Annual Report 2011

 


Find out what is the essence of BCWT’s activity, its aims and goals, how BCWT is governed and managed. Read here about BCWT as a workplace and an international meeting point, about BCWT’s networking and cooperation on the international, national and regional level.  Browse through the Statistics which help to overview the tendencies and the international diversity of the BCWT and read an excerpt from the essay by a philosopher and EU Parliament member Leonidas Donskis, in which he reflects upon the BCWT in the context of cultural integration of Europe

 


Uddens gränd 3, 621 56 Visby Sweden

Tel +46 ( 0 )498 218385
fax +46 ( 0 )218798

baltic.centre@gotlandica.se
www.bcwt.org

Organization number: 834001-6776

   

Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators was launched on the initiative of the writers and translators in the Baltic region and Scandinavia. Centre's core activity is to offer writers and translators a workplace and a stimulating environment. With residences as a starting point the centre creates links and networks across national borders and helping to strengthen freedom of expression and dissemination of knowledge and building bridges between different nationalities and cultures. In the same direction, it serves other functions, such as seminars, conferences and literary events the centre organizes, both alone and in collaboration with national and international organizations. Writers and translators have a majority in the centre's board, which has representatives from both Sweden and other countries. Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators is a forum for international cultural exchange and interaction.

 

Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators was created in 1993, as a meeting point and workplace for writers and translators from the entire Baltic sea region; a tangible result of the 1992 Writers' and Translators' Cruise, "Baltic Waves". Spring 1996 the Centre was adopted under the auspices of UNESCO with the right to use UNESCO's logo

 

BCWT aims to
- stimulate the literary and cultural exchange between the countries around the Baltic sea, serve as a workplace and meeting point for writers and translators from the region
- actively work to promote the Centre as a site for cooperative projects, such as seminars, encounters and conferences compatible with the guidelines for BCWT
- support the creation of a reference library compatible with the guidelines for BCWT, as well as an information data base on the literatures of the region
- act as a promoter of formation and a source of inspiration in the cultural field in the Baltic sea region
- constantly seek new forms and partners for collaboration between writers and translators in the region, strengthen the cultural contacts giving priority the east-west aspect
- contribute to increase knowledge and exchanges between literatures and writers from the countries in the region

 

Since its establishment the centre that is located in the middle of the medieval Hansa city Visby welcomed more than 3800 writers and translators from all over the world. Counted in guest nights it means 57 000 and valued in books it means that not less than 3000 titles have been worked on - written or translated - during 19 years of BCWT's existence. The Centre has carried out 18 international poetry festivals, numerous translation workshops with different language constellations, have been host and co-organizer for UNESCO and Baltic Sea conferences and is an internationally recognised institution with long term well-developed cooperation in the Baltic Sea area, Scandinavia and Europe. BCWT is funded by the Swedish state and Region Gotland and has acquired significant support from the European Union and Nordic Council of Ministers. BCWT has been an international model for organisations all around the world and is considered as a unique cultural political investment in the Baltic Sea region.


Members

of the non-profit organization BCWT are the Swedish Writers' Union, Gotland County Administration and Municipality of Gotland. The members appoint three representatives each to the Board of Representatives and nominate the Swedish members of the Board of the Baltic Centre.

Representatives

Gotland County :
Lena Kulander, Joakim Hansson, Louise Borgö
Region Gotland: Barbro Andersson, Mats Sundin, Carolyn Skantz.
 Deputies: Eleonore Hemström, Bo Björkman, Eva Gahnström.
Swedish Writers’ Union:
Djordje Zarkovic, Katarina Kieri, Azar Mahloujian.
Annual Meeting of the Representatives was held on 20 May.

 

Board of the BCWT

is composed of a Chairman and six members and six deputies. The Chairman is appointed by the Representatives on the annual meeting and the Board internally appoints its Deputy Chairman. Of the Board's six members, two are nominated by the Swedish Writers' Union, two - by the County Administration of Gotland, of whom one represents the Gotland University College, one member is to be nominated by Region Gotland. The Baltic Writers Council nominate two members representing the foreign Writers’ and Translators Unions for a two years' period.


