From 2nd to 23rd September, the Cultural Relations Platform and the Delegation of the European Union to India are supporting four European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL)-winning authors who will participate in JLF Brave New World, an online series of literary conversations with the world’s leading writers.
The collaboration with JLF Brave New World will result in four online panels featuring winners of the European Prize for Literature, who represent some of the most talented writers in the European Union. All four authors are the winners of the European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL), which each year recognizes exceptional up-and-coming literary talent across Europe. The four authors have been widely acclaimed for their work in Europe and highlight the wealth of contemporary European literature.
The European authors will hold literary exchanges with renowned Indian writers, journalists, and opinion-makers. The initiative is supported by the European Union and designed to strengthen international cultural relations and stimulate collaborations as outlined in the New European Agenda for Culture 2018 and the EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations. It is supported by the Cultural Relations Platform and the Delegation of the European Union to India and organised by the Teamwork Arts.
Ugo Astuto, Ambassador of the European Union to India, emphasised the vast opportunities existing for greater collaboration in the cultural field and said, “I welcome this new platform for literary and cultural exchanges between the EU and India, established with a well-recognized cultural institution such as the JLF Brave New World. I believe this will open new avenues to explore emerging trends in the creative industries. Closer people-to-people ties play an important part in EU-India relations. I am sure that this initiative will allow for greater inter-cultural dialogue and foster reciprocal knowledge.”
Sharing his delight Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, said, “We are delighted with our collaboration with the European Union and believe that this will enable us to share knowledge and ideas with European academics and writers across a spectrum of genres and help make JLF a richer platform.”
The first session will take place on 2 September with EUPL winner Selja Ahava who will be in conversation with writer, translator and filmmaker Anu Singh Choudhary. Selja has written film scripts, a TV series and a radio play. She has also written works that combine text, space and performance. Her second novel, Things That Fall from the Sky, was nominated for the prestigious Finlandia literary prize and was awarded by the EUPL in 2016. Her third novel, Before My Husband Disappears, was one of the most talked-about novels of the year in Finland. Her most recent book, The Woman who Loved Insects, has just come out in Finnish. This is her first interaction with an Indian audience. Speaking ahead of her appearance at JLF Brave New World, she said, "I am excited about this opportunity to take part in JLF Brave New World. We are living uncertain and frightful times, and it gives me hope to feel connected through literature, when it isn't physically possible."
This session will be followed by three more exciting sessions on 4 September, 16 September, and 23 September with EUPL winners Donal Ryan, Beqa Adamashvili and Matthias Nawrat, respectively. All three have received wide praise for their work and highlight the continent’s varied cultural and linguistic heritage.
About the participating authors:
Beqa Adamashvili (born in 1990) is a famous Georgian blogger and advertising copywriter. He made his literary debut in 2009 with short stories published on electronic platforms, and with time, his name became popular among young readers. In 2014, Adamashvili made his debut with the novel Bestseller which eventually became a local bestseller. A great sense of humour and a deep knowledge of world literature combined with marketing and advertising skills makes Adamashvili’s prose hilarious and entertaining. He very often uses allusions from classic literature and sometimes even shifts the famous characters into his works. His second novel, Everybody Dies in the Novel, received the EUPL in 2019. Apart from writing, he works as creative director for Leavingstone - one of the most popular advertising companies in Europe.
Selja Ahava (born in 1974) is a fiction author and scriptwriter. Her debut novel, Eksyneen muistikirja (The Day the Whale Swam through London) was awarded the Laila Hirvisaari Prize in 2010. Her second book, Taivaalta tippuvat asiat (Things that Fall from the Sky) explores the unexpected and inexplicable nature of reality. Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2016, its translation rights have been sold to 25 territories and the English version was published by Oneworld in April 2019 in translation by Emily and Fleur Jeremiah. Her autobiographical novel Ennen kuin mieheni katoaa (Before my Husband Disappears) came out in 2017, followed by her latest novel Nainen joka rakasti hyönteisiä (The Woman who loved Insects), which has just been published in Finland. The book examines metamorphoses, both in insect life and the lives of fictional characters.
