Mukadder Ezel Yılmaz, DSM
KurdîLit participated in the 11th Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival that took place at St. Elmo Fort between 25th and 27th August 2016, as member and guest of Literary Europe Live (LEuL) Platform coordinated by Literature Across Frontiers and co-financed by Creative Europe EU Program. The festival is initiated by Maltese literary actors and organized by a voluntary team of Inizjamed, which is also a LEuL member. The events are supported by a number of local culture and art institutions and organizations as well.
Prior to the main events, the festival starts with pre-events such as writers’ readings and talks taking place at different venues on the island. Open-Mic which offers an open scene to writers, poets and literature lovers of the island, is one the most popular events of the festival. The festival invited selected writers and poets to three-day translation workshop,which is one of the most important activity of the overall program. This translation workshop model is implemented more than 80 times by Literature Across Frontiers since 2001, in 21 countries, into 57 different languages.It is based on the translation of an extract of a text or a number of poems from the writers and poets invited to the workshop, by another participant through discussionson the selected pieces. The workshop held in Malta took place under the mentorship of Keith Borg and Nadia Mifsud, and the guests were Samantha Barendson (France), RojaChamankar (Iran), the Cuban-born Rodolfo Häsler based in Barcelona, Elias Khoury (Lebanon), Kurdish writer Ciwanmerd Kulek who lives in Istanbul, Marc Nair (Singapore), Abderrahim Sail (Morocco), and Joe P. Galea, Daniel Massa, Rita Saliba, Mark Vella, and Abigail ArdelleZammit from Malta. As a reader, it was a real pleasure to be able to observetheir discussions on one piece or poem and its translationduring the workshop.The workshop openly feeds literary producers who take part in itandis motivating for production and networking.It is also very valuable that the workshop bears concrete outcomesthat can yield to anthologies or collections. In addition, the workshop makes new collaborations possible among writers and poets, and letthem play their part in the circulation of their productions in different languages. The collaboration between Joe P. Galeaand Abigail ArdelleZammit who came together in the scope of this translation workshop at the 11th Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival and who have their preparation works for the workshop published, is a concrete example of suchproductive collaboration.
The very first European launch of KurdîLit website was also realized in the scope of the 11th Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival program on Friday, 26th August 2016 at 19.00. This launch was very specialto us in order to present KurdîLit, which aims to improve the visibility of contemporary literature in the Kurmanjî and Kurmanjkî dialects of Kurdishin the international arena. We have also met for the first time with other LEuL members during this festival. There has been a platform meeting with member organizations and festivals where the representatives have shared their evaluation of platform’s first year and propositions for the second year. The most common problem that came up at this meeting was that public and private organizations’ financial and in kind support to cultural projects, particularly to literary activities, have been increased. Nevertheless member organizations stated that they could realize their festivals and events with the support that they had from LEuL. Thissharingof experience was very inspiring for us in terms of remarking how much the international collaborations and networks matter for organizations and institutions working in the cultural and artistic field.
Right after the end of this year’s events, the organization committee started to work for the 2017 edition of Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival. The festival is scheduled from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th of August. The pre-festival events start on Sunday, 21 August 2017.
More details about the festival: https://inizjamedmalta.wordpress.com/
More details about LEuL Platform: http://www.lit-across-frontiers.org/literary-europe-live/
LEuL member organizations and festivals: http://www.lit-across-frontiers.org/literary-europe-live/members/