Members of the Board

Lars Magnus Lahne, chairman, Gotland University College.
 Deputy January-May: Anders Granat, June-December :Peter Molin. Gotland County
Robert Hall, Region Gotland Deputy: Anna Hrdlicka
Karin Fager, Gotland County  Deputy: Lennart Edlund
Peter Curman, Swedish Writers’ Union.
 Deputy January-May: Kalli Klement / June-December
René Vazquéz Díaz
Anders Bodegård, Swedish Writers’ Union. Deputy: Ingela Bendt
Tor Tveite, Norwegian Translators’ Association, Baltic Writers´ Council.
 Hannu Niklander, Deputy January-May / Member June-December:, Finish Writers Union, Baltic Writers’ Council
Mudite Treimane, member  January-May/ Deputy June-December, Latvian Writers’ Union, Baltic Writers’ Council
Deputy January-May: Karl Martin Sinijärv, Estonian Writers’ Union, Baltic Writers’ Council
Deputy June - December: Liutauras Degesys, Luthuanian Writers’ Union/Baltic Writers’ Council

 

Meetings of the Board

During the year 2011 the Board had four meetings, one in Ventspils, Latvia and three in Visby

- 1 March in Ventspils, Latvia, at the Ventspils International Writers’ and Translators’ House
 with the support of the Nordic funding the BCWT’s Board could follow its ambition to further develop cooperation with the organisations in the member countries and to have once per year a board meeting in another member country
- 20 May / followed by the Annual Meeting of the Representatives
- 9 September
- 14 December

The meeting of the Representatives was held on 20 May.

Baltic Writers’ Council - BWC

BWC is an independent non-profit organisation which aims to support and inspire the Baltic Centre’s activities, as well as to be a forum for discussion of matters of common interest, to stimulate activities in the cultural field and facilitate cooperation between the writers/translators in the Baltic Sea region. The BCWT is the headquarters for BWC, which nominates two members and two deputies to the BCWT’s Board. The chairperson of the BWC is Janina Orlov.

BWC had its annual General Assembly at the BCWT 1 – 2 April. 


The Office
has been open every week-day 8.30 a. m. – 4.30 p.m.

Employees:
Lena Pasternak - director
Patrik Muskos - managing assistant
Gladys Baskur - cleaning 


BCWT as a workplace and meeting point – “building bridges and breaking barries” every day

- BCWT is a working place for writers and translators from the countries of the Baltic Sea region and Scandinavia, and if there is vacancy, from other countries. During 2011 the BCWT had 2947 guest nights and hosted 228 residing guests from 27 countries. Writers and translators stayed with a literary project of their own in average 3-5 weeks on a residence bursary, t. i. free of charge and with 24-hours full access to all BCWT’s facilities.  Furthermore, German Translation Fund, Swedish Writers’ Fund, Swedish institute, Estonian Writers’ Union, Finland Swedish Writers’ Association, Norwegian Writers Union, Latvian Cultural Fund, et al granted a number of individual earmarked bursaries, meant for a working residency at the BCWT. Majority of 228 residing guests were writers, translators, though occasionally cultural administrators, publishers and other guests working in the literature field stayed in connection to a shorter project or meeting. BCWT served as a place for readings, Open Houses, film-screenings, meetings, talks, receptions, mingles, dinners and study visits. The house was occupied and at times full to the edge.

Promoting the BCWT as an international meeting place, the organization has put significant efforts into creating good working environment and welcoming conditions to develop professional and personal contacts and networking. Dinners, tea-hours,  combined with talks and eventual presentations of work-in-progress contribute to deeper acquaintance with each other’s writing, culture, backgrounds, experience. To inspire with extraordinary historical and natural richness of the island, to create more opportunities for international dialogue-on-road
a lot of excursions in Visby and around Gotland were arranged for residing guests and participants of the projects. A number of presentations of the BCWT’s activity was carried for booked and drop-in study visits to the BCWT’s premises


 

Writers in residence 2011

228 guests from 27 countries staying 2 947 Days

 



Days

Guests
Total 
2947

228







Sweden
1061 36,00%
95 41,67%
Finland
272 9,23%
22 9,65%
Germany
218 7,40%
13 5,70%
Lithuania
211 7,16%
9 3,95%
Norway
148 5,02%
12 5,26%
Russia
109 3,70%
5 2,19%
Denmark
104 3,53%
5 2,19%
Estonia
102 3,46%
11 4,82%
France
91 3,09%
5 2,19%
Canada
72 2,44%
4 1,75%
Latvia
71 2,41%
7 3,07%
USA 
53 1,80%
3 1,32%
Greece
53 1,80%
2 0,88%
Belarus
50 1,70%
5 2,19%
Iceland
48 1,63%
3 1,32%
Georgia
41 1,39%
3 1,32%
Poland
37 1,26%
4 1,75%
Italy
33 1,12%
2 0,88%
Romania
30 1,02%
2 0,88%
England
29 0,98%
1 0,44%
China
28 0,95%
7 3,07%
Croatia
21 0,71%
1 0,44%
Puerto Rico/USA 20 0,68%
1 0,44%
Palestine
16 0,54%
1 0,44%
Australia
11 0,37%
1 0,44%
New Zealand 10 0,34%
1 0,44%
Iran
8 0,27%
3 1,32%























