Littfest - Umeå International Literature Festival takes place 14-16 March and introduces Littfest Translates in collaboration with ICORN and the Swedish Authors' Association: A three-days workshop where writers and musicians in ICORN residencies in Sweden meet with Swedish translators to translate their literary works - poems, novels, lyrics, to give the Swedish audience a chance to get to know their works. The works will be read and performed at the festival in both original and Swedish language.
ICORN writers participating are Sahar Mousa, poet from Gaza based in Stockholm, Jahanara Nuri, author and human rights activist from Bangladesh, now based in Linköping, Ashraf Bagheri, Iranian journalist, author and editor, now in Uppsala, and Arya Aramnejad, Iranian musician and Stockholm’s first musician hosted in the ICORN programme. They are paired with the translators Anna Jansson, Helena Hansson, Namdar Nasser and Rostam Mirlashari.
Littfest Translates responds to challenges faced by writers and artists who have newly arrived in Sweden. Establishing oneself as an author in a new country entails many new possibilities, but also challenges. The language is foreign, social and professional codes are different, literary arenas are new, publishers or other actors in the cultural field are unknown, audiences new and relevant contacts and networks need to be established. Above all, there is a need for good translations.
The project is inspired by the translator workshop Text i Flukt, which has been organised since 2014 by the Norwegian Translation Association and Norwegian PEN, together with Kapittel, Stavanger International Festival of Literature and Freedom of Expression.
Erik Jonsson, one of Littfest's three coordinators, says:
By introducing ICORN writers and musicians in Swedish, this project talks about literature that is literally about life and death. The goal is that ICORN writers and musicians based in Sweden should meet and work with professional translators, partly to expand their networks and partly to be able to communicate their texts to a Swedish-speaking audience.
In addition to the translator's workshop where the authors are paired with translators in each language, there will be evening, and side events where participants can meet with colleagues, publishers and audience interested in Swedish and international literature.
The products of the three-days workshop will be presented during the literature festival. The Littfest 2019 has as a red thread that runs through the programme Literature, activism and the political novel.