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This September 20-28, three European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) winning authors have been engaging in a week-long exchanges with writers and professionals from India’s literary sector, as well as meeting students and the general public. Over a series of events in Pune and New Delhi, the authors have presented their works, taken part in panel discussions and presented the diversity of European literature to coincide with the European Day of Languages, marked each year on September 26.
The initiative is supported by the European Union and designed to strengthen international cultural relations, develop personal networks and stimulate collaborations as outlined in the New European Agenda for Culture 2018 and the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations. It is organised by the Cultural Diplomacy Platform and the Delegation of the European Union to India and is curated in collaboration with Literature Across Frontiers (LAF).
Through many visits and activities, the authors have interacted with local and national literary professionals:
At the Pune International Literary Festival, which celebrates the customs, art and culture of Pune, the three authors met with peers and local audiences.
In New Delhi, the authors met with local book market professionals to discuss their work, industry trends and themes of their respective countries’ contemporary writing. The authors also participated in a series of workshop with students at O.P. Jindal Global University, Delhi University and the Sri Aurobindo Institute of Arts and Communication.
The week will culminate with the participation of the authors at the annual Long Night of LiteratureS on September 27 organized by the Delegation of the European Union and European Union Member States. The Long Night of LiteratureS is an evening of meaningful exchanges between attendees and multiple European authors, highlighting the breadth, diversity and uniqueness of the European literary scene.
“The intense, week-long visit of the three EUPL winners to India will mark a celebration of contemporary European literature in India; promote literary exchanges with audiences, industry professionals, and students, and open avenues for deepening European and Indian literary and cultural ties,” said Raimund Magis, Chargé d'affaires, Delegation of the European Union to India. “It will also provide the EU and India new avenues to explore emerging frontiers in the creative industries.”
About the participating authors:
Jan Carson is a British/Irish writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. Her first novel Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim, followed by a short story collection, Children’s Children (2016), and a flash fiction anthology, Postcard Stories (2017). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and on BBC Radio 3 and 4. In 2016 she won the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition and was shortlisted for the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize. Her second novel The Fire Starters (2019) and subsequently won the European Union Prize for Literature. She specializes in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia and is researching representations of dementia in literature at Queen’s University Belfast.
Marta Dzido is a Polish writer, documentary filmmaker and film editor. She has published novels Ślad po mamie (A Mark Left by Mom, 2003), Małż (The Clam, 2005), and hypertext Matrioszka (2013), and a non-fiction book, Women of Solidarity (2016) focusing on women’s role in the Solidarity movement of the early 1980s. She won the European Union Prize for Literature with her novel Frajda (2018. A graduate of the Łódź Film School, her documentary film credits include Underground Women’s State (2009) and Downtown (2010), winner of the Hollywood Eagle Documentary Award in 2011. She wrote, co-directed and edited Solidarity According to Women (2014, Krzysztof Kieslowski Beyond Borders Award, special award of Polish Film Institute) and the docudrama Women Power (2018).
Çiler İlhan is the author of two collections of interlinked short stories, Rüya Tacirleri Odası (The Dream Merchants’ Chamber, 2006) and Sürgün (Exile, 2010) which won the 2011 European Union Prize for Literature and went on to be translated into twenty-seven languages, including Hindi and Malayalam. Her stories have been published in numerous anthologies in Turkey abroad, including Tales of the 1002nd Night (2005), City-pick Istanbul: Perfect Gems of City Writing (2013) and Écrivains de Turquie: Sur les rives du soleil (2013). Her essays, book reviews, travel writings and translations were published in leading Turkish magazines and newspaper supplements. A member of Turkish and Dutch PEN, she lives in the Netherlands and is currently working on a novel.
About the European Union Prize for Literature
Since its creation in 2009, the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) aims to put the spotlight on the creativity and diverse wealth of Europe’s contemporary literature in the field of fiction, to promote the circulation of literature within Europe and to encourage greater interest in non-national literary works.
The Prize, which is co-financed by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, aims to achieve three main goals: to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output; and to foster intercultural dialogue.
The Prize is open to all countries currently involved in the Creative Europe Program including all member states of the European Union and 14 non-EU countries. More information at: http://www.euprizeliterature.eu/.
About the Delegation of the European Union to India
For over 50 years the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, and promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and many other fields of mutual interest. The EU unveiled a new Strategy on India in November 2018 which aims to further strengthen the Strategic Partnership by focusing on common responses to global and regional issues and on four focus areas: Sustainable Modernisation, Climate Change, Trade and Investment, and Innovation along with strengthening people-to-people ties. More information at: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india.
About the Cultural Diplomacy Platform
The Cultural Diplomacy Platform supports the achievement of EU Foreign Policy objectives by strengthening the EU’s ability to engage meaningfully with different audiences and stakeholders in third countries through cultural diplomacy experts. More information at: https://www.cultureinexternalrelations.eu/.
About Literature Across Frontiers (LAF)
Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) is a platform of organisations and individuals working together across Europe and beyond to develop intercultural dialogue through literature and translation. LAF seeks to bring down some of the barriers standing in the way of meaningful literary exchange and work towards a diverse creative environment where literature from multiple languages and cultures can be accessed and celebrated. More information at: https://www.lit-across-frontiers.org/fr/
Cultural Diplomacy Platform
Sana Ouchtati, Team Leader
+32 473 64 85 19
EU Delegation to India