Days

Guests
Total
2947

228







Writers
2090 70,92%
148 64,91%
Translators
641 21,75%
40 17,54%
Playwrights
65 2,21%
10 4,39%
Others
151 5,12%
30 13,16%







Male
932 31,63%
78 34,21%
Female
2015 68,37%
150 65,79%










Priorities of 2011

Year 2011 we focused on to investigate how we can secure the financial situation, to build up stronger institutional cooperation in the Baltic Sea area, to further develop cooperation in the North and Europe, to begin refurbishment of, due to the lack of financial means, left-out parts of the activity and run-down working environment. The Activity focus was also on the BCWT‘s multilingual library: urgent updating and catalogization as well revision and modification.

As steps towards deepening of cooperation in the Baltic Sea region and Nord the Board and the staff visited Latvia, Ventspils, the harbour town just opposite Gotland, and visited Ventspils International Writers and Translators House. BCWT took part in Littera Baltica and Baltic Meetings in Turku, participated in the meeting of the Nordic-Baltic “Residence Circle” – network of residency centres which have acquired support from Nordic Council of Ministers -  in Helsinki. The network is administrated by Nordic Culture Point. More than  30 residence centres in all arts fields in the Nordic and Baltic countries gathered for two days conference  with such issues on the agenda as history of artists’ residencies, future challenges & institutional critique, role of residencies in contemporary culture, international funding models for mobility and residencies.

 

Freedom of expression and refuge for writers

 

Through its activity the BCWT creates links and networks across national borders and helping to strengthen freedom of expression and dissemination of knowledge and building bridges between different nationalities and cultures. During 2011 the BCWT dedicated special attention and became part of the public dialogue and practical work with the questions of freedom of expression and refuge for persecuted writers. BCWT participated in the Swedish  Arts Council, PEN,  ICORN – International Cities for Refuge Network,with the office in Stavanger, Norway – arranged meetings and conference. BCWT, both on own behalf and on behalf of Region Gotland, took part in the seminar arranged by one of the three Swedish city of writers’ refuge - Malmö. The autumn was featured by BCWT’s intensive cooperation with Shaherezad, the international cooperation project run by the Culture House (Kulturhuset) in Stockholm. The project deals with the issues of freedom of speech and storytelling.  The cooperation resulted  in two public programmes in Visby within the theme” Safar – Iran in Nord” (October – November).

 

 

 

Public programmes, seminars, talks, conferences, travels, meetings

 

Föreningens Norden annual meeting och theme evening 30 March

 

Berlin, Tyskland  11 – 13 March 

Working meeting within RECIT (International Network of European translators‘ centres) and collaboration partners from Turkey and Morocco. Preparation for an application for a common project „Fabrique“ and EU application within Leonardo programme.
Participation in the Translators‘ programme at Litterarische Colloquium in Berlin

 

Paris, Frankrike   18 – 21 March

Book Fair - Salon du Livre with the Scandinavian literatures in focus. 40 writers from the Scandinavian countries as well aas cultural functionares, administrators, authorities
Network, contacts, participation in a stage seminar

 

Baltic Writers‘ Council, General Assembly 1-2 March

Representatives from 15 writers‘ and translators‘ organisations in the Baltic Sea region and Nord discussed professional issues, cooperation and exchange information of actual situation withing the literary and cultural political field in their countries. Preparations for Baltic Meetings in Turku were launched

 

Malmö   7 – 8 April

The seminar and public programme arranged by Malmö city and Skåne Region about general and practical issues concerning Refuge for Writers. Lena Participated both for the BCWT and to make a research for Gotland Region that aiming to become a city of refuge for writers.

 

Swedish Championship in Poetry Slam  2-5 June 

BCWT celebrates the Finale Day with the programme on the Poetry Slam‘s central stage.
 
