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Issue 91 – October 2012

Wednesday 31 October 2012

In this issue:





The studies on the translations from Armenian into 11 other languages were successfully completed by the end of September. The eleven examined languages are Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, Georgian, German, Italian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish and Ukrainian. The studies reflect the diverse nature of the relations between Armenian and the other 11 languages, and therefore, revealed quite a different number of translated titles, ranging, respectively, from zero translated titles since 1991 into Swedish (there are three before that year), to the impressive number of 61 titles translated in French since 1991. The circles-graph below shows the number of titles translated from Armenian into each of the studied languages.

The last two circles stand for Spanish and Dutch with respectively 4 and 2 titles. Sweden is not included due to the lack of translated titles.


Each of the studies consists of a text describing the history and the current state of translations between particular language combinations as well as a bibliography of book titles. The texts examine the role of publishers, translators, events and institutions in sustaining cultural and literary connections between respective languages via translations, and provide recommendations for the future. All the studies can be downloaded from the website of the project in convenient Word and PDF formats, and the bibliographies are available in our searchable translations database here.

The studies on the translations from Armenian into 11 other languages are the first of a series of studies examining the translation flows from and into Armenian, Georgian and Ukrainian to be elaborated under the Book Platform project. Stay updated for the next studies. Coming soon!


The First Regional Conference of the Eastern Partnership Culture Programme took place in Tbilisi, Georgia on 8-9 October 2012. The Conference was organised by the Regional Monitoring and Capacity Building Unit to gather for the first time all stakeholders (public, private, civil society, independent) from all the six EaP countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and the European Union. The event aimed at launching the debate on culture policies in the Eastern Partnership region. The conference gathered over 100 participants representing the public and private culture sector of the EaP countries including national authorities, civil society and cultural industries, as well as international organizations and culture actors from EU Member States.

Major highlight of the two-day conference was the presentation of the 15 projects within the exhibition area at the Holiday Inn Hotel Tbilisi. The participants of the conference were kindly requested by the organizers to vote for the three best projects presentations. Book Platform team is very proud to have been awarded with the prize for creativity! The project stand featured a cozy reading corner with a random selection of titles in Armenian, Georgian and Ukrainian, special info fortune slips, and many more surprises!


In the world of book professionals there is a saying that not being at the Frankfurt Book Fair means you do not exist. Well, the Book Platform project exists and was present at the biggest international book fair for the first time this year in various ways. The project was presented within the public debate on "International cooperation between translation funding organizations" organized at the Weltempfang salon of the fair. An exceptionally well visited event with some 100 people from the book world: mostly funding and advocacy organizations, literary translators and independent publishers interested in international cooperation. The debate was followed by an informal reception for networking and further exchange. Information on the Book Platform was also offered at the Georgian national stand that for the last few years sets up a standard on how the literature of a “EU neighboring” country can be presented to international audience. The stand was organized by our partner organization in Georgia, the GPBA (Georgian Book Publishers Association) in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture.

Keep an eye on the Frankfurt Book Fair 2013 program as we are planning even more exciting events then.


(JPG) As we informed you in Issue 88 of Page Back, the Serbian literary and art magazine Kvartal started a series of issues, which will include comics designed in the frames of the comiXculture project. The spring-summer 2012 issue included the translated comic “Separation”, written by Andrei Blatnik and illustrated by Toma Pan, together with a paragrapgh by Yana Genova on the comiXculture project and the “stories that matter”.

“Stories that matter. They say we live in a visual culture but everybody seems to be hunting for the good story – e-publishers are digging out forgotten books to sell them in new media formats, Hollywood is digesting non-US scripts for US audiences and visual artists are looking for inspirations in the word of the text. At the same time, comics seem to establish the perfect harmony between image and words. In comics production the question what comes first – the text or the image, is pointless. And there are no rules how this balance should look like: you can have a comic with very few or without words (but still with an initial script) or you can have one which is basically a deep narrative with illustrations. At comiXculture project of Next Page at the beginning we decided to leave it all to the comics artists themselves, to let their distinctive styles manifest themselves in both the script and the visuals. But we also had a difficult focus theme – we sought to trigger a reflection on stereotypes about the other, on ongoing themes around globalization and struggling local cultures, on geographical and national borders and on minorities and hidden wars. It is somehow already trivial to talk about these issues and on the other hand it is a highly abstract subject. With this topic, coming up with a non-trivial and meaningful story, a story that is neither allegorical nor annoyingly didactic, it is not an easy task. Most of the artists in the project – the ones from the Balkans but also the ones from Lebanon, were not prepared to work in collaboration with a scenario-writer. So we proposed them to look around and choose a favorite literary author and a favorite literary story that they can see turning into images. The advantage of working with a literary text as opposed to jointly coming up with a scenario in real time is that the text is already written, it is already out there and – as writers know from sometimes painful experience – it is already a “possession” of its readers. Turning it into comics is a special kind of reading a literary story and making it into something completely new. So no point in comparing and calculating what is gained and what is lost from turning literature into comics. We have a brand new piece now and let’s enjoy it.” (Yana Genova for “Kvartal” Magazine)