#FreeAllWords: International Text and Translation Fund of the European Writers‘ Council (EWC) gives a voice to authors from Belarus and Ukraine
▪ Media campaign launched in Europe
▪ Translators from 16 countries translate over 20 texts into European and International languages
▪ Presentation and discussion „Language as Identity?“ at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Brussels, 15 September 2022
The international support project for Belarusian and Ukrainian authors, #FreeAllWords (www.freeallwords.org) of the European Writers‘ Council (EWC) has been met with a great response. The donation-based text and translation fund sees itself as a collegial initiative for Belarusian and Ukrainian authors, and contributes with text and translation fees to immediate help for persecuted and threatened voices.
In the meantime, translators from Australia, Belarus, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Hungary, Finland, France, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and Sweden have confirmed their cooperation with the initiative. In addition, talks are underway with translators from Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland and the Slovak Republic as well as the European Federation of Literary Translators‘ Organisations, CEATL. From now on, more than 20 different short works by persecuted Belarusian and war-threatened Ukrainian authors can be translated into German, Danish, English, Lithuanian, Finnish, French, Macedonian, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish. An international selection board has been formed for the screening and recommendation. Its members include the Lithuanian translator Vytautas Dekšnys, the Ukrainian poet and publisher Natalia Trokhim and the Belarusian writer Barys Piatrovič.
“In particular, the attacks on the Belarusian and Ukrainian languages are increasing – bans on writing, printing and speaking are enforced with violence and arrests. Libraries are being “cleansed”, books in Belarusian and Ukrainian destroyed, publishers and bookshops in Belarus critical of the regime are banned from printing or selling, and Belarusian authors are being branded as “extremist” by the illegitimate Lukashenka regime. This is one of the reasons why we have made it our task to make the voices of our colleagues heard – #FreeAllWords publishes their works both in their original language and in as many translations as possible”, says Nina George, writer and President of the European Writers’ Council (EWC).
Media campaign and book fair panel
For the European launch, #FreeAllWords has initiated a broad media campaign and is seeking support from translators as well as foundations, funding programmes and non- profit organisations. From September onwards, persecuted and threatened authors will be presented on the project’s social media channels. The initiative’s YouTube channel (#FreeAllWords – YouTube) was launched at the beginning of September. In the coming weeks, it will present the participating authors, who will provide information about their experiences with war and persecution, but also about their literary works, in brief video interviews.
In October 2022, #FreeAllWords will be represented at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
#FreeAllWords is pleased to have the support of the following translators:
Lotte Jansen, Harald Hartvig Jepsen and Trine Søndergaard from Denmark; Hanna Komar, Jim Dingley and John Farndon from United Kingdom; Will Firth from Australia; Vytautas Dekšnys from Lithuania; Arja Pikkupeura and Tatyana Pichulina from Finland; Christine Bilore – France; Christine Hengevoss and Lydia Nagel from Germany; Elena Drăgușin-Richard and Diana Danaila, from Romania; Ruiz Ángela Espinosa – Spain; Ingrid Kalin –Sweden.
Detailed information is available at: freeallwords.org/translators
The #FreeAllWords text and translation fund is a joint support project for Belarusian and Ukrainian writers of all genres and is organised under the umbrella of the European Writers‘ Council (EWC). #FreeAllWords was initiated by the authors‘ associations A*dS (Authors of Switzerland), Forfatterforbundet (Norway), and the Community of Belarusian Writers (Belarus).
Within the framework of #FreeAllWords, short, topical, existing as well as original texts, interviews, reports, essays, poems and other literary forms are to be translated into European and international languages and disseminated through a wide variety of communication channels – digital, print, blogs, media, etc. The authors‘ and translators‘ fees are paid from the #FreeAllWords fund. Foundations involved so far: Fritt Ord, Kopinor (both Norway), Landis&Gyr, Karl und Sophie Bindung Stiftung (both Switzerland). Other supporters: The Irish Writers’ Union and the Society of Swedish Authors in Finland. The first texts and translations by up to 30 authors from Belarus andUkraine are to be published in up to 31 countries in the upcoming six months.
The goal is one million published words for peace and freedom of expression, for understanding between cultures and nations, and as a key contribution in persuading people for a free, democratic, peaceful and inclusive society. In particular, writers’ associations in the European book sector and literature institutions are welcome to request texts and bring authors closer to the public. The European press and media can also register for texts and translations. Literary translators from the language regions of Ukraine and Belarus are also invited to register. The website www.freeallwords.org also contains a summary of the frequent asked questions and answers about the programme so far, as well as a portrait of the participants and their works.
#Freeallwords Project Management
Alena Makouskaya, Project Manager, Member of the EWC Board (English, Belarusian, Russian): firstname.lastname@example.org
Aliaksandra Dvaretskaya, project assistance, enquiries from authors and translators (English, Belarusian, Russian), email@example.com
Contact for media
Susanne Tenzler-Heusler, Press and Media Officer, Events and Books, +49 173 378 6601, media@freeallwords