Participating Ghayath Almadhoun och Hanna Nordenhök
BCWT invites the winner of the Poetry Slam to  take part in the international poetry festival 27-29 August


Turku / Åbo, Finland  9 – 12 July

BCWT participate in Littera Baltica / Baltic Meetings, arranged by Baltic Writers‘ Council


Public programme "Portrait" in Visby Cathedral and at BCWT  27-28 July 


Composer Mirjam Tally and poet Eva Runefelt together with Estonian musicians „Resonabilis“, consiting of a singer, flute, kantele and cello 
Cooperation between BCWT, Mirjam Tally and Visby Cathedral
27 
July Music and reading
28 July "Help me!" Talk with Mirjam Tally and Eva Runefelt about collaboration between arts; concert.

 

Almedal Politician Week  3 – 9 July    

Every year the first week in July Visby turns into a significant political forum. Representatives from the major political parties, associations, groups, non-governmental organizations arrange participate in talks, seminars, campaigns. Issues of culture and culture politics were brought up for broad discussions. BCWT hosted a number of leading politicians and culture administrators, arranged social gatherings and mingles.
Lena Pasternak talked at SIDA Baltic Sea Unit stage about cultural cooperation in the Baltic Sea region “Thoughts about past, now and future of the cultural cooperation in the Baltic sea area”

 

18 Internationella Poesifestivalen  27 -29 August

arranged In cooperation with Finland Institutes in Tallinn and Stockholm and Swedish championship in Poetry Slam

enckell_tn  ernstreits_tn  huuva_tn  kotjuh_tn

The winner of this year's Swedish Championship in Poetry Slam, Tobias Erehed guested the International Poetry Festival along with Guntars Godiņš from Latvia and Dagmar Leupold from Germany. The Swedish / Chinese Poet Li Li presented at the festival six Chinese poets from Canton Province, Shanghai and Beijing, and „Poetry Ride“, with a travelling community of the poets Igor Kotjuh (Estonia),Selected Ernstreits (Latvia), Agneta Enckell (Finland) and Rose-Marie Huuva (Sweden) made a stop on its trip around the Baltic Sea.

 

poetry_ride_group_small

The multilingual poetry tour "Poetry Ride" went to Finland, Estonia and Latvia and to Visby  - to the stage of BCWT‘s festival on Gotland.
At Almedal library in Visby read Agneta Enckell (Finland), Rose-Marie Huuva(Sweden), Igor Kotjuh (Estonia) and Selected Ernštreits (Latvia), with poetry that they wrote on other than their home countriesmajority language: Sapmi, Russian, Livian, Swedish. The poems got translated into Swedish. Living and working within several languages ​​is now a reality for more and more people, and Poetry Ride and the Poetry Festival  in this way wanted also to call attention to the importance of translation. All the poets participating in the tour have had their poems translated into several other languages​​.


Helsinki, Finland  21-22 september

Nordic - Baltic residence meeting: network Residence Circle, consits of the residential arts centres that acquired nordic funds. The Circle is adminstared by Culture Contact Point Nord, with the office in Soumilinna/Sveaborg – Helsinki.

 

Gothenborg  23 – 25 september

Bokmässan i Göteborg. ÖFÖC medverkar på scen och i monter för länderna i fokus (tyskspråkig litteratur) : Tyskland, Schweiz, Österike. Nätverk, kontakter

 

BCWT cooperation with Shahrazad – Stories for Life, Kulturhuset in Stockholm

6 October

Safar – Iran in Norden
"Time: generations och naratives" 

At Almedal Library
Focus on new generation of poets and writers with bands both to Sweden and Iran.
Athena Farrokhzad och Khashayar Naderehvandi reads their texts and Hassan Loo Sattarvandi reads from his book Siege (Belägring). The writers talk about identity, class and how their Iranian bond influeneced their naration and language. Moderator: Lena Pasternak.

shahrazade

 
 25 November 

Safar – Iran in North
"Beyond the censorship" 

Fariba Vafi is a renown and well- read writer in Iran where she lives and works.

fariba_vafi2

She reads and talks with the Swedish poet and critic Athena Farrokhzad about being an outspoken writer under the suppression of a regime

Stockholm  30 November – 1 December

Nordic seminar and conference about dedicated issues of freedom of speech and Refuge for Writers.Arranged by Nordic Council of Ministers, international and Swedish PEN and ICORN


Brussels, Belgium 1 - 6 December

Participation in the European congress PETRA, devoted issues of cultural politic of EU, cooperation between translators‘ organizations, status of translation.
Study visits and meetings at the EU parliament with the aim to tell about BCWT and on the EU level deepen the awareness and knowledge about BCWT‘s activity

Women’s Voice   13 – 18 December

Workshop with Swedish and Georgian playwrights.
“What is faith?”
 - Reading of Swedish and Georgian drama texts by actors from Gotland County Theatre. Talk with the authors.

