21-22 February 2014, in Yerevan, Armenia
Two Days of Professional Debates, Inspiration & New Ideas in Yerevan
The workshop on Promotion of Literature in Translation lasted just two days but it seemed as if the discussions can continue for another two.
The workshop explored the various tools and approaches towards promoting literatures from "small" languages in translation not by offering theories but by showcasing the specific roles of the various actors in the field. Thus, speakers and contributors, both international and local, were invited to talk about their roles and practices as authors, translators, publishers, literary agents, public bodies, NGOs.
The workshop was opened by acknowledging the importance of the events that were taking place at the Ukrainian Maidan at the very moment of the workshop, and by a short statement of the Ukrainian writer Ljubko Deresh.
Nerses Ter-Vardanyan, deputy minister of culture of Armenia welcomed the participants with a speech that demonstrated an understanding of the workshop issues, going beyond of what is required for an usual formal inauguration. Again from the book and translations' policy field, the program included representatives from the Ministry of Culture of Georgia's Program for support of translations, from the French Embassy in Armenia, from the Goethe Institute for the Caucasus, and from the Polish Book Institute.
Following a brief introduction by the moderator into the workshop topic, the speakers in the six modules focused on the key issues that form the debate around translations in Europe and the world today, such as: how and why do publishers chose to publish translations (Ingemar Nilsson, Pierro Salabe), what are the smart strategies for public support for literary exchange (Medea Metrevelli, Ewa Wojciechowska, Fabien Neyrat), the role of the literary agents and what makes a successful agent (Silvia Brunelli, Nermin Mollaoglu, Laure Pecher, Arevik Ashkaroyan), how to cope with the "foreignness" of a translation and what policies do translators need (Nairi Hakhverdi, Barbara Wattendorf) and how to develop smart information resources for the international market (Ewa Wojciechowska, Pavel Kasciukievic, Ketevan Kighuradze and Naira Khachatryan).
Judging from the workshop evaluation forms and the feedback during the breaks, the contributions by Pierro Salabe of Hanser Verlag on the importance of good literary quality of any work, and by Silvia Brunelli and Nermin Mollaoglu on the role of literary agents were the ones that most impressed and provoked the participants.
Each module was followed by lively discussions and input from all participants; in the breaks there was plenty of networking across national lines and professional roles.Some of the international speakers donated their fees to the Book Platform project activities in Armenia and to the Armenian Literature Foundation: a genuine sign of appreciation of the work of the project and the Foundation in the region.
The workshop ended with the endorsement of the Declaration on Encouraging and Promoting Translations - the first ever document of this kind in the region. The Book Platform project will continue gathering signatures and support for the Declaration in the following months.
It is the true professionalism of the speakers, the engaged commitment of the audience and the high level of organization that make this workshop a very special one in the series of Book Platform capacity building events.
Announcement Best Practices Report on Promotion of Translations Declaration Feedback Participants Presentations and Materials Program Speakers
The international workshop training Promotion of Literature in Translation will take place on 21-22 February in Yerevan
Press Release: Editorial Visits and International Workshop on Promotion of Literature in Translation Yerevan
Promotion of Literature in Translation: Two Days of Professional Debates, Inspiration and New Ideas in Yerevan
Sign the Book Platform Declaration on Encouraging and Promoting Translations