published in Bulgarian, gives an idea about the author’s profound and astute view on human experience into a world of complex identifications and fragmented history.