Matthias Nawrat (born in 1979) moved to Germany with his family from Opole, Poland, at the age of 10. His first novel The Two of Us Alone, published in 2012, was awarded the Literaturpreis of the Kanton of Bern 2012 and the Adelbert-von-ChamissoFörderpreis 2013. For an excerpt from his dystopian novel, Entrepreneurs, Nawrat was awarded the KELAG Prize at the Klagenfurt Days of German-Language Literature in 2012 and the Bayern2-Wortspiele-Preis 2014. In his subsequent novel, The Many Deaths of our Grandpa Jure, which was awarded the Förderpreis of the Bremer Literaturpreis 2016 and the Alfred-Döblin-Medaille 2016, Nawrat countered the historical horror of his family history with the cheerfulness of a picaresque novel. Nawrat’s new novel, The Sad Guest (original: Der traurige Gast), was published in 2019 and is a quiet, melancholic book that traces the most diverse biographies in contemporary Berlin. This novel was EUPL awarded this year in 2020.
Donal Ryan (born in 1976) was a civil servant for many years, and was only able to devote himself to writing from 2014, following the success of The Spinning Heart, the novel he wrote during the evenings of the summer of 2010. Ryan received 47 rejections before finding a publisher. His novels have gathered a great deal of critical acclaim and The Spinning Heart was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the EUPL award in 2015. Donal Ryan is also a professor of creative writing at the University of Limerick. His latest book, Strange Flowers, has just been published on 20 August 2020.
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 EU and EU-India Ties
The EU, which consists of 27 countries, has the world's second largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of global policies on sustainability.
EU-India relations: For over 55 years, the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, prevent disasters, expand trade, secure global public goods, enhance security around the world and promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and many other fields of mutual interest. More information at: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india
About the Cultural Relations Platform
The Cultural Relations Platform (CRP) is an EU-funded project supporting EU's international cultural relations and cooperation between European and global cultural and creative sectors.
The Platform is supporting sustainable cultural exchanges and people-to-people activities between Europeans and citizens from countries all over the world, including Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the USA, the Western Balkans, and EU’s Neighbouring countries.
The CRP activities range from policy support for EU Institutions to supporting cooperation among cultural and creative sectors as well as strengthening communities and networks of practitioners trough dedicated trainings and enhanced exchanges.
More information at: https://www.cultureinexternalrelations.eu/.
About JLF Brave New World:
Teamwork Arts, producer of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival, presents “JLF Brave New World”, a virtual literature series to celebrate books, their power and positivity. “Brave New World” is an online literature series in which the sprawling grounds of Diggi Palace has been replaced by the boundless possibilities of the Internet.
About Jaipur Literature Festival:
Described as the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’, the Jaipur Literature Festival is a sumptuous feast of ideas. The past decade has seen it transform into a global literary phenomenon having hosted nearly 2000 speakers and welcoming over a million book lovers from across India and the globe.
Writers and Festival Directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple, alongside producer Teamwork Arts, invite speakers to take part in the five-day programme set against the backdrop of Rajasthan’s stunning cultural heritage and the Diggi Palace in the state capital Jaipur.
Past speakers have ranged from Nobel Laureates J.M. Coetzee, Orhan Pamuk and Muhammad Yunus, Man Booker Prize winners Ben Okri, Margaret Atwood and Paul Beatty, Sahitya Akademi winners Gulzar, Javed Akhtar, M.T. Vasudevan Nair as well as the late Girish Karnad, Mahasweta Devi and U.R. Ananthamurthy along with literary superstars including Amish Tripathi and Vikram Seth. An annual event that goes beyond literature, the Festival has also hosted Amartya Sen, Amitabh Bachchan, the late A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey and former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. More information at: www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org
About Teamwork Arts:
For over 30 years, Teamwork Arts has taken India to the world and brought the world to India, presenting the finest of Indian performers, writers and visual artists in the cultural and art space in India and abroad.
Every year, we produce over 25 performing, visual arts and literary festivals in several countries including Australia, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK and USA as well as many eclectic festivals across India. We produce the world's largest literary gathering: the annual Jaipur Literature Festival; JLF international now travels to the US, UK, Canada, Qatar and Australia and we have recently launched a digital series - JLF Brave New World. Our musical extravaganza, Bollywood Love Story - A Musical, continues to tour the world with sold-out shows everywhere it is held. More information at: www.teamworkarts.com
Cultural Relations Platform
Sana Ouchtati, Team Leader
+32 473 64 85 19
EU Delegation to India