In the frame of READ, once per year for a total duration of three years, an open call for proposals will be published for financial support to third parties. Civil Society Organizations from North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Turkey can apply for innovative multilingual and intercultural projects. The organizations can apply for support in the area of translation, publication, and/or promotion of works in order to increase access and awareness of literature beyond the national context. Approximately 40 multilingual projects will receive direct financial support. Intercultural project, from the other side, can apply with innovative projects that focus on promoting literature, reading and cultural diversity.
In December 2020, Open call for support of intercultural and multi-lingual projects was published in the five project partner countries. The application procedure was easily accessible by organizations with limited managerial and administrative capacities. The selection committee consisting of 11 members assessed the 78 received applications and awarded 29 project proposals with a sub-grant.
We are highlighting here some of their projects:
– Roma Versitas Albania, in cooperation with Roma Community Comix, provided the translation and publication of an illustrated book, Aldo, which aims to promote the human rights and multiculturalism of Roma people in the region. It was translated from Albanian to Turkish language, and published online; it was also translated to Romani language and made an audio book. The project was promoted on an international competition of International Achievement Awards.
– The project “A Cultural Bridge Built Throughout Poems” was implemented by the Turkish organization BİLSEK Gençlik Kulübü Derneği, An anthology book including 30 poems and biography of 30 poets from Turkey and North Macedonia were translated in Turkish, Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian published in digital format. The central aim of this project is to support and promote local poets of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, and Gostivar, the North Macedonia, gifted people, although unknown beyond the local horizon.
– NGO Advocacy Center for Democratic Culture ACDC, North Mitrovica, Kosovo, organized five training with ten young writers, mostly students and professors from university of literature, which aimed to equip them with useful skills in creative writing workshops and to provide them safe intercultural dialogue on the publishing opportunities. As part of the project’s activity, engaged 5 people from different ethnic communities to write an Op-Eds in order to highlight and explain certain issues of importance for the literary arts and artists and overall artistic initiative in northern Kosovo.
– Fondacioni 17, Prishtina, Kosovo, cooperated with Art House, Shkodra, Albania, for the art residence “Beyond”. The aim was to create a space of cultural and artistic exchange on regional and international level. The artists Xhulian Millaj, from Albania, and Rena Begolli, from Kosovo, became part of the residence program. Several meetings were organized, with Rena in Shkodra and with Xhulian in Prishtina. They made public presentations of their research during the respective residence periods.
– The main objective of the project “Belgrade-Skopje: Tour-Retour”, implemented by Liceulice, Belgrade, Serbia, is to add to the cross-cultural cooperation between Serbia and North Macedonia, through the literary dialogue of the two contemporary authors, Lana Bastašić from Bosnia/Serbia, and Rumena Bužarovska from Macedonia. They have used the correspondence to reflect upon the literary scene in both countries, but also to the current socio-political frame of the countries we are living in, their similarities and differences.
– UBSHR (Union of Albanian Municipalities in the Region) is an independent, non-governmental organization, based in Tirana, Albania. It is driven to nurture synergies and enhance cooperation among countries in the region, to promote and enhance economic and social cooperation in the larger European ecosystem, support good governance and contribute to the region’s EU integration perspectives. Through the project “Cities4CultureHeritage”, it aims to activate the commitment of young people to protect their cultural heritage by informing and raising awareness about the cultural values that carry various handicraft products.
– Perun Artis Association for Art and Multicultural Development, Bitola, North Macedonia, realized two interesting books: “The New Adventures of the Twins”, a book for children by the Serbian author Milutin Djurickovic, and the poetry book “Correcting the Mistakes”, by the Albanian author Arian Leka. There were two online promotions of both books, and Arian Leka’s promotion onsite in the frames of the Annual Celebration of the Albanian Alphabet, which was created in Bitola in 1907.
– The project implemented by Kolarac Foundation, Belgrade, Serbia, consists in the publication and translation of “Clover with four leaves”, a book by the young Turkish author Ayse Aycan Kesici. This project is important because it connects two cultures by showing that the friendship is the most important thing in one society, and if we keep supporting each other, we will be happy and successful. And when the hard time strikes, there is no better consolation than a true friend.
– The project MOCI – Mobile Open Culture and Innovation Hub, implemented by 7 Arte, Mitrovica, Kosovo, in partnership with the organization Tek Bunkeri, consists in a series of Creative Storytelling Workshops for youngsters, both in Mitrovica and Tirana. It facilitated exchange of creative productions and practices by reducing language barriers and creating relations based on shared interests, challenges and practices. Local professionals and thier youth audience were directly involved in these activitities.
– From April to October 2021, the Center “Health, Art, Sport, Tourism, Education”, based in Tirana, Albania, implemented a project that consisted in the translation of a book from Turkish into Albanian, “I will never see the world again” by Ahmet Altan, with the story of prison experiences of the author, imprisoned for political reasons. The book aims to convey through the language of art promotion of democracy and Human Rights. After the publication, it has been distributed to five universities, which will organize activities around it.
– The aim of the project Sound of Curiosity, implemented by Bis-Body Processed Art Association, based in Istanbul, Turkey is to initiate new intercultural dialogues among youths from Turkey and Albania, through writing, reading, and sound art as a contemporary art practice to give ways to be aware of each other’s culture and language. In this project, language is a tool for reading, writing, talking but also listening to each other. Young individuals from Turkey and Albania are invited to communicate with each other regardless of their language, culture, and beliefs. And they do it with words, even if they do not know each other’s languages. Does it seem impossible?
– “Stories we share” is an intercultural storytelling podcast project implemented by PVN Albania. It tends to strengthen cultural ties between the countries by producing an intercultural creative product that shows the connections and similarities between young people while combating the division and negative stereotyping that unfortunately exists in the Balkans. The aim was to create audio projects, in the form of a podcast series, to connect and share personal stories and experiences of young people in four Western Balkan countries – Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia. The targeted audience were youth from these countries, as well as civil society actors working on intercultural projects and with youth in the region.
– The project “Poetry in Motion”, implemented by Srebno Drvo, Belgrade, Serbia, consists of making a stage play from poetry. The play is based on poems 51 from 21 different authors from five different countries: Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia and Turkey. Modern poetry from the region brings to life key issues like love, fear, loneliness, identity, insecurity… that everyone can relate to. No matter where we come from, we all ask ourselves the same questions on our life journeys. This story about introspection and love is brought to stage by two young actors and a dancer.
– “Hidden in Plain Sight” (I fshehur në fushë të hapur), a project implemented by Sbunker, Prishtina, Kosovo, is the first multidisciplinary monography in this country. It is an all-comprehensive publication that promotes Kosovar artists who were not visible enough in spite of their talents. This publication as a result of an intensive research by the artist Driton Selmani. It comprises sketches, photos, installations, sculpture, video art and performances, accompanied by detailed documentation.