Three-Day Working Visits of European Editors, Agents and Cultural Journalists to Tbilisi

From May 29 to 31, 2014, an impressive group of 15 editors, agents, cultural journalists and professionals from six European countries were hosted in Georgia within the Literary Forum & Dialogue 2014. The participants arrived for a three-day visit to meet local publishers, literary agents, journalists and writers. All three days were tremendously intensive and full of events.

During day 1 the guests had a chance to extend their knowledge about the county, its culture, history and traditions, by visiting some of the most outstanding cultural institutions, museums, and historical places in Tbilisi and around.

Day 2 was devoted to professional discussions on various publishing- and translations-related topics. The Forum was launched with the welcoming speech of the Deputy Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia Mr. Alexander Margishvili. The speakers elaborated upon, and later on all the participants discussed on: trends in modern Georgian and foreign literature (Christopher MacLehose); Georgian book market (Ketevan Kiguradze); quality of children's literature (Sonja Matheson); Georgian titles in translations (Diyana Yosifova); issues in translation and promotion of Georgian literature at domestic and overseas book markets (Pierre Astier, Rachel Gratzfeld); translation subsidies and issues related with translation (Medea Metreveli, Gilles Carasso, Stephan Wackwitz and Zaza Purtseladze); literary translation and production of translated literature (Maya Kiasashvili, Adam Berta, Isabel Kupski).

During day 3 the participants visited some of the biggest Georgian publishing houses: "Karchkhadze", "Bakur Sulakauri", "Diogene", "Palitra L", "Inteleqti" and "Siesta". These meetings were especially useful for shedding light on the complicated state of Georgian book market, which has undergone a major transformation for the past 20 years and still today is confronted with some significant challenges, but also for creating promising contacts, which might turn into successful collaborations in the future.

During the three days the participants had numerous formal and informal occasions to meet and talk to Georgian authors, among whom: Nino Haratischwili, Dato Turashvili, Aka Morchiladze, Basa Janikashvili, Lasha Tabukashvili, Gela Charkviani, Tamta Melashvili, Zurab Karumidze, Beka Kurkhuli, Teona Dolenjashvili, Ekaterine Togonidze, the poets: Shota Iatashvili, Zura Papiashvili, etc. These meetings were especially important as they directly raised interest in Georgian literature in general and in the writers they could communicate with, in particular.

The Editorial Visits-Georgia component of Book Platform project was part of the Literary Forum & Dialogue 2014. The
Literary Forum & Dialogue 2014 was organized by Next Page Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and Georgian National Book Centre, in cooperation with the Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association, the Goethe Institute in Tbilisi, the French Institute, Literature Across Frontiers and British Council.

Medea Metreveli, Director of Georgian National Book Center: "Literary Forum & Dialogue held for Georgian and foreign publishers is aimed at the promotion of both – foreign literature in Georgian translations and Georgian titles overseas. What is most important, the Project stimulates the networking between the domestic and overseas publishers".

What particular success stories will follow after the Forum and as a result of its numerous meetings and encounters, still remains to be seen!


Photos by Book Platform project, Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and Georgian National Book Centre 


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