News | 19.08.2017

II INTERNATIONAL OPEN-AIR FORUM «LITERATURE INTERMARIUM»

On 12-13 August 2017 in Kaptaruny Art Village the 2nd International open-air forum «Literature Intermarium» happened. The topic of this year forum is Literary Intermarium. Moving Borders.

 

Last year was a challenging period for the Western countries, having put into question the geopolitical alliances, which had been formed for decades, the most important of which was the European Union. The years to come seem to face the need to look for new geopolitical strategies, including new formats of interaction of cultures. During the forum, we would like to discuss not only possible future scenarios in a situation of the crisis of Europe, but to reflect on the common pages of the past, which could become a starting point for mutual attraction and exchange in the new format.

Would a political and economic union of the Intermarium region countries be possible today? We are united by a common destiny, history, culture, religions, and traditions. We are divided by borders, geopolitical alliances and artificial barriers. However, culture moves the boundaries and overcomes barriers. And such an alliance is possible as a union of cultures, literature (plural is not possible), and values. That is why the topic of this year is Literary Intermarium. Moving Borders, and the key words of the forum are a sea, a border and margins.

Art village Kaptaruny geographically located at the border and mentally — at the crossroads of four cultures seems to be the best place for these discussions. Because it is really so — the border can be a thing which can unite all of us.

We are different, and let it be a reason to bring us all together!

Our guests: Andreas Rostek (Germany), Marius Ivaškevičius (Lithuania), Bronislaw Wildstein, Justyna Czechowska (Poland), Tetiana Pastushenko, Mykola Riabchuk (Ukraine), Valiancin Akudovich, Ihar Babkou, Alhierd Bacharevich, Aliaksiej Bratachkin, Aksana Hajko, Alies Harbul, Siarhiej Dubaviec, Andrei Khadanovich, Artur Klinau, Ihar Lohvinau, Ihar Prakapovich, Tanya Skarynkina, Volha Shparaha, Tatiana Shchittsova, Yulia Tsimafeeva (Belarus).

The forum is organized by Kaptaruny art-village and Lohvinau literary house and supported by Goethe Institute in Minsk, Polish Institute in Minsk, Adam Mickiewicz Institute in Warsaw, the Embassy of The Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Belarus.  

PROGRAM

Discussion. INTERMARIUM: from history to psycho geography

Participated: Bronislaw Wildstein, Mykola Riabchuk, Tatsiana Shchittsova. Moderated by Ihar Babkou.

Of all the areas of Central and Eastern Europe the Intermarium region looks as both the most problematic and the most stable one. Located in a seismic zone of the collision and overlap of civilizations, it periodically goes to the history bottom and then returns to the surface. Without a recognized name and identity (Intermarium? European Sarmatia? Eastern European borderlands? Bloody lands?) with incomplete national projects and historical grievances, conflicts and global challenges of the post-colonial resentments, it nevertheless constantly generates comfort — and almost magic — of local forms of life and culture, where languages, ethnic groups and epochs form one single unity.

What new chances and opportunities appear for the region in the situation of the old Europe’s crisis and uncertainty? Is a new subjectivity possible? And what about a new face of the region? How can one think about Intermarium? Where are its starting point and its perspective? What are the challenges and intellectual tasks «people of culture» face nowadays?

***

Discussion. Belarus-Lithuania-Poland: overcoming the stereotypes

Participated: Alhierd Bacharevich, Justyna Czechowska, Marius Ivaškevičius. Moderated by Siarhiej Dubaviec.

Historically between the Belarusians, Lithuanians and Poles close cultural relations were formed, caused by the common cultural heritage (the Grand Duchy and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth). Nevertheless, it seems that today there are some stereotypical views about the cultures of our countries, also due to the tension about who this cultural heritage belongs to. What stereotypes are those? What Belarusian-Lithuanian-Polish stereotypes can be found in our literature? Are they really necessary? And if no, then how can one overcome them? What role in these processes is played by culture and literature?

***

Presentation

Ihar Prakapovich. On the boundary of cultures. Famous people.

Ihar Prakapovich tells about famous people of Polish, Lithuanian and Jewish cultures who were born on Pastavy and Miadziel districts.

