To Speak Europe in Different Languages: SHORTLIST

Hybrid and Collective Writing Competition

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TO SPEAK EUROPE IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES: SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED

The five pieces shortlisted for To Speak Europe in Different Languages: Hybrid and Collective Writing Competition are:

Souhail Chichah, Prendre langue [Language: French]

Lidija Dimkovska, Кога заминав од „Карл Либкнехт“ [Language: Macedonian]

Desta Haile, York to Teheran [Language: English]

Asmaa Jama, Africa Is the Land of Wide Empty Spaces [Language: English/Somali]

Yohanes Molla, መጀመሪያ ቃል ነበረ… [Language: Amharic]


The award ceremony will take place September 18, 2020
, at “Babel. Festival of literature and translation”, Bellinzona, Switzerland.

The winner will receive 2,000 Euros.

After the award ceremony the shortlisted texts will be published on www.specimen.press, translated into several new languages.


ABOUT THE PRIZE

European history is made of constant flows of people, crossings, fragmentations, the digging of trenches as well as of tunnels. Most of what’s European is a mix resulting from such exchanges. Yet, nativism and identity-driven polarisations are on the rise.

Compared to ethnic, religious or class-related divides, language seems to be less controversial. People claim to belong to one language, when in reality many are exposed to local or oral dimensions as well as, in migrations, to language as revival or survival. In many cases, the relationship with the mother tongue is ambiguous.

It is therefore intriguing to consider the lack of clear-cut divisions between languages, and to explore hybridisation as opposed to purity, nativity or hierarchy: hybridisation between languages, between written and oral forms, between genres, between the norm and the exception. The language of Europe is translation, and hybrid are its dialects.


HIBRYD AND COLLECTIVE WRITING COMPETITION

Specimen. The Babel Review of Translations, in collaboration with the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile), and thanks to the support of the European Cultural Foundation, launched To Speak Europe in Different Languages. Hybrid and collective writing competition.

This prize aims at recognising the wounds and wonders of language, in order to endorse and enhance the border-crossing, category-defying qualities of our contemporary world.

To Speak Europe in Different Languages. Hybrid and collective writing competition prompts every speaker to be part of a linguistic minority: we did this by inviting people to feel entitled to their linguistic localism or personal idiolect, and at the same time to connect with those who live very different lives and yet might share similar doubts and gifts.

Only the multiplication of minorities can form a true majority.


JUDGING PANEL

The prize is run by Eritrean-Ethiopian-British novelist, Sulaiman Addonia, founder of the nomadic Asmara-Addis Literary Festival (In Exile). The judging panel for the inaugural prize is composed of five writers who embody, in different ways, the prize’s ethos. The jury’s verdict is final and unobjectionable.

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This prize is made possible thanks to the support of: European Cultural Foundation, Pro Helvetia

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