Regional Network for Cultural Diversity

About READ

Regional Network for Cultural Diversity  

The EU funded project  Reagional Network for Cultural Diversity aims to promote intercultural reading skills and democratic values through reading culture and the handling of supra-regional high-quality literary works. 

READ 2022 - Our impact

READ 2021 - Our impact

Baseline assessment of the project READ

READ Residency program

The open Call for author in residence program in five countries aims to provide the authors from North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania and Turkey the opportunity to get to know the literary, artistic and cultural scene in the region and to support the regional diffusion of literary work from the target countries. At the same time, the local audience will be given a unique opportunity to be introduced to the work of the selected artists.

Regional Network for Cultural Diversity was delighted to receive over 67 applications from artists from the Western Balkan and Turkey for the 2023 READ Residency Program. The independent residency team (committee) of professionals was tasked with the difficult decision of choosing among the many talented applicants.

The 2022 Residency Program begann in May and ran until the end of December. Authors produced works that were be presented during the festivals as well as library bus and the regional literature magazines. In addition to writing and translating, authors contributed to workshops, delivered presentations and took active part in the literatutre festivals.

The Open Call was published in English, as English is the official language of the READ Residency Programe.




Open Call for Sub-Grants

In the frame of the Civil Society Capacity Support, once per year for a total duration of three years, an open call for proposals will be published for financial support to third parties. Civil Society Organizations from North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Turkey can apply for innovative multilingual and intercultural projects. The organizations can apply for support in the area of translation, publication, and/or promotion of works in order to increase access and awareness of literature beyond the national context. Approximately 40 multilingual projects will receive direct financial support. Intercultural project, from the other side, can apply with innovative projects that focus on promoting literature, reading and cultural diversity. Preference will be given to youth organizations. A total of at least 50 projects will be supported over the period of three years.  

The public calls will be published integrally, one annual call for all Partner countries, in order to encourage regional partnership. Sub-grantees can apply for financial support in the local language or English. The application procedure will be easily accessible by organizations with limited managerial and administrative capacities. The applying process is implemented through Goethe-Institut application portal (GAP).

  • Inter AL @READ Project

  • Inter KS @READ Project

  • Inter NMK @READ Project

  • Inter SRB @READ Project

  • Inter TR @READ Project

READ on wheels

The Project aims to promote intercultural literacy and democratic values through reading culture and exposure to interregional qualitative literary works. It addresses the local schools and libraries and the audiences in 5 countries, exposed to works of authors and cultures of neighboring countries.

One of the project activities that contributed to achieving the specific project objectives is the Mobile library “READ on Wheels” that for 3 years was running through North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Turkey and provided access to books and cultural activities to youngsters in small and hard to reach communities. Considering the imminent closure of the READ Project, the Mobile library will be handed over to a local CSO, which is motivated, interested, has innovative approach and has the capacity to continue the work. The aim of the handover is to ensure sustainability and extend the impact over the long term. 

There are multiple studies on how literary works can benefit and advance intercultural understanding. One claim is that literature could direct readers to all those who are in one way or another different from the readers themselves, and hence encourage inter- and intracultural awareness. According to Wasikiewicz-Firlej “works of literature enable the reader to observe the world from multifarious perspectives and cherish the diversity of individual perception. The power of literature lies in its unique ability to deeply involve the reader both at a cognitive, as well as emotional level.”  This is crucial for the process of reconciliation, understood as a process of recognizing, accepting and empathizing with the other.

"READ on wheels" is a regional mobile library stocked with books and other content from the project partners countries. The multicultural and multilingual mobile library will tour through North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia, Albania and Turkey during a period of three years, with special focus on targeting schools and libraries. The concept of mobile library is based on Goethe-Institut’s long-standing experience with running library and culture buses across countries including but not limited to France, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Belarus, etc. The goal of the mobile library is to provide access to reading and cultural activity to young people in small and hard-to-reach communities where such opportunities are either rare or completely non-existent. At the same time it will provide selected titles and writes from the region and Turkey. The in-country content will be in the local/national languages spoken in that country. In order to address the shortcoming of translated regional literature, the project will invest significant resources in translating works from authors from the region into the languages of the target countries.

  • READ on wheels ©Goethe Institut

  • READ on wheels Foto: ©Kristina Velkovska, GI Skopje

  • READ on wheels Foto: ©Kristina Velkovska, GI Skopje

  • READ on wheels Foto: ©Kristina Velkovska, GI Skopje

  • READ on wheels Foto: ©Kristina Velkovska, GI Skopje

  • READ on wheels Foto: ©Kristina Velkovska, GI Skopje

In order to reach the goals, "READ on wheels", is specially designed and well equipped minibus to visit more than 100 communities in North Macedonia in the flowing 12 months. The mobile furniture will be used to set up open-air library spaces where activities with local beneficiaries can be organized. The open-air space is especially convenient and needed in communities where suitable venues are not available. This in particular includes cooperation with schools and libraries, however the visits will also be extend to child, youth, and community centers, local civil society organizations, cultural operators, such as local festivals, local amateur theaters, local writers and artists and so forth.
In the frames of the “READ on wheels” Tour, following activities are planned:
- storytelling workshops
- presentation of new writers/authors
- creative writing workshops
- translation workshops
- illustration workshops
- children workshops
- book rental
- lectures and debates
- movie screenings
- theatre plays.

Literature Festivals

A key vehicle for the project effort for promoting cross-cultural cooperation in the region is the support to literature festivals in the 5 target countries. The project supports existing literary festivals which are run by the project partners. The project partners: Association Krokodil (Serbia), Instituti i Librit dhe i Promocionit (Albania), Istanbul International Literature Festival-ITEF (Turkey), Quendra Multimedia (Kosovo), and CBC Loja (North Macedonia) are established cultural actors in their respective countries and regionally, and they are all involved in organization of literary events and festivals. The annual festivals run by the project partners will be supported for 2 editions (years), by the project. 

FESTIVAL KROKODIL   15-18 June 2023
Tirana Gate 2023            October 2023
polip – International Literature Festival, Edition XII  12-14 May 2023
Istanbul International Literature Festival-ITEF     20-24 September 2023
Watch Through North Macedonia    26-28 April 2023