 ***

Discussion. Translation as a bridge in multicultural society

Participated: Yulia Tsimafeeva, Mykola Riabchuk. Moderated by Justyna Czechowska.

Translation conceptually understand as one of the main tools to bridge the gap between different cultures. On the one hand, a translator is a mediator of meaning; on the other hand, she or he creates it directly, making translation as a strong ethical and political tool.

What role in modern society  — a society of «global village» — does play a translation? Is it true that translation always helps to bridge the gap between cultures? How does change or not change its function in the situation of moving borders?

***

Dialogues of publishers. Andreas Rostek and Ihar Lohvinau about a phenomenon of Small Literatures.

Moderated by Alhierd Bacharevich.

***

Discussion. Memory of the Jewish culture heritage: Belarus, Lithuania, Germany

Participated: Aksana Hajko, Marius Ivaškevičius, Andrei Khadanovich, Andreas Rostek. Moderated by Aliaksiej Bratachkin.

A lot of cultural phenomena do not have local boundaries. The Jewish culture and its memory in different countries of Europe can be viewed from the transnational perspective: from everyday phenomena and cultural practices, iconic figures and identity policies to current ways of keeping alive the memory of cultural diversity and mutual influence.

One of the topics of the discussion deals with the degree of past stereotypes overcoming nowadays and the place the Jewish heritage and culture, including the memory of the traumatic events of the 20th century, take in the public discourse of Belarus, Lithuania and Germany.

Can the examples of Jewish and Lithuanian memory of the events of the Holocaust in Moletai and the actualization of the works of Moses Kulbak, a classic of Jewish literature of the interwar period in Belarus, in Germany be an example of a new approach to the Jewish heritage and culture that goes beyond the arguments about local national identity in different societies?

***

Discussion

National Culture in Ukraine and Belarus as a space of thinking and construction

Participated: Tetiana Pastushenko, Mykola Riabchuk, Valiancin Akudovich. Moderated by Olga Shparaga.

In Ukraine and Belarus after the collapse of the Soviet Union culture started being defined as national. Its opposition with the Soviet became commonplace (although in Belarus at the official level, this contrast is formulated as «we took the best from the Soviet»). Another important dimension is understanding of the national culture of our countries as a European.

At the same time, for some part of the society it is the Europe of the 19th century, with its patriarchal and other patterns, which have been criticized by these supporters of another Europe — that of the 21st century. For this different version of the European identity sensitivity to diversity and human rights priority over the national whole are seen as distinctive. People empowered with rights are understood in this case as also not abstract: they are seen as having different genders, ages, openly demonstrated sexual identities and claiming not only to possess civil and political but also social rights. The issue of social justice turns out to be no less important than that of individual freedom.

In the course of the discussion with the help of experts, I would like to dwell on possible literary and other cultural strategies which would help us to reflect on different layers of the «national cultures» in Ukraine and Belarus nowadays. What does this culture look like now, in your opinion, and what would you like it to become? What kinds of identities and communities are formed in contemporary literature and culture of our countries (and in your own work)? Are cultural projects really capable, and if so, then which ones, of helping to resist various forms of violence caused by the war, the state’s contrariness and neoliberalism in our countries?

 ***

Readings.

A DREAM ABOUT A SEA.

Ihar Babkou, Siarhiej Dubaviec, Andrei Khadanovich, Artur Klinau, Tanya Skarynkina, Bronislaw Wildstein.

A BORDER

Valiancin Akudovich, Alhierd Bacharevich, Mykola Riabchuk, Tanya Skarynkina, Yulia Tsimafeeva.

MARGINS.

Valiancin Akudovich, Alhierd Bacharevich, Mykola Riabchuk, Andreas Rostek, Yulia Tsimafeeva.

***

KINEMO project.

Silent movies accompanied by live music. Films: Sherlock Jr. (1924, dir. Buster Keaton), The Immigrant (1917, dir. Charlie Chaplin), Le Voyage dans la Lune (1902, dir. Georges Méliès).

Musicians: Olga Podgayskaya (composer, piano), Anastasia Karpenko (violinist), Vitaly Darashuk (composer, saxophone).

Music set by Alexey Vorsoba.

More photos are HERE.