Mercator Institute, Aberystwyth University
- International/Cultural relations
Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) is a platform for organisations and individuals working together across Europe and beyond to develop intercultural dialogue through literature and translation. We run a series of activities and projects that create opportunities for new literary connections and collaborations, bring to light lesser-translated literatures, as well as monitoring translation activities and debating policy in the field of literature and translation.
Our key aims are to:
advance intercultural dialogue and promote a deeper understanding of Europe’s diversity and shared values through literary exchange and translation;
develop models of multilateral transnational cooperation on projects creating, disseminating and positioning European literature from new perspectives, whilst addressing the central role of culture in social development;
foster the involvement of independent civil society organisations in international cultural activities and cultural policy development by offering knowledge-building and networking opportunities for the literature, translation and publishing sector.
Our strategic objectives for the next five years until 2018 are:
1. Consolidating the role of Literature Across Frontiers as a platform, hub and resource by broadening its partnership base and facilitating networking between organisations and individual professionals – especially in the broader framework of the European Neighbourhood and third countries in general, with a special focus on the Euro-Mediterranean region.
2. Contributing to European and international debate on cultural policy and practice by conducting research in the field of books, literature and translation, providing information and expertise to various international forums and making the outcomes of our research available online in the form of surveys, studies and reports.
3. Advancing intercultural dialogue through literature within Europe and between Europe and other parts of the world, presenting European literature outside Europe in all its diversity and creating sustainable connections between European literary organisations and networks, and those operating outside Europe (working with book fairs, festivals, associations, organisations and individual publishers); developing exchanges and activities aimed at strengthening literary connections between the two sides of the Mediterranean, while mainstreaming participation of literary representatives the less widely used languages of Europe in such activities.
4. Creating new forms of artistic expression based on interdisciplinary, collaborative work involving literature and translation, whilst examining the central role of culture in social and democratic development through projects that explore and discuss our common European identity and future.
5. Developing and broadening audiences for translated literature, raising awareness of the importance of literary translation, increasing the international circulation of literature and connecting diverse literary scenes through a range of approaches to the production, publication, dissemination, presentation, promotion and review of literary works and literary performances, particularly through new digital media, and by stimulating debate about translation.
6. Creating international opportunities for knowledge building and the professional development of organisations and individuals working towards the creation, publishing, translation and promotion of literature by organising short-term training and networking events, including translation skills training, particularly for translators working in less widely used languages and between European and non-European languages; supporting the creative potential of author-translators particularly in the translation of poetry written between less widely spoken languages; developing a programme of short-term training opportunities for literary translators translating from and into the languages of the South Mediterranean through workshops and seminars.
Literature Across Frontiers’ work spans the following activities… Networking LAF provides opportunities for people working in the field of international literature to create new contacts. Seminars, debates and conferences We organise public debates, seminars and conferences at literature festivals, book fairs and other gatherings. Information provision, research and documentation LAF has access to a wide range of information useful for people in the literary world. We provide much of this online and at events, and also use it in our research which we undertake to make recommendations for policy-making and best practice. Literary festivals and events We help develop international content at literary festivals and literature events. Translator training and development LAF develops models for the recruitment and training of literary translators through translation workshops and tertiary education models for emerging translators. Book fairs We participate in several international book fairs with events, networking activities and collective stands. Transcript LAF publishes Transcript – Europe’s trilingual online literary magazine published in French, German and English. In Transcript readers can discover short stories, poetry, essays and interviews from across Europe and beyond. Visit Transcript Publishing As well as Transcript, LAF cooperates with other organisations, literary magazines and publishers on the publication of literature in translation. Large scale projects We organise special projects which focus on particular genres or regions.