At the Gotland County Theatre

womensvoice1


Participating playwrights in Women’s Voice:
Johanna Emanuelsson, AnnaLina Hertzberg, Nina Suramelashvili, Camilla van der Meer Söderberg and Irma Tavelidze 
Cooperation with Dramalabbet in Stockholm, Royal District Theatre in Tbilisi and Dramatic Laboratory Network


Specific residence projects

BCWT – Künstlerhaus Lukas in Aarenshoop Germany

Month-long residency exchange
BCWT invited Helga Krook for residency in Künstlerhaus in Aarenshoop
Künsterhaus Lukas sent Manuela Lachmann to BCWT in Visby

 

BCWT – German Translators Fund – Literarische Colloquium Berlin

Three bursary-holders selected and supported by German Translators’ Fund. Part of the bursary is a subsidy to the BCWT, covering administration and lodging costs.

 

BCWT is a member of RECIT(Réseau Européen des Centres Internationaux de Traducteurs littéraires), Anna Lindh foundation, Nordic-Baltic Residence Circle

 

 

 
BCWT’s activity is financed by :

Swedish Arts Council

Region Gotland

Finland Swedish Writers’ Union

 

Projects and bursaries were funded by:

Nordic Council of Ministers / Nordic Culture Point

German Translation Fund

Kulturkapitaal (Estonian Culture Fund)

 

BCWT‘s cooperation and active networking year 2011

Swedish Arts Council

County Administration on Gotland

Region Gotland

Ventspils International Writers’ and Translators’ House

Estonian Writers’ Union

Swedish Writers’ Union

Baltic Writers’ Council/Östersjöns Författarråd

Kulturhuset in Stockholm

Creative Writing Courses in Fårösund / Hemse Folkhögskola

EU Parliament / members

Finlands Institute in Tallin and Stockholm

Goethe Institute in Stockholm

Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council

Literarische Colloquium Berlin 

Almedalsbiblioteket/ Almedal Library

Gotland County Library

SM in Poetry Slam

Visby International Centre for Composers

Baltic Art Center, BAC

Nordic Culture Point

Network Residency Circle : Nordic/Baltic residencies

Network Kulturskaparna

Publishing house Natur och Kultur

Dramalabbet in Stockholm

Swedish PEN

Almedal Politician Week


Swedish Embassy in Minsk, Belarus

 

Gotland University College

Malmö Stad

Shahrazad - Stories for Life

Composer Miriam Tally

Poet and translator Li Li

European Commission / Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency

Litterarische Colloquium in Berlin

RECIT (Réseau Européen des Centres Internationaux de Traducteurs littéraires)

International Translators‘ House in Looren, Switzerland

Collège Européen des Traducteurs Littéraires (Seneffe, Belgium)

Collège International des Traducteurs Littéraire in Arles

The British Centre for Literary Translation

Magyar Fordítóház Alapítvány

Vertalershuis / Translators’ house

Literárne informacné centrum

EKEMEL – Translation School in Athens

S:ta Maria Cathedral in Visby

Gotlands Tidningar

Gotland Press

Gotlands Radio

Litterär gestaltning, författarutbildning i Göteborg

PA-kompaniet, ljus, ljud och produktion

Thank you from the BCWT’s Board

 

To maintain and develop its activity the BCWT is dependant on good contacts with institutions, organisations and private persons in many countries. In 2010 we received support from many old and new friends, partners, both on and outside Gotland

 

Many thanks to everybody!

 

Visby, May 2012

 

Lars Magnus Lahne Anders Bodegård

Robert Hall Peter Curman

Karin Fager Hannu Niklander

Tor Tveite

 


 

Reflections on the Cultural Integration of Europe

 

The Baltic Center for Writers and Translators in Visby, Sweden

There is a fine institution situated in Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden: the Baltic Center for Writers and Translators (BCWT). I hold this Center to be the jewel of Swedish cultural policy and public diplomacy in the Baltic region. In many ways, the BCWT is an exceptional institution better than anything else at creating a space in which Lithuanian and Swedish translators can meet jointly to translate the verse of one of the greatest Lithuanian poets, Sigitas Geda; where one of the greatest Russian writers, Andrei Bitov, holds forth on the manuscripts of Alexander Pushkin, which he has interpreted together with Lithuanian jazz musicians; and where the poets working there read their just-created poems, prose excerpts, or translations. The Center is the Baltic Region’s symbolic home, a place where Nordic and Baltic languages, literatures, and translators come together.

