The Other Words literary project, initiated by Donostia Kultura and San Sebastian 2016, is a partnership programme between cultural/language organisations in European regions which aims to establish a network of creative placements for European writers in small and minority languages. The partner organisations are:
- Donostia Kultura and San Sebastian 2016 (Basque Country)
- Foras na Gaeilge (Ireland)
- X-OP eXchange of art Operators and Producers (Slovenia)
- Youth Forum na mladi - Bitola (Macedonia)
- Leeuwarde/Ljouwert 2018 (Friesland).
The preparatory phase is now underway, and the project itself will run during the period 2016-2019.
The core objectives are:
- To help literature written in small and minority languages to become known further afield.
- To highlight the importance of language diversity.
- To shed light on the literary creation process.
- To draw attention to social themes, issues and social groups connected to small languages.
- To promote cooperation between writers and artists in literature in small and minority languages.
The key components of the project are as follows:
- Placements . This is the essence of the project, which is based on the exchange of writers between different regions. Each participating region will send two writers to complete an eight week placement in two partner regions in each of the three years, and each region will also host two writers per year from partner regions. There will be a total of 10 writers participating each year.
- Literary creation projects. During the placements, the writers will work on subjects dealing with themes, issues and social groups connected with lesser used languages, the result of which will be a literary text dealing with these subjects, maintaining at all times contact and cooperation with the host community and shedding light on the creative process. To help achieve this the writers will participate in a series of initiatives during their placement.
- Translations. As stated above one of the goals of the project is to foster literature produced in minority or small languages and to promote collaboration between writers. All of the texts created during the placements will therefore be translated into the languages of the partners and into English. This will enable us to share “other words” and “the words of others”.
- Website. The works produced under the Beste Hitzak/Other Words project, and the creative process itself, will be published on a specially created website. This website will provide a platform for dissemination of the project content.
Partner organisations in the different regions are already working on the development of the project. The first public phase will involve launching a competition, an open call, to select the most suitable writers to participate in the project. Criteria for the competition have been published on the website.
We wish to encourage all writers to participate in the competition and respond to our open call. This is an excellent opportunity to create a literary work and to discover the reality of another region. As already stated, the selected writers will live in another region for eight weeks, all expenses paid. They will also receive financial remuneration.
There will be further placements and events in the future, which will be announced at the appropriate time. Please note that the first writers' placements will take place in spring 2016.