1 April 2007, 7 p.m.
Authors writing in Belarusian have virtually no opportunity to publish their work or to present it publicly to an audience. They are isolated because of their chosen language.
As part of “The power of language” project, we would therefore like to give these young poets and translators the chance to present their work and to discuss it with the audience. We hope that this will encourage others to write in this language, which is disappearing from public view, or to translate texts into Belarusian.
In parallel to this, we will provide information about programmes/grants/literary events offered in Germany for translators.
A complete new edition of the German-Belarusian volume “Linija Fronty” will ensure that this event has a lasting impact.
Target group: Translators of literature, young authors, students of literature, public interested in Belarusian literature.
Proposed participant in the final event: Volha HapiejevaGoethe-Institut Minsk
"Mother tongue and Fatherland"
Effects on literature, press and academic language
series of events
Kiev, Minsk, Warsaw
0049 - (0)89/15921-876
“Language means not only rebirth,” as the Romanian author Norman Manea writes, “but also legitimation, genuine citizenship and affiliation.” Different experiences inform a language under pressure: geographical distance from the mother country, from groups or individuals, whose language becomes a world-shaping force against the background of flight and exile. Another way in which totalitarian rule proved itself to be unparalleled was that it produced a totalitarian language which changed people in a previously unknown way. “…for nowhere is it so manifest that the language ‘is meant not for you and not for me’ as in the totalitarian state where the me and the you do not exist and the most popular personal pronoun is the threatening ‘we’, where one doesn’t know who or what is behind it” (Imre Kertész, Hungarian writer). Or as Dieter Schlesak, German-language writer in Romania, says, “not only the writer, but each individual who endeavours to regain his self has the need and the duty to release himself from the current language, the prevailing linguistic rules.”
The project “Language and Repression” serves as a forum for writers, journalists and academics exposed to such a language situation – i.e. a repressive one. It is taking place in Warsaw (Poland), Minsk (Belarus) and Kiev (Ukraine). The events put on by the Goethe-Instituts there form discussion platforms for their partners and their audience. One author each from Poland, Belarus and Ukraine will be invited to the “Power of Language” festival in Berlin in June 2007, where they will engage in conversation with one another and with Martin Pollack, the famous connoisseur of european literature and reflect publicly on their situation under present conditions.
The project takes place in cooperation with the Allianz Kulturstiftung