FreeAllWords Select Authors from Ukraine and Belarus

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ADRIAN WHITE

#FreeAllWords has selected authors from Ukraine and Belarus, whose works will be translated into various European languages in the new season of the project.

15 Belarusian and Ukrainian authors will take part in the second part of the #FreeAllWords international translation initiative. Among the new participants, there are Natalia Matolinets, Tetiana Malenka, Olena Kitsan, Tatsiana Niadbai, Uladzimir Niaklajeu, Uladzimir Lobach and others. Translations of the authors’ works will be posted on the project’s web-site www.freeallwords.org .

The second season of the #FreeAllWords project of the European Writers’ Council began at the end of autumn 2023. 30 applications from Belarusian and Ukrainian authors were submitted to participate in the project. The international jury of the project selected 15 authors whose works will be translated into various European languages. There are 8 authors from Belarus and 7 from Ukraine. Among the new participants, there are Belarusian poets Tatsiana Niadbaï, Uladzimir Niaklajeu, Uladzimir Lobach, Nadzieja Haretskaya, and Ukrainian authors Natalia Matolinets, Tetiana Malenka, Olena Kitsan, Andriy Kostynskyi, and others.

In total, at the moment, 46 authors are participating in the #FreeAllWords project, 29 out of them are representatives of Belarus, 17 are from Ukraine. Among the participants of the project, there are the Belarusian human rights defender and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aleś Bialacki, the political prisoner journalist Kaciaryna Andrejeva, the former Belarusian political prisoner Anatol Khinevich. The poet Inna Snarska, born in Poḷacak, Belarus, has been living in Poltava, Ukraine, for many years. Authors of the project, such as the Kharkiv-based poets Oleksandr Boboshko and Andriy Kostynskyi, the Poltava-based poet Oleg Shaposhnikov, the poets and researchers from Kyiv Nadiya Havryliuk and Tetiana Malenka, and others, are in Ukraine right now.

“When I think about our project Free All Words and the incredible results it is rendering, I can feel anything but pride, — says Miguel Ángel Serrano, Human writer and President of the European Writers Council, — I always insist on how important is to keep words alive in places where repression and violence are, unfortunately, very present. To open windows for the expression of our Belarusan and Ukrainian colleagues is a noble endeavor, and the EWC is committed to keep that happening. This project is our best proof of what writers do: bring truly human and always new experiences to the world. The translators making those accessible to other cultures make possible that a big audience is reached. 

I´m thankful for being a part of this.  I would love to write a final statement and close the project: that would mean that repression and war have ended. Sadly, it’s not the case.  So, we will keep the project freeing the words and works of our colleagues. As I always say: WORDS, NOT SWORDS.

The site www.freeallwords.org  was reorganized especially for the second season of the project; one can now read a selection of translations in one selected language.

43 translators work with the authors’ texts; they translate the works of the project participants into 13 European languages – English, Hungarian, Danish, Spanish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Finnish and French. In total, more than 130,000 words of Ukrainian and Belarusian authors have been translated during the project’s existence.

The project’s plans include popularizing the work of Belarusian and Ukrainian writers, expanding opportunities for publication in literary magazines of other countries.

The #FreeAllWords initiative also continues to collect applications from new participants. In order to join the project, one needs to send one’s texts (no more than 7,000 characters with spaces) marked “author” to the address: contact@freeallwords.org. Selection of works is carried out on a competitive basis. Both poems and prose are accepted for participation. For all questions related to the project, one can contact the following address: contact@freeallwords.org.

Note: The translation project #FreeAllWords was founded in 2022 by the European Writers’ Council (EWC) in order to support Ukrainian and Belarusian authors who continue to be creative in the conditions of the Russian military aggression on the territory of Ukraine and of the brutal suppression of freedom of speech and self-expression by the Belarusian regime.

The European Writers’ Council (EWC) is a federation that includes 49 writers’ and translation organizations from 31 European countries, including the European Union, Iceland and Norway, Belarus, Macedonia, Montenegro, Switzerland and Great Britain. In total, the Council represents the interests of about 220,000 authors who create texts in 34 languages.

More about #FreeAllWords – on the project web-site.

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