Iryna Slavinska at the festival Literary Days in Solothurn in Switzerland

29 May - 1 June 2014
Thanks to the Book Platform project support, Ukrainian literary observer, journalist, translator Iryna Slavinska visited the festival "Literary Days in Solothurn", Solothurn (Switzerland), which lasted from May 29 till June 01, 2014. There she had productive conversations with translators and researchers of Swiss literature (Oles Ilchenko, Iryna Sobchenko), conducted interviews with organizers of the festivals – Paola Gilardi ("Literary Days in Solothurn"), Ulrich Schreiber (International Literature Festival Berlin), Regina Dyck (International Literary Festival Bremen) and the well-known Ukrainian German-speaking writer Katja Petrowskaja. Publications of these interviews in the leading Ukrainian mass media are scheduled for the nearest future.

Iryna also had a useful meetings with David Bosc, who works for the publishing house "Noir sur Blanc", which publishes translations of contemporary Ukrainian writers in French, and visited about 20 literary events of the festival among which there were readings, discussions, translation workshops, poetic salons of famous European authors. This trip can have a lot of positive outcomes for the Ukrainian literary environment.

Iryna Slavinska shares her thoughts: "From a professional perspective the following aspects seemed useful for me:

1) Professional relations with colleagues from Switzerland, Germany and France were established. There are no specific arrangements but there is a decision to meet the needs of each other: the team of the festival in Solothurn would like to receive funding for visiting one of the Ukrainian international literary festivals, director of the Berlin Festival is preparing a festival in Odessa (together with Andrey Kurkov), head of the Bremen Festival is very interested in the exchanges, David Bosc is searching for new translators from Ukrainian into French and for new contemporary Ukrainian authors;

2) Possibility to discover a number of names appeared. I returned from the festival with a list of interesting French- and German-speaking authors of Switzerland. They can be recommended to publishers for translation and to organizers of festivals for invitation.

3) New interesting performative forms of reading and presenting texts, such as "reading in darkness", "translator behind glass" and also interesting experience of poetic and musical "mixtures" can be implemented at Ukrainian festivals.

4) We also agreed about cooperation with Oles Ilchenko and Iryna Sobchenko that will consist in monitoring the situation in literatures and possible places for exchange and contacts. In this context materials provided by the "Book Platform" project were very useful, because information about translations from and into Ukrainian is a kind of a map which will allow publishers, translators and organizers of other festivals to orient themselves in the sphere".



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