I would go so far as to describe the BCWT in Visby as a unique instrument, in the context of the entire EU, for cultural integration of Europe. The strength of the Center lies in a perceptive and thoughtful approach to the Baltic and Nordic dimensions that are taken in a broad sense and that are not confined to the Baltic and Nordic countries in the geographical sense. Therefore, the Center’s priorities lie in intellectual, cultural, or mental, geography, rather than in physical geography. The Center’s activities are not confined to the nations of the Baltic and Nordic regions; instead, they are focused on the strengthening of the links among writers, translators, and literatures of Europe.

No wonder, then, that I saw translators and poets from Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Romania, and other countries, whose work in the field of Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Icelandic, or Norwegian literature or of the history of ideas was and continues to be of critical importance for the broadening of the concept of the Baltic region and of Scandinavia. They shed more light on interconnectedness of European creative projects and intellectual exchanges than any political project or official and state-sponsored program.

At the time of a profound crisis of the EU, it becomes vitally important to sustain creative and cultural projects that are able to strengthen the intellectual and cultural integration of Europe. It is striking that no politician has overtly admitted the fact that the only sphere where Europe as our common home became a fact of life, rather then a manifestation of wishful thinking, is education and culture. The BCWT, in my view, is a success story and an unprecedented instrument of the new Europe in terms of vision, a sense of belonging, political reciprocity, creative solidarity, and, most importantly, mutual (re)discovery of Eastern and Western Europe (even of Southern and Northern Europe, if you will). 

Such great voices of the Nordic countries as the Icelandic writer Sjón or the Finnish-Swedish writer Kjell Westö became key figures in representing their immensely rich literatures and cultures precisely due to their ability to serve as the spokesmen of their respective countries and at the same time linking them to and bridging with other countries’ sensibilities. Since they spent much of their time in the BCWT participating in poetry and prose reading nights and other public events that open up the BCWT and allow it to reach out to the wider audience, both of them could be taken as the best example of how the BCWT serves as an intersection of the public and the private, the world of public affairs and that of ideas and creative solitude. This tends to become a pattern not only in such countries as Sweden, Finland, or Iceland, but also in the Baltic States. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the impact of the BCWT.

Since I have had a privilege to cooperate with the aforementioned authors and many others introducing their books in the Vilnius Book Fair, Lithuania, or hosting them in my former TV show Without Anger, I know the role that such engaged and active authors can play allowing various parts of Europe and of the Baltic region in the first place to speak to one another. In this, the BCWT was and continues to be the laboratory of the polyvocality and diversity of Europe’s literary and artistic life.

The future of Europe is unthinkable without the art of translation. Without revealing the new forms of life and thought of each other, we will be unable to accommodate the immense diversity and richness of European literatures and cultures within the EU. The new forms of life and thought can only be revealed through the translation of novels, poems and essays. We will inexorably fail in our EU policies if we will relegate literature, culture, and the art of translation to the margins of European life.

This is to say that I, with all sincerity, urge my Swedish colleagues, authorities, and men and women of public affairs to keep and even strengthen Sweden’s leadership in the Nordic and Baltic regions regarding such highly successful and pivotal institutions of culture and public diplomacy as the Baltic Center for Writers and Translators in Visby. If there is a chance that the EU can survive the twenty-first century as a club of democratic nations or even as a federal state able to blaze the trail to other nations seeking the rule of law and democracy, it will occur only on the condition that we give justice to education and culture.

The breaches and differences among EU members can be successfully reconciled and turned into advantages only through the interplay and rediscovery of languages, literatures, and the art of translation – this symbolic bridge of the nations and their most precious legacies. This is far from a detached and politically naïve wish; in fact, this is a matter of fact. The EU failed where politics was unable to overcome national selfishness and disbelief in the European project. Yet the EU up to now was successful everywhere where it spoke the language of education, literature, and culture.

 

 

Dr. Leonidas Donskis

Member of the European Parliament (2009–2014),

Lithuanian philosopher and essayist


Reports:
Annual Report 2016
Annual Report 2015
Annual Report 2014
Annual Report 2013
Annual Report 2012
Annual Report 2011
Annual Report 2010
Annual Report 2009
Annual Reports archive

Books:
Taste of Paper
Allt är Väg
Navigare - Visby text book nr 1
Gender in Children´s Literature
Book about the Centre
Ett drömseminarium

Misc.
The BCWT Collection